The Westpac Group in Australia has revealed that SocietyOne is its second partner to join the institution’s new digital banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform. SocietyOne is a key Fintech player in the nation’s digital lending sector (having originated more than $1 billion in loans).
According to a release shared with CI, the decision to team up with Westpac forms part of SocietyOne’s overall growth strategy – which includes offering a wider range of “market leading” financial products and services. This reportedly includes the introduction of a transaction account to help its 75,000 clients improve the management of their everyday finances.
As noted in the update, this announcement highlights the “growing opportunity” for Westpac as institutional and Fintech partners look to add more digital banking services with their customer mobile apps and also follows the Group’s Afterpay partnership announcement back in October of last year.
Macgregor Duncan, General Manager, Corporate and Business Development at Westpac, stated that it’s a great long-term “growth opportunity” for Westpac, allowing the banking institution to reach new clients via low-cost operating and distribution models. The collaboration should also help with growing “valuable” deposit balances and, over a period of time, the bank will expand its offer to include data and lending services.
“We recognize that Australians are looking for new and different ways to do their banking and by partnering with established brands and leveraging our combined data resources, we can provide better, more personal experiences for customers.”
SocietyOne CEO Mark Jones noted that this recent move forms part of their long-term business strategy to develop a wider range of financial products that will help “empower” and educate their clients and also help them to achieve their goals a lot faster.
Westpac’s virtual banking services will be available to SocietyOne clients during H2 2021. Reinventure, which is Westpac’s venture capital partnership, has reportedly been an investor in SocietyOne since February 2014.
Duncan further noted:
“We are especially pleased to be expanding our partnership with SocietyOne. SocietyOne is an established digital brand with a strong referral network which generates over 80,000 unique monthly website visits. We see an opportunity to work with SocietyOne to broaden its appeal to Australians through innovative and integrated banking and lending services.”
Established in August 2012, SocietyOne was notably the first consumer marketplace lender in Australia to provide risk-based pricing. SocietyOne is supported by an established group of shareholders, including NewsCorp, Seven West Media, Australian Capital Equity, Consolidated Press Holdings, Reinventure Group, EISS Super and G&C Mutual Bank.
Mark Jones, CEO at SocietyOne, stated:
“With the launch of the SocietyOne app, customers will be able to access their credit score for free, apply for a SocietyOne loan and manage their existing loans, as well as deposit, withdraw, and transfer money from and within the new transaction account powered by Westpac’s digital platform.”