AFG signs strategic alliance with neobank Volt

We’re excited to announce a strategic alliance with Australia’s first neobank, Volt, including a $15 million investment providing AFG with a 7.6% shareholding in Volt Corporation Limited based on Volt’s current series raising amount of $85m.

Key elements of the strategic alliance include:

  • A white label AFG Home Loans Volt-funded digital mortgage product, available to AFG’s network of more than 2,975 brokers.
  • Access to Volt’s digital banking services and technology platform which will help power AFG Securities credit decisioning. This will drive further efficiencies, provide another layer of risk management, and improve the broker and customer experience.
  • Leveraging Volt’s personal finance manager (PFM) technology so that an AFG branded PFM app is made available for not only the approximately 27,000 AFG Home Loans customers, but for all AFG broker customers.
  • Agreement to work together to develop and distribute further Volt white label products to AFG brokers, including personal and business loans.
  • Volt’s digital banking deposit products will be made available to customers of AFG brokers.
  • Existing panel lenders will benefit from a referral arrangement whereby Volt’s direct customers who do not fit Volt’s credit criteria are referred, with customer consent, to AFG for fulfillment by AFG brokers.

The entry into the strategic alliance and investment is expected to complete after satisfaction of a number of conditions (with the $15 million investment held in escrow until satisfaction of the conditions).

Once the conditions of the agreement are satisfied, the white label Volt-funded digital mortgage product and AFG branded PFM app are expected to be piloted in the last quarter of the 2021 calendar year and be made available to AFG brokers in the first quarter of 2022.

AFG CEO David Bailey explained the agreement: “AFG has a strong history of delivering choice and competition to the Australian market and has more than 70 lenders on its panel. This alliance allows AFG Securities to harness Volt’s nimble banking solutions to deliver market leading innovation and faster decisioning to our brokers and customers, accelerating the ‘time to yes’ for AFG Securities customers.

“The strategic alliance will deliver value to both companies as we combine Volt’s Banking as a Service platform with AFG’s broker technology and significant distribution footprint to deliver competitive products and streamlined digital solutions for brokers and their customers.

“This agreement positions AFG brokers at the forefront of change. The development and availability of a PFM app is an important part of ensuring our brokers have the best opportunity to participate in the benefits of Open Banking as it builds across the market in the future.

“The relationship a broker holds with their customer is fundamental to their success. The provision of the new PFM app technology will enhance that connection and ensure their customers’ interests are kept front and centre,” he said.

“We look forward to working with the team at Volt to combine our technology with the digital tools Volt has built to enable our brokers to continue to provide the personalised service the channel’s success is built upon, and to equip our brokers to succeed in an increasingly competitive digital environment.”

Volt founder and Chief Executive Officer Steve Weston said: “Volt is thrilled to partner with AFG to bring our digital mortgage offering to the market at scale. AFG are pioneers of the mortgage broking industry and touch one in every eleven home loans written in Australia. Their endorsement of Volt’s digital offering through this partnership and equity investment is a landmark moment for our company.

“Volt has distinguished itself by pursuing a Banking as a Service model, and the partnership with AFG is testament to demand for integrated and white label banking to improve customer relationships. The management of financial services is no longer the domain of a handful of large institutions. Volt wants to facilitate a future where a range of businesses, large and small, can deepen their customer relationships by supporting financial journeys,” Mr Weston said.

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