Australia’s first neobank Volt and one of the nation’s largest mortgage aggregators Australian Finance Group Ltd (ASX:AFG) have introduced a personal finance app ‘Handl. by AFG’, and a white-label home loan product, ‘AFG Home Loans Sparc’, both “powered by Volt’s banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform,” according to an update shared with Crowdfund Insider.
The Handl. by AFG app, and the Sparc home loan product have reportedly been made available to a pilot group of 125 AFG brokers and their clients, “making them both the first BaaS-powered consumer products to go live in the Australian market.”
They were released just four months after the AFG and Volt partnership was first confirmed and will be “rolled out to the entire balance of the 3,050 AFG brokers in early 2022,” the announcement revealed.
The Handl. by AFG app creates “a truly digital experience for AFG Home Loans Sparc product customers, integrating access to personal financial management (PFM) tools such as budgeting and financial highlights, and providing access to Volt bank accounts,” the update noted.
The AFG Home Loans Sparc product features a “very attractive” interest rate for owner-occupiers and investors with “sub 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LVR) loans.”
The announcement also mentioned that Volt and AFG “believe the speed at which these products have been developed and can be scaled to thousands of customers is a clear demonstration of the advantage Volt’s unique BaaS strategy can provide to mortgage brokers and their customers.”
Steve Weston, Founder & CEO of Volt, stated:
“It’s very encouraging to see all the hard work put in over the past few years by the teams at Volt and our partners is paying off, and paying off quickly. The speed at which these products have been developed, and will scale, is testament to the power of BaaS to enable market-leading companies like AFG to add significant value to their customers. It is also a testament to AFG and their capabilities in both rapid product development and distribution.”
David Bailey, CEO of AFG, remarked:
“The development and availability of a consumer finance app is an important part of ensuring our brokers and their customers have the best opportunity to participate in the benefits of open banking as it builds across the market. This partnership will also allow them to stay at the forefront of critical technological advancements in financial services. By harnessing Volt’s nimble banking solutions, we are delivering innovative solutions for our brokers and their customers, and giving them the tools they need to succeed. We look forward to expanding the rollout across our entire portfolio of Australia’s leading mortgage brokers.”
Future plans for the alliance might potentially include adapting elements of Volt’s BaaS platform to assist in streamlining the decisioning processes of AFG’s securitized division, creating various non-mortgage-related white label products, and accessing Volt’s virtual banking deposit products for clients of AFG brokers.