In the last couple of years we’ve had a huge number of digital upstart banks in Australia, from Up to 86400, Xinja and more. Unfortunately, the ranks of digital banks are reducing by one today, with Xinja announcing it’s handing back its banking licence and won’t be a bank anymore.
The advice to customers came out of the blue this morning in an email, advising that “Your Xinja Bank account will be closed soon”. The company went on to say that it wasn’t just closing accounts; it was pulling out of banking altogether and would be focusing on other areas, such as its US share trading product Dabble.
Customers are advised to:
- Transfer all their funds to another bank account with another institution. For what it’s worth, we recommend Up as a stable, innovative and friendly digital bank. Customers can transfer up to $50,000 a day to other accounts.
- Cancel any direct debits (or credits) to Xinja accounts.
The following timeframes apply:
- From today, December 16, customers will be unable to fund their accounts using instant top-up.
- From 22 December 2020, customers will no longer be able to add funds to the account by direct payments, and any payments attempted will be returned to the originating account.
- By 6 January 2021, customers should have removed all funds from Xinja.
- From 15 January 2021, the card and payment facilities will stop working.
For Xinja customers – which fortunately I am not – the move must be profoundly disappointing. Moving banks is difficult at the best of times (i.e. when users want to actually move) but moving when you don’t want to, over Christmas, with only two or three weeks to actually get it done.
Equally, the move deals a blow to digital banks as a whole; digital banks pulling up stumps and leaving customers in the lurch will give everyone with a digital bank – or those considering a digital bank – pause. After all, who wants to sign up with a bank that might just disappear tomorrow?
Let us know if you’re a Xinja customer and how you’re affected.