News & Analysis

App-based startup 86 400 is looking for $250 million as it prepares to become Australia’s newest bank

- May 9, 2019 2 MIN READ
  • 86 400 is a new digital-only bank led by British entrepreneur Anthony Thomson
  • It’s backed by Sydney-based payments services company Cuscal
  • The bank is waiting for APRA approval to launch with a savings account this year
  • It’s seeking $250m over the next three years to strengthen its balance sheet
Digital banking startup 86 400 (named after the seconds in a day) is on the hunt for cash as it prepares to take on the Big Four.

The app-based challenger bank, led by British banking pioneer Anthony Thomson, co-founder of the UK’s Metro Bank and publicly listed digital bank Atom, has been funded by Sydney-based payments services company Cuscal following the launch of its pilot phase in mid-2018.

However, 86 400’s progress in obtaining a full banking licence as an Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (ADI) from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has been slower than anticipated and 86 400 is now plans to launch with a transactions and savings account for iOS and Android smartphones later in 2019, having missed plans to go public in the first quarter of this year.

When the neobank revealed its plans in June last year, with former ANZ Japan boss Robert Bell as CEO, Thomson said the business would look to raise more than $250 million capital over the first three years of operation and take on additional shareholders. Financial support from Cuscal, best known for rediATMs (and part-owned by the likes of Bendigo Bank and Mastercard), continues. Morgan Stanley Australia Ltd has been enlisted to assist with the raise.

86 400 CEO Robert Bell and chairman Anthony Thomson

“We look forward to introducing new, like-minded shareholders to the business towards the end of this year, as we deliver the easiest version of banking to Australian customers,” Thomson said. 

86 400’s app-based banking has now been in development for more than two years under a team of 60 based in Sydney.

Robert Bell says they’ve spent that time investing in building proprietary technology to change the way retail banking is delivered.

“Our app and Customer Experience Engine (CXE) are both built and in testing and we plan to launch with a transaction and savings account soon after we receive our banking licence. But that’s just the beginning for 86 400,” he said.

“We are developing products and services designed to help our customers out, not catch them out, making it easier than ever before for Australians to manage their money.”

Cuscal was one of the key architects of the New Payments Platform (NPP), a real-time payments system that will be at the heart of 86 400’s functions, along with what Bell calls “digital working memory” – data analysis that has the potential to warn you like a parent or spouse about when you’re being a spendthrift via a predictive cashflow model.

Bell says smarter technology, simpler operating structure and streamlined systems and processes will enable the business to make savings that will be passed onto its customers, and result in better returns for its investors.

More details on the impending bank are available at 86400.com.au.

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