Digital bank Volt today launched a beta version of its first product, a savings account, to a selection of 'early-adopter' customers on its 40,000-strong waitlist.

The Volt Bank savings account offers a competitive 'no catches' ongoing base interest rate of 2.15% p.a. with no conditions to meet. Customers don't need to make a minimum number of monthly deposits or a minimum number of card transactions to earn the higher interest rate.

Volt Bank was Australia's first neobank to receive an unrestricted Australian Deposit-Taking Institution (ADI) license in January. 

Volt co-founder Steve Weston said the bank was designed to help consumers 'save often' and 'spend wisely' after noticing an absence of personal finance products that actually help make Australian consumers better off.

"What I find troubling in banks saying they are putting customers at the heart of what they do but that isn't reflected in actual practice. As an example, banks should say what percentage of their savings account customers get the higher advertised interest rates rather than the often very low base rates," Mr Weston said

"The same applies to home loan interest rates. Why is it that new customers get a better deal than loyal customers? Banking needs to be done in a better way. Volt's first product, our savings account, offers a highly competitive rate without any conditions. I challenge other banks to do the same.

"This rate strongly aligns with our mission of developing financially healthy and happy humans who are masters of their own money. This means providing financial products that are free from any catches or unpleasant surprises, and which actually help consumers develop great financial habits."

How does Volt Bank savings account compare?

The Volt Bank savings account offers an interest rate of 2.15% p.a. which is competitive in today's low-interest rate environment. 

Provider

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  • Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening
  • No account keeping fees
  • No minimum balance

High Interest Savings Account (< $250k)

  • Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening
  • No account keeping fees
  • No minimum balance
4000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
  • A high-interest online savings account with no monthly fees, easy withdrawals and award-winning digital banking
  • No withdrawal notice periods or interest rate penalties
  • Save up to 10% on eGift cards at over 50 retailers with Macquarie Marketplace

Savings Account (Amounts < $250k)

  • A high-interest online savings account with no monthly fees, easy withdrawals and award-winning digital banking
  • No withdrawal notice periods or interest rate penalties
  • Save up to 10% on eGift cards at over 50 retailers with Macquarie Marketplace
000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
*Rate varies on savings amount
  • Deposit $500 per month to get bonus interest
  • No balance growth needed or card transactions necessary.
  • Tiered bonus rates apply. Earn our best rate on your first $100k. (TMDs at ubank.com.au)
  • 5.50% p.a. available on total savings up to $100K.
  • 5.00% p.a. applies to savings between $100K-250K.
*Rate varies on savings amount

Save Account (>$100,000)

  • Deposit $500 per month to get bonus interest
  • No balance growth needed or card transactions necessary.
  • Tiered bonus rates apply. Earn our best rate on your first $100k. (TMDs at ubank.com.au)
  • 5.50% p.a. available on total savings up to $100K.
  • 5.00% p.a. applies to savings between $100K-250K.
010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
  • Deposit at least $1,000+ each month from an external source
  • Make 5 or more eligible transactions
  • Grow your savings balance each month

Savings Maximiser (<$100k)

  • Deposit at least $1,000+ each month from an external source
  • Make 5 or more eligible transactions
  • Grow your savings balance each month
40501$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
  • Earn up to 5.25% p.a. interest on balances up to $1M. T&Cs apply.

Reward Saver (< $1M)

  • Earn up to 5.25% p.a. interest on balances up to $1M. T&Cs apply.
05001$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

Goal Saver

    0200$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

    Bonus Saver Account (Amounts < $250k)

      010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
      For customers aged 14-35 years
      For customers aged 14-35 years

      Future Saver Account ( < $50k)

        010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

        Boost Saver

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          Unlike many other savings accounts, there are no hoops to jump through if you want to earn the maximum interest rate. The maximum 2.15% p.a. interest rate will be limited to accounts with balances under $245,000 but besides this, there are no other conditions to meet. Every customer with less than $245,000 can earn that 2.15% interest rate without making a minimum number of monthly deposits.

          Other neobanks like Up Bank and 86 400 do require savers to meet specific conditions to earn the maximum interest rate, such as:

          • Deposit at least $1,000 monthly (86 400)
          • Make at least five debit card purchases from a linked transaction account each month (Up Bank)

          Up Bank and 86 400 do have higher interest rates though, with both accounts offering a maximum interest rate of 2.25% p.a. for meeting these conditions. If you don't meet these conditions, you'll only earn the base rate of 0.40% p.a. for 86 400 and 0.50% p.a. for Up Bank.

          On par with Volt Bank savings account interest rate is Bank of Queensland (BOQ) who are offering 2.15% p.a. on its Fast Track Saver account. From February 2020, account holders hoping to earn this maximum rate will have to make a minimum of five transactions with a linked 'Day2Day Plus Account' and deposit at least $200 into this account each month. If customers are unlikely to meet these conditions, they will only earn the base rate of 0.35% p.a. 

          The savings account interest rates offered by Volt Bank are still leaps and bounds ahead of the rates being offered by the big four. At the time of writing, Westpac's Life Account has the highest non-introductory savings account interest rate at 1.65% p.a. Volt's offering is 50 basis points higher than this. 

          According to data from the Reserve Bank, the average savings account interest rate across the big four is 1.50% p.a. With many economists predicting the next rate cut to be in February, it's likely savings account interest rates will fall further still.