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Beemit lets you ditch netbanking and send money instantly

No more cash, no more waiting 2-4 business days for your mates to pay you for those concert tickets.

Will Salkeld/Beemit

I've been using internet banking for more than a decade like a complete chump. And it only takes a few minutes of using Beemit to realise how annoying net banking is by comparison.

It might not have the best name, but Beemit is going to change how we transfer money and split bills in Australia.

Backed by Westpac, NAB and Commonwealth Bank (the concept was originally developed in-house at CBA), it's a money transfer app that lets anyone with a Visa or MasterCard debit card send and receive money and split bills within Australia -- instantly.

It uses EFTPOS technology to transfer the money, meaning you aren't waiting 2-4 days for the money to show up. As soon as you swipe within the app, the money will be out of your account and into theirs. It's similar to Paypal-owned Venmo in the US, but there's no holding your money in a dedicated Beemit account. It moves straight into the account linked with your debit card.

The service was first announced in October last year, but the app has finally hit the app store (for iOS and Android). According to CEO Mark Wood, the company wants to offer the security of big banking, but with an app that is convenient and even conversational (yes, you can put an emoji as a transaction description). 


Beemit lets you send and request payments, and split bills between multiple users. 


The basics:

  • Instant payments between anyone with an Australian Visa or MasterCard debit card
  • Request money from other users
  • Split bills between 2 or more users
  • AU$200 pay transfer limit per day
  • Bank-grade security

To set up an account, you'll need an Australian debit card and a way to verify your identity (through your passport, driver's licence or Medicare number). Beemit told CNET it does not store this identification detail.

From there the payment interface feels a lot like a messaging app -- super simple design, millennial-friendly colours and hamburger emojis (because of course). You identify other users through an @usernames, or you can send money to contacts in your phone book and they'll get a message with a prompt to sign up for an account.

There are a few downsides. You're limited to transferring AU$200 a day and there are no options for international currency transfers yet (you're limited to using an Aussie debit card). The app is also free to download and use now, but that could change down the track, with Wood saying that Like all good start-ups, Beemit has "long-term commercialisation plans."

Still, it's a hell of a lot better than having to log-in to netbanking and chase down an account number and BSB to make payments that can take days to come through. And even if requesting money still feels passive-aggressive, at least now you can do it with an emoji.