Virgin Money taps into APIs to bring BPAY to youth market

- By Collaborative Media & Publishing
Virgin Money Australia has unveiled a digital banking platform with reward-heavy products targeting younger Australians – and the well-loved BPAY payment option is a key part of the offering.

Virgin Money's Senior Product Manager of Deposits, Mark Edwards, says the new "digital first" banking infrastructure was built from the ground up, which required a fresh BPAY connection.

"When we launched, we wanted to go live with all the payment options for our customers. For us, BPAY is one of those really important tools, and we wanted to make sure that we provided that functionality to our customers," Edwards says.

APIs help build new banking infrastructure  

To enable the connection with BPAY, Virgin Money relied on BPAY's APIs, including one to retrieve biller details and another that validates the payment before processing.

Virgin Money was able to run comprehensive tests in BPAY's API sandbox before launch. The sandbox enables users to experiment and select which APIs they'd like to use.

"It was very important. We needed to deliver this quite quickly, and we did so in the testing environment. The sandbox allowed us to understand the ins and outs of those APIs and how they interact with our solution," said Edwards.

Over 1,000 users have accessed BPAY Group’s API sandbox, and more than 60 companies are now in production in the API Developer Portal, and through the BPAY scheme. These companies include investment platform Netwealth, buy-now-pay-later bill platform Deferit, and pay sharing platform Groupee.

BPAY Group expanded its BPAY APIs offering and launched two new APIs in April. They allow BPAY members to send their payment transactions in real time and add (or update) biller details in real time. The total number of BPAY APIs is now six (additional information about BPAY Group data company Sypht and its API is available in the Portal).

Traditional banks face new competition

Virgin Money is one of several players taking on traditional banks with a digital service. So-called neo-banks have attracted millions of younger customers in the UK and several similar start-ups have launched in Australia with mixed success.

A good mobile banking app, a desire to try something new, and positive referrals from friends, family and colleagues have driven their popularity in the UK, according to a recent survey by RFi Group Research[1]

Virgin Money Australia hopes to attract younger users to its new digital products, which features real-time account creation via the app in minutes and in-app provisioning of digital wallets on account opening.

It features a host of personal finance management tools such as spend tracking and categorisation, budget assistance, bill management, and financial goal setting and management.

The Go Transaction account offers eight Virgin Money Rewards Points per transaction on everyday purchases, direct debits and BPAY payments where a customer meets ongoing monthly earn criteria. Points can be redeemed with a host of partners, as well as cash back or gift cards.
 
[1] Global Neobank Report 2020 The appeal of neo ways of banking for the digital consumer. Retrieved from https://www.rfigroup.com/sites/default/files/rfigroupglobalneobankreport2020executivesumary.pdf.

Published by BPAY Pty Ltd (ABN 69 079 137 518) email: marketing@bpay.com.au. The BPAY Scheme is managed by BPAY Pty Limited.  When you use BPAY payment products, the BPAY Scheme is paid fees relating to processing costs and BPAY Scheme membership.  Contact your financial institution to see if it offers BPAY payment products and to get the Product Disclosure Statement.  Any financial product advice provided by BPAY Pty Limited in relation to BPAY payment products is general advice only and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.  Before acting on such advice, you should review the Product Disclosure.

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