Pacific: Be-bunk, the Caledonian bank that wants to put everyone on an equal footing

Born in Bourail, Leïla Solomita came up with the idea for this start-up while working at the mine. She then observes that most of the employees do not have bank accounts. To withdraw their monthly salary, they go to stores that convert the check into currency, with a 10% commission.

“Completely illegal… The IEOM is therefore very happy that we are putting all this in order, not least because this situation also concerns construction, agriculture, fishing…”, comments Chérifa Linossier, director of external relations for the brand and who was at the head of the CPME in Caledonia for a while. While opening a bank account can sometimes be a real obstacle course, Be-bunk is a bank like no other. “The customer cannot take out credit and the overdraft is not authorized, which means that we do not maintain social misery”she describes.

The establishment also defines itself as inclusive. Bank liabilities are not examined. “Subscribers only need to be of legal age, have an email and postal address and present an identity document to gain access to a bank account with French RIB and a Visa debit card. He is not asked to produce the last three paychecks.” Any major can be today “banked”. It only takes a few minutes of a mobile app to create your neo-account. Approved payment agent in September 2021, the company relies on Xpollens, from the BPCE group, to manage financial flows.

a social purpose

“It’s a bank for those banned and disappointed in the banking industry. But not only. Today we address all those who want to participate in the social and solidarity economy (ESS)”. Chérifa Linossier sees this new tool as a way to help reduce inequalities. “By taking out the card, we participate in social issues such as the fight against violence against women and finance the local economy and the associative fabric”.

©Facebook / Be-bunk

Despite being digital, the start-up maintains strong ties with the local fabric. Thus, it established partnerships with the interim company Manpower and the Hôtel de Paris. “By partnering with Be-bunk, which offers them a regulatory framework, companies fulfill their CSR obligations. It’s a virtuous circle.”insists Cherifa Linossier. “We help create a bond, we weave the rug.”

Reactivity and autonomy

Even though the neobank has a store in downtown Noumea, in the Manhattan building, it relies on digital technology and the autonomy of its customers. “From the application, they can block or unblock the card themselves, make oppositions, make transfers, see their expenses live, but also make instant transfers between Be-Bunk accounts”explains Aurélie Abitbol, ​​customer support manager. “In addition, we have an agile technical support, at the slightest problem, we can be contacted by email, chat or telephone”.

Equipped with contactless payment, any requested card arrives in a subscriber’s mailbox within a week. New beneficiaries are registered within 24 hours, just take a selfie to confirm your identity. The Visa Classic card offer is affordable at 1,400 XPF per month and the Visa Premier card at 2,500 XPF. A price two to three times cheaper than that offered by traditional banks that Be-Bunk runs the risk of overshadowing, even if certain operations are not possible with online neobanking, such as depositing checks or deposits.

Especially since Be-Bunk hasn’t finished its developments. “In 2023, let’s go for a ride”, announces the customer consultant who is working on setting up a cashback with merchants. A secure account system that will allow customers until June 2023 to recover a certain percentage of their expenses, directly from their bank account. The company also intends to promote the opening of professional accounts.

Initiatives that should convince Caledonians to join the Be-bunk community. Because more than a bank, it is in fact a community.

KJ for / NC NEWS

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