One year on and 86 400 is thriving

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    With $40m in loans settled or awaiting settlement, 86 400 has certainly made a splash in the world of lending since receiving a full banking license 12 months ago.

    According to CEO Robert Bell, while the past year has been unpredictable, the neobank is well ahead of its targets thanks to a strong digital process and an intuitive user interface.

    A time to shine

    Bell is somewhat used to crises. He was a CEO for ANZ during the 2011 earthquake in Japan and the 2006 military coup in Fiji before the pandemic posed a whole new raft of challenges for the banking industry and the world at large.

    “What happens in a crisis is some businesses shine and some businesses struggle.”

    “The reality is that given we put so much effort into digital processes and a really good, simple user interface, these things have all really worked in our favour.”

    “Over the last four months we have probably surprised ourselves. We had 110 staff move from the office to home working within a couple of hours.”

    He says in terms of future delivery, 86 400 has actually been more efficient.

    “The best example would be the mortgage.”

    While the major banks rapidly tried to reimagine VOI, 86 400 was already set up to do this remotely and had a paperless system in place.

    “We were really well positioned as lockdown happened to continue doing business.”

    “It’s really impressive that we can turn around in 24 hours.”

    “We haven’t slowed down. We have got more capacity.”

    Customers are reflecting on their finances

    The economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19 has meant customers have become more in tune with their personal balance sheets, says Bell.

    “The feature that customers love is the ability to predict upcoming bills. The crisis has meant that people have reflected more on their finances and that’s working to our advantage.”

    “We have a very high usage of digital wallets. Our customers are more digital savvy but clearly they don’t want to carry more than they have to.”

    Since the start of COVID-19, he says 86 400 has seen more purchases done online as well as more people wanting to join them to save money.

    A new home loan target of $2bn

    After hitting $40m in loans settled and waiting settlement, the digital bank has set a new target of $2bn by the end of next year.

    “With the right brokers on board we think that’s very achievable.”

    He says the lender is accrediting more and more brokers within the aggregator groups they have on board and has a small team of BDMs doing video meetings and webinars with brokers.

    “We’re hoping in the next month to announce more brokers.”

    “I think the data shows mortgage brokers are really shining in this period.”

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