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Neobank Douugh to launch debit Mastercard in Australia in 2019


Fintech banking app Douugh will launch its smart bank account in the United States in the new year, followed by a launch in Australia later in 2019.

Digital banking platform Douugh has today announced it has partnered with global payment provider Mastercard to launch a debit card in the United States early next year, followed by a launch in Australia shortly after. Douugh is a technology company developing a mobile banking app powered by artificial intelligence (AI).

Douugh will launch its smart bank account built from an app that will be linked to a debit Mastercard and will feature a range of digital everyday banking tools and features. The app will help consumers better understand their financial position and help them pay off debt, save for specific goals and build their wealth over time. The smart bank account comes with a dedicated virtual assistant named Sophie to help the customer with their finances.

Similar to finance app Revolut, which is set to launch in Australia in early 2019, Douugh positions itself as more of a technology platform than a bank. Founder and CEO of Douugh Andy Taylor said "We believe the future of banking is about data and identity. Our ultimate goal is to become a platform business, offering a financial control center where people's finances are managed on autopilot. Short-term, we will expand our AI capabilities and offering into wealth management and credit. Long-term, we will look to foster an ecosystem of partners within our own marketplace."

Taylor says Douugh is different than the existing neobanks here in Australia including Up, Xinja, Volt and 86 400 in that it will have a global presence and that it is building more of a complete platform rather than just a banking app. Like competing financial app Revolut, Douugh will leverage the banking licence of an existing bank rather than go through the regulators to apply for its own licence.

"Technology and the pioneering of a new platform-based business model, will be the key differentiators in winning customers off the major banks, and it will be the true fintechs with global scale that will be best placed to capture market share," said Taylor.

Australian consumers will need to wait until Douugh has successfully scaled its business in the United States before it launches here; however, the fintech did say it will be sometime in 2019. To learn more about digital banking in Australia and to compare the new neobanks, take a look at our digital banking guide here.

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Image: Douugh team. Image supplied.

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