If you’re thinking of switching banks and you’re looking for a more convenient option that you can manage correctly through your phone, then hop aboard the digital bank express.
This article reviews Up Bank, an Australian banking firm that offers its customers a standard account that they can use for daily spending. They also give you a savings account accompanied by an attractive interest rate.
You control both accounts from your phone via the Up Bank app. The app also comes equipped with digital features and tools to assist you with managing your funds.
Stay tuned for a more in-depth breakdown of the fees and products associated with Up Bank so that you can make an informed decision as to whether you want to give Up a try.
One of Australia’s newest digital banks is quickly becoming a popular alternative to the traditional banking system. Up Bank, established in 2017, based in the city of Melbourne, appeals to Australians that want all the nifty tech functions and banking features at their fingertips.
With a high focus on technology, Up takes it to the next level by operating a completely digital platform. There are no customer service phone calls, no physical bank branches, not even a website. Every feature, tool, and customer assistance avenue gets hosted by the mobile app.
The app allows customers and potential consumers to sign up for banking and savings accounts, make payments (via Apple and Google Pay), and utilize money management tools.
Though Up Bank separates itself from competitors by being handled and operated through digital means, the financial services and Australian banking licence get supplied by Bendigo and Adelaide bank.
Despite only being four years old, the Up mobile bank has made quite the impression. The digital-only bank has earned numerous awards from various consumer sites that acknowledge the smooth banking experience and convenience of the mobile app. Up has also been recognized for its banking innovation efforts over the years.
Up Bank Features That Stand Out
Here are some of the products and services that make Up Bank stand out against competitors:
- Money Insights
This section of the app tracks your spending habits and provides insight to help users to understand where they spend the most money and which areas they can save from month to month.
Here is a brief list of the money insight features:
- Weekly Spending Notifications
At the end of each week, you’ll receive a notice that contains a summary of how much money you spent the week before. That includes the number of transactions you completed and how that number compares to the number of transactions from the previous week.
- Merchant ID
This identification lets customers view the websites and stores where they spend their money instead of wasting time finding out which purchases belong to which merchants. You can also see how much you’ve spent in total with a particular merchant over a set period (ex: for September).
- Accurate Time and Location Stamps
Aside from just displaying the date, which is what most banks do, Up also shows you the exact time and location that your purchase took place. That feature also helps you in situations of fraud and identity theft.
Summary of Key Features
There are several features which Up mobile bank offers, including the following:
- Detailed Spending History: Up Bank provides a more detailed spending history to its users. Moreover, Up’s “Naked Truth” feature gives you more insight and clarity regarding your spending habits. Each transaction will show you the amount you spent, the merchant or franchise, the time of day when you bought the item, and even the location.
- Spending Insights: Apart from relaying to you where you spent your money and how much you’ve spent, Up will notify you of how often you’re buying things. Finally, you’ll be able to see your weekly total while being able to check your balance without having to log in.
- Payment Splitting: There’s a “conversational payments” feature that Up offers, which allows you to make real-time payments to businesses and people. All of your payment history with a particular person or business will get displayed in a message format. You can choose to use people’s BSB or PayID and account number.
- Automated Categorisation: Each transaction will be categorised automatically, giving you real-time reports of your spending.
- Automatic Bill Detection: Up will be aware of your regular bills and charges, and it will help you budget for them accordingly. More specifically, Up will track the subscriptions that are debited automatically and notify you when the time is approaching to pay them.
- Payment Options: There is a wide range of payment options to choose from with Up including, Google Pay, Garmin Pay, Apple Pay, Fitbit Pay, and Samsung Pay.
- Savings Roundup Tool: You can nominate roundups. That means that your transactions will be rounded up automatically and contributed to your linked savings account.
- Link to Afterpay: Purchases made using Afterpay are displayed innovatively. After an Afterpay purchase, you will see the details of the items that you bought. In addition to this, you’ll be able to see when the installments are due to get debited from your account.
- Multiple Savings Accounts: You’re able to set up several saving accounts with the Up app and have them linked to a single savings goal. And for up to a combined balance of $1,000,000 you can earn interest.
- Low Fees: There will be no fees charged for your transaction account, savings account, international transaction fees, or ATM withdrawals. However, fees will apply if your account gets overdrawn.
- Access ATMs Free of Charge: At most major bank-owned ATMs you can make free withdrawals in Australia and overseas. But, smaller ATM providers are more likely to charge a fee. So be sure to check the ATM screen before making a withdrawal to avoid an unwanted fee.
- Detailed Breakdown: Products and Services
At the moment, Up bank provides both a savings account and a transaction account. Both are fully accessible via the mobile app, and the transaction account also comes with a neatly designed debit card. In the future, Up bank intends to offer their customers various credit services products as well.
Up Banking Account (Everyday Transactions)
The Everyday account from Up comes with unlimited transactions, there are no ATM fees, and it also has a roundup feature, which allows you to give your savings balance a boost.
Whenever you make a purchase with your debit card linked to the account, Up rounds the purchase to the nearest whole dollar amount. The difference between the two amounts gets transferred to your Up Bank Saver Account. That is a helpful tool that adds to your account and enables you to reach your goals faster.
The Everyday account also has multiple perks like no monthly fees, no minimum balance required to open the account, and again, there’s no limit on the free transactions you can initiate through the Android or iOS app. Additionally, there are no international fees if you use your debit card at a foreign ATM. What’s more, you won’t get charged a fee for foreign currency exchange.
- Account fee:$0
- Australian ATM fee: All major banks free
- Foreign transaction fee: 0%
- Overseas ATM fee: $0
Up Bank Saver Account
The Savers account offers a rate of 0.70% on balances up to $1,000,000, as long as you make five purchases every month using your Everyday account. You do have to remember that if you don’t adhere to this stipulation then you don’t earn the interest on your savings account balance because there’s no base rate.
One of the unique and fun aspects of the Up Bank app is that you can pick a name for your savings account and also pick a cool emoji to accompany it (😎). You also have the option of creating multiple savings accounts that are distinguishable from one another. That allows you to have a different account for each savings goal.
Should you wish to schedule automatic transfers from your everyday account to your savings account, it increases the convenience even more. You can schedule the payments to your account in whichever increments you want, and you don’t have to worry about it until you’re alerted that you’ve reached your goal.
- Interest rate: 0.00% ($0 and over)
- Maximum interest rate: 0.70% (for $0 to $1,000,000)
- Account fee: $0
- Money Transfers (International)
In August of 2020, Up Bank began allowing their customers to send funds overseas after they partnered with Wise. Customers can choose between 48 different currencies through the mobile app.
Based on the company report, TransferWise will charge the exchange rate at the time, in addition to one transfer fee. That makes Up’s money exchange platform more appealing than other banks.
Many financial institutions have been making the switch to mobile payment options that allow customers to send money to friends and merchants through Google Pay, Apple Pay, Garmin Pay, Samsung Pay, and Fitbit Pay. Australians have been enjoying the convenience of contactless pay options, and Up bank’s mobile app doesn’t disappoint.
They even allow their customers to sign up for what’s called PayID (email address or telephone number) and use the Osko platform to complete instant transfers to banks that also utilize this service.
For the Australians that enjoy traveling, the Up Debit Mastercard can be taken overseas seamlessly with no additional cost. This is possible thanks to the card’s 0% foreign transaction fee. What’s more, travelers won’t have to worry about being charged overseas ATM fees when they go to take out cash using the Up Debit Mastercard.
Moreover, spending overseas is simplified thanks to the up app which keeps track of all transactions in both Australian dollars and the foreign currency in which you made the purchase.
Should You Try Up Bank?
Up has a heap of products and features such as international money transfers and the latest payment options. Furthermore, it offers you spending insights and bank and savings accounts which rank among the best in Australia. Up is perfect for the Aussie who prioritizes the convenience of banking technology.
While Up offers the essential banking tools, Up doesn’t have the complete range of banking products which some Australians may come to expect. Up doesn’t offer options such as home loans, credit cards, and term deposits. Additionally, Up doesn’t offer traditional banking services such as phone banking and branch access.
Signing up for Up is not at all cumbersome—in fact, Up says that the process can take as little as three minutes. To get started simply download the Up app.
After the app is installed, you’ll be capable of opening an account inside of the app. Keep in mind that you’ll need a form of ID to open an account. However, once Up has approved it you will be ready to bank immediately. (An Australian passport, drivers license, or medicare card is sufficient for ID)
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the answers to commonly asked questions regarding Up Bank:
- Who Is Up Bank Owned By?
Up bank was founded by Grant Thomas and Dominic Pym from Ferocia. They are a subsidiary of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.
- Are Digital Banks Safe?
Digital banks use encryption software and two-factor authentication to be and remain tremendously secure. It has been seen that mobile and digital banking can be more secure than carrying debit cards. However, you will need to follow basic safety protocol as you are still susceptible to scams and fraud when conducting business.
- What is Up Bank’s Business Model?
Up provides saving and spending products. Banks typically make money from fees margins or both. Up, on the other hand, chooses to lean more towards margin over fees.
Up is in a fortuitous position because they’re a collaboration between a fully licensed bank (Bendigo Bank) and an Australian technology company (Ferocia) allowing them to offer products from both sides. As a result, they can make a margin from deposits.
- How Can Up Bank Help Me Achieve Financial Independence?
Up can help individuals achieve their financial goals in several ways. Moreover, users of Up have reported that Up has allowed them to save more money, understand their spending habits better. Lastly, some even reported that Up allowed them to engage with their money in a fun and convenient way.
Hopefully, this Up Bank review has helped you to better understand how challenger banks are making life easier for consumers. Up gives its users financial freedom as well as a convenient system and interface to navigate.
Moreover, if you’re someone who struggles to keep up with every single expense that you’ve made throughout the week, digital-only banks such as Up, make it easy to track your spending. This helps you to be as financially responsible as possible.
Up has innovative banking technology as well as many payment options. So if you’ve felt a bit restricted at your current bank because of things such as unnecessary banking fees and regulations. Choose Up which has very few fees and promotes financial freedom.