Afterpay officially launched its Money app in Australia, giving 3.6 million users access to savings accounts, a debit card, and a suite of features designed to tie the giant buy now, pay later with even more daily expenses.
Money by Afterpay sees fintech moving beyond four-way payment transactions and into “traditional” banking, thanks to its massive partnership with Westpac.
Through the Money app, Afterpay users can access Westpac-backed savings and spending accounts, as well as a physical debit card linked to the transaction account.
Afterpay says the Money app will offer social media-inspired insights based on account balances and buy now, pay for later use, giving users a “seamless view” of their financial situation.
The company sees the Money app as a way for users, especially Gen Z and Gen Y Australians, to fully capture their savings habits while keeping tabs on their purchase now, paying for future expenses. .
“Afterpay has become synonymous with Buy Now Pay Later and we now hope that Money by Afterpay will become the gold standard for all things money – earning, spending, saving and BNPL,” said co-founders Anthony Eisen and Nick Molnar in a statement.
In this way, Money will challenge the Commonwealth Bank – which aims to transform its own banking application into a holistic financial center, with the help of its own payment challenger in four StepPay.
Beyond the buy now binding, paying for subsequent transactions to bespoke Westpac bank accounts, Money will also launch Retro, the ability for app users to retroactively split transactions up to $ 200 into four separate refunds.
Afterpay bills the feature as a way for users to avoid overdraft fees when reimbursing expenses.
However, critics like the Consumer Action Law Center have compared Retro to other new pay-on-demand services, which wrap the functionality and risks of payday loans into simple, easy-to-use apps.
Although the Money app is backed by the Westpac infrastructure, Retro will not be subject to the kind of credit restrictions that traditional payday lenders face.
Retro will have no upfront cost to users if refunds are made on time, but Afterpay notes that “late fees and transaction limits may apply”.
By introducing these new offerings, Afterpay is looking to secure its place in Australia’s spending habits for years to come, said Lee Hatton, executive vice president of new platforms.
“This introduction is just the start, as we are helping our clients build their financial confidence through an ongoing roadmap of new features and useful and inspiring content,” he said.
The money will also serve as a customer acquisition tool in “underweight” demographic groups that are turning away from old-fashioned banking products, said Jason Yetton, Westpac general manager for special businesses.
And the bank is already considering future opportunities with Money, including the prospect of app-based mortgages.
“The next cab will be to reinvent a home buying journey and make it really easy, digital, fast, simple and competitive,” Yetton told the “Westpac Wire” podcast.
Westpac plans to explore this option in 2022, he added.
Money by Afterpay is now available for iOS users, with an Android version expected to go live next year.