Debut is finally here! What’s next?

The banking revolution has just begun. Discover how Debut is building the next generation of banking on its mission to put 1 billion dollars back in Kiwi pockets and how you can help.
Colourful shapes
May 8, 2024

Debut has finally launched to the public this week, and the excitement in our community has been overwhelming. We're not just a bank. We're a community-driven initiative with a mission to put one billion dollars back in Kiwi pockets. We've come a long way, but this is just the beginning, and we need our community to continue this journey with us.

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Let’s revolutionise banking and empower people to grow their money.

With the cost of living and inflation stinging Kiwis everywhere, from the grocery store to their power bills, it’s a bit like death by a thousand cuts. New Zealand banks generate record-breaking profits year after year, but most of those profits end up overseas instead of here, where they could support our local economy.

Our goal with Debut is to create a sustainable and scalable banking system that benefits our customers. Most people will attest that saving money can be a challenge. That’s unsurprising when, according to a recent survey, most Kiwis seem to be living beyond their means. But what can you do?

Debut is here to make growing your money easier. We understand that life is complicated, and there's no one-size-fits-all solution. That’s why we offer a range of features to help you grow your money and build savings tailored to your unique needs.

Information and visibility provide a clearer picture of your financial health. 🤑

See where it all goes. Debut uses sophisticated machine learning to identify expenses and automatically sort them into categories. Understanding where you’re spending your money helps you learn about your spending habits and empowers you to make more informed decisions.

Simple budgeting tools guide you to curb spending habits. ⚠️

Want to cut back on how much you’re spending on coffee or cute clothes for your flash dog? 🐶👔 Debut makes it easy to set a budget by category and automatically keep track. 

Goal-based saving motivates you to contribute more. 🎯

Instead of just creating a general savings account, Debut encourages you to save up with a specific goal in mind. Research has found that committing to a specific goal makes you more likely to keep at it. With Savings Sheds, you can save for as many things as you like. The beauty of this approach is that it asks you to prioritise what you’re saving for. You can set up regular deposits, like $10 or $50 per week and when you want those payments to start.

Save passively while you spend to top up your savings bit by bit without even thinking about it. 🪙

What if every time you made a purchase, you added a few bucks to your savings too? You could grow your savings in a fraction of the time. With Debut, you have the power to add to your savings effortlessly with every purchase you make. Round payments to the nearest dollar and put the change toward your chosen savings goal automatically. If you really want to hoki, you can increase rounding to the nearest $5 or $10. 

Putting money toward a savings goal can also be a helpful way to curb overall spending, as it lets you put cash away incrementally. Easy access to funds in a primary account is more susceptible to impulse spending. When we put money in savings, people tend to treat that money differently. Of course, if you need it, it’s just as easy to move funds out of savings, too.

Eliminating fees means more money stays in your pocket. 💸

It seems counterintuitive that a bank — where you put your money to keep it safe —  would also charge you heaps of fees. One way we’re putting more dollars into Kiwi pockets is by avoiding unnecessary charges in the first place. Opening account fees, service fees, card fees, penalty fees, and foreign exchange fees are all absent by design in Debut. 

Stretch your NZD even further when you travel or spend in other currencies with zero foreign exchange fees.

Every bank or payment card in New Zealand charges you when you use your card abroad or make a payment to a business overseas — not Debut. This charge is called a foreign exchange or FX fee. It’s charged on top of the currency conversion rate and ranges between 1.8% and 2.5%. 

For context, let’s say you have a monthly subscription that charges AUD 15.00.

  • Current Base Exchange Rate: AUD 1 = NZD 1.10 — NZD 16.50
  • Current Mastercard Exchange Rate1: AUD $1 = 1.1037 NZD — $16.56
  • Foreign Exchange Fee: 2% = $0.33 — $16.89

1 This example rate is based on the exchange rate at the time of this article’s writing.

You may say 33 cents is nothing. However, when you add between 1.8 and 2.5% to every single overseas transaction, foreign exchange fees can really add up – but not with Debut. As the saying goes, take care of the pennies, and the pounds will care for themselves. Because we don’t charge them. Also, our payments are powered by Mastercard, offering the best currency conversion rates around the world.

Let’s build a bank that lets anyone manage their money like a pro.

We’re just getting warmed up, but we can’t do this alone. Please show your support if you haven’t already signed up for Debut. Get started by downloading Debut from the App Store or Google Play Store and give it a go for yourself.

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We have so much more to show you, and we’re stoked to build next-gen banking in New Zealand with you.


Please note, Debut is not a registered bank under the Banking (Prudential Supervision) Act. This is about our future intentions. Investments with us are not supervised currently by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

Derrick Olivier is Head of Community and Growth at Debut
Debut is the best way to save, track, budget and understand your money.
We’re doing something that’s never been done in New Zealand. We’re building a bank carefully, thoughtfully and with feedback from our customers. This is only the beginning.
Please note, Debut is not a registered bank under the Banking (Prudential Supervision) Act. This is about our future intentions. Investments with us are not supervised currently by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.