What you need to know about Xinja, one of Australia's first digital neobanks.
- Spending categorisation
- Low cost
Not suited for
- Use as a transaction account
- Large ATM withdrawals
- Touch ID or Apple Pay
What to know about Xinja
Xinja is a digital bank that received a restricted authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI) licence in December 2018. This allows it to conduct certain banking business, including accepting deposits up to a set limit. It currently offers a prepaid card and app as well as a home loan that's in pre-beta testing. Xinja says its products have a technology focus, with automatic spending categorisation for prepaid card accounts, fast account sign-up and plans to introduce more artificial intelligence (AI) as it rolls out more products.
|Product Name||Xinja Prepaid Card|
|Domestic ATM Fee||$0|
|International ATM Fee||$0|
|Licensing||Restricted Authorised Deposit-Taking Institution Licence (bank licence)|
What products does Xinja offer?
Xinja has released the following products pending its banking licence approval:
Xinja prepaid card
Currently available in beta, this product has a quick sign-up process, lets you load your own funds using your debit card and tracks your spending. As you spend, Xinja categorises your transactions to give you visibility into where your money is going and provides a daily spend figure.
There are no ATM fees but you still may be charged by the ATM provider. You can also use the card overseas with no international ATM fees, and full refunds for the 3.5% foreign currency conversion fee. You can find out more about Xinja's prepaid card in our review.
As a digital bank, one of the most useful features Xinja offers is its app. You can conduct all of your banking through the app as well as get a rundown of your spending. Xinja will automatically categorise your spending so you can track where your money is going while providing a daily spend figure.
Moreover, you can get assistance through live chat at any time via the app as well as “freeze” or “thaw” your card at any time.
Xinja home loan
Xinja’s home loan is in pre-beta testing and is currently only rolled out to a limited number of family and friends. There are few details available about this product, but Xinja says it will be highly-competitive, have a fast application process and come with a number of features designed to make managing a mortgage easier. The home loan is due to be released to the public in early 2019.
What features are on offer with Xinja?
- Automatic spending categorisation. When you spend using your prepaid card, your transactions will be automatically categorised so you can see where your money is going. You’ll also receive a daily spend figure.
- Tap&Go. Contactless payments are available on your Xinja prepaid card so you can make payments up to $100 without having to enter your PIN.
- Xinja product rollout. Xinja plans to integrate more AI into its products as it rolls them out through the app. It also takes regular feedback from current and future customers when developing products.
- Security. You’re able to freeze or thaw your card if you lose it in the Xinja app. This is a feature that essentially lets you lock your card if you’ve lost it or it’s stolen. You can then unlock it when you can access it again.
- Convenience. You can contact Xinja at any time through its mobile app using live chat.
Is Xinja right for you?
Weigh up the following pros and cons to decide if you should sign up to bank with Xinja:
- See where your money is going. Xinja automatically categorises your spending so you can track your expenditures.
- Use the card to travel. You won’t be charged international ATM fees and you’ll be refunded the 3.5% foreign currency conversion fee.
- Convenience and security. You can freeze or thaw your card if you lose it and chat to Xinja’s support team any time in the app. Tap&Go is available and you can top up your card instantly via direct debit.
- Not a transaction account. The account has limited benefits because it is not a full transaction account. You’ll still require a separate bank account to receive your income and transfer money to your Xinja account.
- Apple Pay and Touch ID not supported. You cannot add your card to Apple Pay and you cannot log in to your account using your Touch ID.
- ATM fees and limitations. While Xinja won’t charge you an ATM fee, you can still be charged by the ATM operator. Many banks have started refunding this fee but this is not the case with Xinja. There is also a daily ATM withdrawal limit of $500 which is quite low compared to standard bank withdrawal limits, which are usually up to $2,000 as standard.
Is Xinja safe?
Xinja has received a restricted banking licence from the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) which allows it to conduct restricted banking business and hold up to $2 million in deposits of less than $250,000 each. Deposits with Xinja will be protected just the same as they would a bank under this restricted licence.
In terms of security features for customers. the ability to freeze and thaw your card is a convenient feature, especially for travellers, and having direct access to customer service through the Xinja app could also be useful.
According to Xinja, you will not be liable for any unauthorised card usage as long as you inform customer service promptly. Xinja has partnered with Indue which holds your funds on the prepaid card and is an authorised deposit-taking institution.
How can I sign up with Xinja?
The Xinja app is available on both iOS and Android and you can sign up if you are over the age of 18. Once you download the app you need to register to receive your card, which can take up to five days for delivery.