Digital bank startup Xinja can now offer housing loans, and getting one will take ‘about 20 minutes’

Photo: Patrick Riviere/ Getty Images.
  • Fintech startup Xinja, which is partially backed by equity crowdfunding, has been approved to offer home loans by the corporate regulator.
  • The company is also seeking a full banking licence and hopes to break into mainstream banking.

Digital bank startup Xinja is planning to offer home loans soon after winning an Australian Credit Licence from ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission).

It’s an important step forward for Xinja which is raising money under new equity crowdfunding legislation and aims to become a full-service digital bank built in Australia but without the legacy structures and costs associated with more traditional financial services companies.

“This allows use to give mortgages, to lend and give credit,” Xinja chief executive Eric Wilson told Business Insider.

“We are raising our very first mortgages in late March early April. By May-June we will bring our first fully digital product online.

“We are bringing technology in from overseas and it will allow us to give you a completely approved mortgage — none of this pre-approved nonsense from the bank — in about 20 minutes from the moment you hit send.

“We are hoping that will completely revolutionise the market here and give people the opportunity not to have to wait six weeks for the bank to deign to give them a mortgage.”

The fintech, which is building the first Australian 100% digital bank designed for mobile, has also applied to APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) for a full banking licence so it can become a Restricted Authorised Deposit-taking Institution.

Xinja last month launched Australia’s first equity crowdfunding offer via the Equitise platform, raising $500,000 in the first 24 hours, more than $1 million in a week and is currently at $1.4 million.

The offer, open until March 31, is part of the second round raise of $10 million. Of this, $5 million was raised in November from private investors, several of whom were reinvesting after round one which raised just under $3 million in May 2017.

In January the first seven companies, including Equitise, Birchal and OnMarket, were licensed by corporate regulator ASIC to offer equity crowdfunding.