As inflation and interest rates continue to rise, digital banking alternative Yondr is stepping up to help Australians save on hidden costs and budget better.
Backed by former ANZ CEO Mike Smith, the fintech startup was developed and founded by Shane Chanel in 2018.
Brings more than 15 years experience in finance and banking at the table, Shane came up with a solution to the common inconveniences experienced by Australians traditional banking.
“Paying expensive international and hidden fees, poor exchange rates, and using apps that lack personalization and technology capabilities are some ongoing issues, to name a few,” Shane tells Startup Daily.
“I saw the combined pain points as an opportunity to create a more customer-centric alternative to digital banking. My goal was to help individuals like myself better understand spending patterns through smart automated tools. By addressing the common frustrations of traditional players, we can empower Australians to learn and save.”
What is Yondr?
By combining digital banking with budgeting tools, Yondr aims to provide users with a comprehensive financial management solution. The card payment platform provides features and insights to help customers track spending patterns and adhere to limits and budget plans. Users can create budget buckets with virtual cards and use advanced spending analytics to make informed financial decisions.
Yondr focuses on day-to-day expenses and offers no international transaction fees, bank-beating exchange rates, and partner store discounts.
One of the main features is the multi-currency wallet, which can hold up to 25 different currencies at once. It has auto-sweeping technology that converts most local currencies at better than bank exchange rates if you accidentally forget to change your money before you travel.
As international travel costs continue to rise, Aussie travelers who join Yondr can save significant amounts of money and have more control over their spending, thanks to its features.
One customer’s review gives an eexample from a recent trip to Singapore where a money exchange office showed an exchange rate of 0.77 compared to Yondr’s rate of 0.89 – a difference of 15 percent.
“Another customer had his wallet stolen in Turkey. He was able to block his physical card from his Yondr app, add a new virtual card, add it to Apple Pay and continue his journey,” Shane explains. “Alternatively, he should have waited for a new card or found a way to get his family to transfer some money to withdraw.”
Budget tool for living expenses
Travel is only part of the picture. Yondr’s main aim is to help ordinary Australians take more control of their spending and find ways to ease the pressures of the current cost of living crisis.
Shane notes that Yondr not only travels, but also serves daily transaction customers.
“These clients use Yondr to budget, monitor and meet their monthly spending plans,” he says. “As more features and offerings are planned soon, the Yondr team is excited to continue to innovate and pioneer a better banking experience.”
Yondr launched its beta version to the public in February 2022 and already has nearly 5000 apps to download of the alternative to digital banking.
“In the last quarter of 2022, the number of new customers grew by 450 percent,” said Shane. “We attribute the growth to our new app interface and several other product updates, which are well received by the Australian market.”
It’s a promising start as consumers continue to gravitate towards intelligent and interactive options that disrupt traditional banking systems.
“It’s not just one specific problem that customers face with traditional banks, but rather the accumulation of different complaints that become a frustration,” notes Shane. “It’s an exciting time for banking customers as technology-led solutions drive up customer expectations and minimum standards.”
Yondr and beyond
While Yondr is planting its roots primarily in Australia, the goal is to expand to other parts of the Asia-Pacific later on.
Mike Smith, who served as ANZ’s CEO from 2007 to 2015, agrees with Shane’s vision of scaling the fintech.
“Mike is very passionate about both banking and the region. He joined our board after a conversation where he saw alignment with our vision and customer-driven strategy,” says Shane.
“Asia has experienced impressive growth over the past decade and we expect this trend to continue. This presents a significant opportunity for companies that can effectively tap into this market and perform well.”
In the near term, Yondr is focused on growing locally and launching innovative products and features, including credit capabilities, while offering an attractive alternative to traditional banking.
This article is brought to you by Startup Daily in partnership with Yondr.