Is Volt Bank Worth Signing Up For?

Volt Bank is a neo bank that has been promising to launch for quite some time.  Good news – they have just launched their first product and you can now sign up.

Volt Bank Savings Account – Earn 2.15% Interest

The first product launched by Volt is a savings account.  The main selling point is the 2.15% interest rate – no strings attached.  This is much higher than what most banks are offering.  Some banks offer similar rates, but with strings attached.  Like a minimum deposit amount or no withdrawals.

Pros of using Volt

  • Earn a high interest rate – Currently one of the best interest rates out there.  This will definitely help you save for a house deposit and keep pace with inflation.
  • No Strings for Interest – I don’t like savings accounts that require you to meet a deposit threshold.  I hate it even more when savings accounts that are attached to transaction account and require to make a certain number of transactions.  With Volt there are no strings.  Just a good interest rate.
  • No Fees – Like none.  No fees to open an account. No fees to just let your account sit and be.
  • Government Insured – You can deposit up to $245k into your savings account.  And this is all insured under the Governments Deposit Insurance scheme.  Volt has been issued a banking license in Australia which gives them access to this guarantee.  So any funds deposited into Volt are safe – even if Volt was to go under.

Downsides of using Volt

So while 2.15% interest sounds amazing – what are some of the things you need to watch out for:

  • No PayID/Osko – to deposit money into your Volt savings account you need use a standard bank transfer with a BSB and Account Number.  This takes a couple of business days depending on your bank.  I tested this out and my deposit came through the next business day.  Apparently there are plans to add instant PayID/Osko transfers.
  • Interest Rate could change – the rate is listed as variable so it could change in the future.
  • App Bugs –  Nothing too serious.  Just the odd “an error occurred” when viewing certain screens.  I haven’t experienced anything that stopped me from using the core features of Volt (making a deposit etc).  The design and colour are pretty awful, but this should improve over time.

Volt vs Xinja

The closest product to Volt is Xinja.  I’ve actually signed up there too and will be putting out a review.  The main difference between the two is that Xinja has a transaction account attached.  For me, I have no plans to change my everyday transaction account from my current bank.  So Volt currently suits me better.   I hope I won’t automatically be given a transaction account with Volt when they launch it.

Xinja has a slightly better interest rate of 2.25%.

I’ve started Using Volt

So I’m a Volt user, I’ve decided it’s a good place to put my emergency account.  Here are some of my quick takeaways from using the app:

  • Love the simplicity – I like that Volt is focusing on just a savings account to start with.  It’s a very simple product.  Neobanks should be super simple!
  • Love that there are no strings – I really appreciate what Volt is doing.  It gives me the flexibility to save how I want to save.
  • Launch time is a little worrying – Volt was issued a license to operate as a bank in May 2018.  So to take nearly 2 years to build their app is too long.  As an app developer myself this is a bit of a flag.  Hopefully they’ve sorted out their dev issues now.  A lot of what I judge these neobanks on is their tech stack and how well, and quickly they can ship product – because that’s their selling point!
  • Is interest paid monthly?  I’m guessing it is, I couldn’t find any details on how it’s calculated/compounds etc.
  • They need PayID – instant transfers are a must!  This is listed on their roadmap.

You can find out more about Volt here

This post is for educational purposes and should not be considered as investment advice. This post is based on individual experience and journalistic research.

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