Is this Aussie fintech about to shake up millennial travel?


It’s no secret that young Australians love to travel. Ask any millennial and they’ll likely be hard pressed to name a friend that hasn’t recently travelled overseas or isn’t planning to do so in the near future.

In fact, according to research from Roy Morgan released in May, millennials are the most likely cohort in Australia to have travel plans in the near future - 73.6% of those surveyed indicating that they intended to travel in the next 12 months.

And with so many young Aussies heading overseas, one local fintech is not only banking on the travel bug sticking around, they’re hoping to completely change the way Australian travellers pay while they’re away.

Melbourne-based startup and self-described market disruptor Pelikin is on the verge of launching a mobile-only, multi-currency account and prepaid Visa debit card targeting young, technologically minded Australians on the lookout for a different travel money experience.

“Pelikin has been built to reduce cash dependency overseas, reduce costs and stress, and reduce the burden of ‘travel tension’ between groups of travellers,” said Pelikin Founder, Sam Brown.

“Managing money when travelling is hard, particularly in groups as friends start to owe friends money and it can get awkward, so we’re combatting this issue within the app.”

Some of the features Pelikin’s app and card are set to offer include:

- The ability to hold up to five different currencies at once
- No fees
- Card payment in over 200 countries with Visa
- Instant in-app transfers to fellow users in multiple currencies
- Use of unique @ handles instead of traditional account numbers

Aside from reducing cash-reliance and payment wait times for Aussies abroad, Pelikin is also hoping to roll out a savings feature within its app, aimed at encouraging travellers to save money collectively in order to reach hit their travel goals.

And it may seem like it, but Pelikin is not a bank. The fintech has instead partnered with UK-based Tuxedo Money Solutions to provide their app and card, while local Australian mutual Heritage Bank will issue the Visa debit card.

While he didn’t rule out an expansion into more traditional banking in the future, Brown stated that Pelikin was focused on the travel money market for now.

“We don’t want to create just another deposit account; we want to fix a real problem that the growing population of young Australians are facing when they use their money abroad,” he said.

“We created Pelikin because we were once frustrated consumers who experienced the pain of using clunky and expensive travel money products abroad and we are hell-bent on fixing this. You never know what the future holds for us, but for now, we’ll let the ex-bankers build the banks.”

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