Joust in the news

Adelaide start-up and fintech company Joust to launch in New South Wales under NOVA Entertainment Group funding deal

The Advertiser

February 20, 2017 10:45am

A MAJOR entertainment company has thrown its financial support behind Adelaide-based technology start-up Joust, allowing the company to expand its home loan auction service into New South Wales.

The Wakefield Street business today announced it had successfully raised another $400,000 and secured NOVA Entertainment Group as a strategic investor.

The company, which operates in SA and Victoria, says the funding takes to almost $2 million it has raised since its inception in early 2015.

Co-Founder and managing director Mark Bevan said 650 customers have used Joust to seek a better home loan interest rate and that the value of home loans “jousted” was already more than $250m.

“We now have eleven Banks on the Joust platform and the continued support from existing

investors and now NOVA Entertainment, gives us the confidence to expand in to the Sydney market next month,” he said.

Scaling the business and increasing consumer awareness in the important markets of Melbourne and Sydney are key focus areas for Joust in the first half of 2017.

Joust was recently named as a finalist in Start-Up of the Year category in the 2017 Fintech Business Awards.

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South Australian SMEs among winners in state budget with $10,000 incentives to hire new workers

ELOISE KEATING /Friday, July 8 2016

South Australian Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis. Source: AAP Image/Tim Dornin

Small and medium businesses in South Australia will receive cash incentives for each new job created in the next two years, as part of the state government’s efforts to tackle unemployment across the state.

The 2016-17 South Australian budget, which was handed down by Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis on Thursday, includes two incentive schemes for small and medium businesses, in a package worth $109 million.

The Job Creation Grant scheme will pay employers $10,000 over two years for each new fulltime job created between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2018. The scheme is open to employers that are liable for payroll tax in South Australia and which have a total taxable wage bill of $5 million or less in the financial year immediately preceding the year they wish to claim the grant in.

Under the scheme, employers will receive the grant in two instalments to coincide with the first and second anniversaries of the creation of the particular job. If the hours worked by the new employee are less than 35 per week, the grant will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

The second scheme funded in the budget, the Small Business and Start-ups Grant scheme, is worth $4000 to employers over two years, and is available to businesses that have a total payroll of less than $600,000, which puts them under the state’s payroll tax-free threshold.

To receive the grant, a business must create a new job of at least 22 hours per week. The $4000 grant will be paid to employers in two instalments of $2000 on each anniversary of the job being created.

To qualify for either the Job Creation Grant or the Small Business and Start-ups Grant, employers will need to register the new employee with RevenueSA within 90 days of an employee commencing work.

Koutsantonis said in a statement on Thursday the government estimates the schemes will provide grants for 14,000 fulltime jobs across South Australia.

“Reaching that target in the current economic climate will be challenging but we need to do all we can to address the state’s high unemployment rate,” he said.

The unemployment rate in South Australia is the highest among all Australian states and territories at close to 7%. Koutsantonis said while there is more work to be done to improve employment opportunities in the state, these grants will “build on our tax reforms and stimulate further job creation in South Australia”.

“We want to reward growing businesses in South Australia and help them grow faster,” he said.

“We are backing SA businesses that want to expand and create more jobs.”

Mark Bevan, managing director of Adelaide-based startup Joust, told SmartCompanyhis company will factor the grants into their financial modelling and “it could be the difference between a ‘no’ decision and a ‘go’ decision” to hire a new employee.

“Hiring, particularly making a commitment to new full time employees, is a massive challenge for startups. Anything that reduces the financial risk I would consider very helpful,” Bevan says.

“Management of cashflow – and making sensible, small investments are a prime focus for small business and start ups.  A cash incentive can have the effect of tipping the risk scales of making an investment in a new employee or a contractor in favour of proceeding.”

BDO partner David Fechner also backed the measure, saying in a statement the grants schemes are good news for South Australia’s 90,000 small businesses.

“In a flat economy the state government has substantially shifted its approach to small business and is finally looking at this sector to create jobs and growth,” Fechner said.

“The incentives announced today are good news for those business owners striving to diversify their offering and stay relevant to their customers amidst shrinking margins and attempts to deliver more with less resources.”

Other measures to help SMEs in South Australia

The 2016-17 South Australian budget includes a number of other measures that could help SMEs. These include:

Payroll tax rebate extension

The SA government has extended the small business payroll tax rebate for another four years, which is claims will save eligible businesses as much as $9,800 each year. The rebate was first introduced in the 2013-14 state budget and provides a 2.45% rate cut for businesses with payrolls up to $1 million. The government extended the rebate for 12 months in last year’s budget and following the latest extension, it will now run until the 2019-20 financial year.

Access to faster internet

The 2016-17 state budget includes a provision of $4.65 million to make Adelaide part of the global Gig City network. This will involve giving businesses access to SABRENet, a high-speed, optical fibre network currently used by the state government and universities. The roll out of the Gig City network to Adelaide is expected to start at the end of the year.

Promotional support for retailers

The government will also provide $2 million for a 12-month campaign to encourage South Australians to shop with local businesses. The “Choose South Australia” campaign will be run by Brand South Australia and will aim to raise the awareness of South Australian made goods and services.

Funds to attract business to the state

The government has allocated an additional $20 million over two years to the South Australian Economic Investment Fund, which aims to attract new businesses to the state.

Cash for business advice and mediation

SMEs that export are expected to benefit from an additional $600,000 in funding for Business SA to provide a coaching and advisory program in this area. The Office of the Small Business Commissioner will also receive more than $1 million to fund mediation services.

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Analysis: Is the mortgage industry ready for disruption?

Wednesday, 22 June 2016   |  
 
James Mitchell

Fintech businesses have descended on the mortgage market in recent months, eager to establish themselves as legitimate distribution channels. But are banks and brokers ready to embrace new players?

Hero BroKer

When The Adviser ran a piece about Hero BroKer last month, the industry’s reaction was significant. Twenty-five people commented on the story, which was shared 64 times on Facebook and 48 times on LinkedIn. 

The idea that customers could broker their own home loan (and receive an upfront commission for doing so) seemed to fly in the face of the broker proposition.

Comments ranged from encouraging – “A work in progress that will face some hurdles but I'm looking forward to seeing how far Hero BroKer will go” to negative – “My bet is Hero to zero!”

A follow-up story revealed that the platform had signed an agreement with mortgage aggregator AFG.

However, Heritage Bank seemed confused after being told its branding was all over on the Hero BroKer website.

Heritage Bank’s general manager of retail services Paul Francis said he was unaware Hero BroKer had listed the bank as a lending partner on its website, adding that Heritage has no direct agreement with the platform.

Mr Francis said he does not believe the platform will make much of a dent in mortgage distribution now, but it could in the future. “There will be more of these types of operations that will be banking on the fact that this continued move to the digital age will become prevalent in this part of financial services,” he said.

A few weeks later, AFG revealed that it had terminated its agreement with Hero BroKerfollowing a review of its business model.

Hero BroKer founder Clint Howen said AFG’s main concern was the commission going back to the borrower.

“If I was to give that up from the business model, they would want to continue their relationship with Hero BroKer,” Mr Howen said.

“But it’s not just the commission [going] back to the borrowers that they’re worried about either. They’re also worried that the process could take away the value of a broker.”

Which poses the important question: is the industry ready to be disrupted?

Non-bank lenders were an early disruptive force in the mortgage market, as were brokers. Together they have been responsible for injecting much-needed competition into the industry.

Whether new online players can deliver the same positive results remains to be seen.

Mortgage Business understands Hero BroKer has been in discussions with more aggregators in recent weeks.

Uno

Within days of AFG cutting ties with Hero BroKer, industry veteran Vincent Turner announced the launch of his new fintech company uno. Once again, the power is in the hands of the consumer.

The uno online service gives consumers access to the same tools and information traditional brokers use to find a home loan, providing them with the power to decide what is best for them. It also allows consumers to access real time home loan rates based on their personal situations – not just advertised rates.

“We think of this as the third wave. Traditionally, you’ve just had banks, going way back. Then you had brokers come into the market. We see this consumer-brokered mortgage as the next wave of what is possible,” Mr Turner said.

“I think there is a whole segment of consumers who will say, ‘This is how I want to get access to a mortgage because I want to use a platform’. They don’t want to do it alone, they still want help, but what they want is a screen.

“There is a whole generation of people who have a screen to access so many other services in other verticals.”

Mr Turner believes online platforms such as uno will not replace banks, nor does he see it replacing mortgage brokers.

“We think there is a whole generation of people and a growing segment of the market who want to do more of this themselves and expect that from their service providers.”

Mortgage Business understands a big four bank has recently invested in the platform.

Joust

This month, another new player announced it has gained traction in the home loan market. However, unlike the consumer-brokered model, Joust sees lenders bidding for a customer’s mortgage.

In its first two weeks, Joust has seen more than $43 million worth of home loans go through its system after more than 100 customers put their mortgages up for auction.

Joust founder Mark Bevan has made clear he is in competition with mortgage brokers, and so far a growing number of non-major lenders have signed up to the South Australia-based platform, including Bank SA, Adelaide Bank, Australian Unity, People’s Choice Credit Union, Bank of Queensland, Beyond Bank and Gateway Credit Union.

Mr Bevan said Joust will launch in Victoria in October, followed by a full national roll-out by January 2017, with plans to more than double the number of active lenders on the platform.

“We’re aiming to have up to 20 lenders on our digital platform to ‘joust’ by the time we launch nationally, which given the discussions and high level of interest received to date, we are confident this goal is well within reach,” he said.

The former major bank executive believes one of the reasons people are responding so well is the fact that Joust is not a comparison site, but a live and fully transparent auction platform.

“It’s a reverse eBay experience for home loans. There’s a lot of confusion when it comes to comparing home loan deals between lenders, and people don’t have the time or patience to do the hunting around and negotiating back and forth – and certainly not with numerous lenders,” he said.

“Our platform brings a new competitive edge to the financial sector, whereby we bring the lenders to the consumer on our terms, ensuring apples are always being compared with apples, which makes the process much easier for the consumer.”

Three local fintech companies have emerged in recent months. All of them have the same goal – to earn their place in the competitive mortgage distribution market by catering to the changing needs of consumers.

The rise of mobile technology and the rapid take-up of internet banking have placed the power firmly in the hands of customers.

There will always be people who will want their hands held and who will look for a human relationship when they are making major financial decisions. But there is a generation of customers (and generations to come) who is quite happy to receive a mortgage in a few simple steps on a screen.

Just as mortgage brokers and non-bank lenders brought competition to the market by offering an alternative, new online players will no doubt be the catalyst to drive innovation in both new and existing mortgage businesses.

This article first appeared in Mortgage Business 22nd June 2016 - click here

 

 

New disrupter hits the mortgage market

Joust, the latest disrupter to hit the home loan market, has launched a live auction platform – providing consumers, in essence, with a reverse eBay experience for mortgages.

The home loan contest - which allows customers to secure low interest rates by having lenders bidding for their business - has seen home loans valued at more than $45 million being put up for live auction in just a few weeks.  Launched on 1 June in South Australia, Joust will enter the Victorian market in October followed by a full national roll-out by January 2017.  “The platform - which involves lenders bidding for the loans in real time - allows customers to watch as lenders drive down each others' rates within the chosen time frame," commented Joust managing director, Mark Bevan. 


After pitching the product for 18 months, he found converts chiefly among the challenger brands as it gave them an opportunity to target specific customer segments.
 

Challenger brands


As such, Bevan has signed up seven second-tier lenders, including Bank SA, Adelaide Bank, Australian Unity, People’s Choice Credit Union, Bank of Queensland, Beyond Bank and Gateway Credit Union.  And, he has plans to push that number to 20 by the time Joust rolls out nationally, which given the discussions and high level of interest received to date, he is confident in predicting. "The challenger brands will always find it hard to compete digitally with the big banks," he argued, adding that their resources were stretched.


“Our mortgage origination platform costs the challengers very little and yet they get highly-qualified leads that allow them to target specific client niches,” Bevan said. “They can see the geography, the demographic, the loan-to-value ratio, the credit rating band - these are all things that we provide.” As he sees it, the platform is a real alternative to the use of mortgage brokers for the customer-owned and smaller regional banks - which are struggling to achieve reach.
 

'Chunk out of the value chain'


Bevan is convinced that digitalisation of the mortgage process will completely change the customer experience, forcing more and more brokers into the advice and financial planning area.  “The old style broker business that takes a chunk out of the value chain for straightforward home loans will find it harder to justify this as technology improves,” he added. His goal is to bring a new competitive edge to the financial sector, by bringing the lenders to the consumer - and putting consumers firmly back in the driving seat. Additionally, he has been in talks with the big four banks but so far has been unable to land any of them as clients. “While impressed with the concept, our platform represents a threat to their back book so it's unlikely the major banks will jump on board," he said. 

Joust charges 20 basis point for mortgage origination and charges the lender’s a fee for using the software. That charge is based on each deal introduced to them. Unlike Flongel - which also offers mortgage auctions via a platform - Joust offers no advice and does not make recommendations. “We just create the platform and the direct link with the technology for the banks to bid in a live and dynamic environment so each lender can see each other's bids."

Categories
BANKING, TECHNOLOGY,
Author:
Elizabeth Fry, efry@financialpublications.com.au
Article Posted:
June 21, 2016

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Brokers losing mortgages to disruptive platform

WRITTEN BY
James Mitchell 

June 20, 2016

A new online lending platform that competes with mortgage brokers has seen more than $43 million worth of home loans put through its system in its first two weeks of operation.

Joust is a free tool that involves lenders bidding (jousting) for home loans in real time, allowing customers to watch as lenders drive down each other’s rates within a specific time frame.

During the first two weeks of its launch in South Australia, more than 100 consumers put their home loans up for auction onJoust, three times more than the company had anticipated.

Online lending platforms are becoming increasingly prevalent in the home loan space, bringing fresh competition and challenging the traditional bank and broker propositions.

Seven lenders have already partnered with the South Australia-based platform, including Bank SA, Adelaide Bank, Australian Unity, People’s Choice Credit Union, Bank of Queensland, Beyond Bank and Gateway Credit Union.

Joust managing director Mark Bevan said one of the main benefits to banks is the complete lack of channel conflict, as Joust is not looking to ‘own’ the customer or the relationship.

“We would hope to take some business away from mortgage brokers,” Mr Bevan said.

Joust has targeted challenger brands rather than the big four. According to Mr Bevan, the start-up has seen the strongest engagement from non-major lenders and mutuals.

Mr Bevan said Joust will launch in Victoria in October, followed by a full national roll out by January 2017, with plans to more than double the number of active lenders on the platform.

“We’re aiming to have up to 20 lenders on our digital platform to ‘joust’ by the time we launch nationally, which given the discussions and high level of interest received to date, we are confident this goal is well within reach,” he said.

The former major bank executive believes one of the reasons people are responding so well is the fact that Joust is not a comparison site, but a live and fully transparent auction platform.

“It’s a reverse eBay experience for home loans. There’s a lot of confusion when it comes to comparing home loan deals between lenders, and people don’t have the time or patience to do the hunting around and negotiating back and forth – and certainly not with numerous lenders,” he said.

“Our platform brings a new competitive edge to the financial sector, whereby we bring the lenders to the consumer on our terms, ensuring apples are always being compared with apples, which makes the process much easier for the consumer.”

This article first appeared in The Adviser 20th June 2016 click here

Banks join online mortgage platform that bypasses brokers

WRITTEN BY
James Mitchell
May 02, 2016

Several regional banks and credit unions are expected to begin providing home loans via a new online platform that aims to “take business from brokers”.

South Australian-based fintech start-up Joust is preparing its innovative real time platform which lenders can use to compete for the home loan business.

The brainchild of former major bank executive Mark Bevan, Joust created an online marketplace which connects consumers directly with lenders via a live auction process. Bids from the lenders can be seen in real time on a desktop or smart device.

Adelaide Bank, Beyond Bank, People’s Choice Credit Union and Bank SA are expected to join Bank of Queensland, Gateway Credit Union and Australian Unity as “foundation lenders” on the new platform.

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