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US neobank Zenus gets licence

via FinTech Futures 

Puerto Rico-based challenger bank, Zenus, was granted its banking licence by US regulatory authorities this week.

Unlike other challengers, Zenus will allow anyone in the world to open an account, including the unbanked population from countries such as South America, India and China. (more…)

Banks

August 16, 2019

121

Monzo insists new short-term loans won’t be at Wonga rates

via The Guardian 

Digital bank Monzo is dipping its toes into the short-term loans market a year after Wonga’s collapse, but insists it will not target customers who usually turn to payday lenders.

The challenger bank formally launched loans for its 2.5 million customers on Thursday, following a trial with around 4,000 of its users. Those who qualify will be able to borrow as much as £15,000 for up to 60 months, or take loans as small as £200 for as little as 90 days.

That kind of wage top-up has been the hallmark of short-term or payday lenders, whose customers borrow an average of £300 over three months. (more…)

Banks, p2p/online lending

August 15, 2019

120

Neobanks’ have secured a record $2.5 billion in funding this year

via Business Insider

The first half of 2019 is proving to be a lucrative one for neobanks, which raised $2.5 billion this year through the end of July across 55 deals, reports Business Insider citing CB Insights data. (more…)

Analytics, Banks, Mobile-first banks

August 15, 2019

100

Digital Bank Revolut Launches Business Expense Management Feature

via Crowdfund Insider 

Digital bank Revolut has integrated Xero, an SME accounting platform, to facilitate seamless business expense reporting. The Revolut for Business app has also been updated for team members to upload receipts and add expense information, according to a release from the company

The new “Expense Management tool,” is designed to help growing businesses more easily manage expenses. Business owners may now approve or reject team expenses, an area that has traditionally been difficult to manage. (more…)

Banks, SME

August 14, 2019

156

Challenger banking comes to trade finance with the launch of the Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank

via Tearsheet

  • Creating a digital trade bank required rethinking what it could and should be.
  • Joined by Microsoft and Publicis Sapient, AGTB services trade across the Middle East, Asia and the UK.

(more…)

Banks

August 12, 2019

153

Neobank Joust Raises $2.6M To Bank Freelancer Wages

via PYMNTS

The funding round was led by PTB Ventures, with help from Accion Venture Lab, Financial Venture Studio and Techstars.

Founded by Lamine Zarrad and George Kurtyka in 2017, Joust aims to help independent professionals find more financial stability and avoid late payments amid the irregular payment system for freelance work. The bank guarantees invoice payments and has a “PayArmour” feature for same-day funding, which is available as an app in Google Play and the Apple App Store. (more…)

Banks, InspirAsia, Mobile-first banks

August 12, 2019

181

Deutsche Bank creates digital bank Fyrst

via FinTech Futures

Deutsche Bank has started a digital  bank called Fyrst, designed for freelancers, founders and entrepreneurs. However, the project is currently suspended by their former subsidiary, Postbank, reports Ruby Hinchliffe. (more…)

Banks

August 7, 2019

317

German Digital Bank Gets Backing of Billion-Dollar Venture Fund

via Bloomberg 

A Berlin-based fintech is trying to emulate the success that digital banks like N26 have enjoyed with retail customers by specifically targeting business clients.

Penta, which offers bank accounts for firms with up to 70 employees, has just won the backing of HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, one of Europe’s largest venture funds with more than 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) under management. The fintech company — founded in 2017 — expects to increase its customer base to about 20,000 by the end of this year from over 8,000 at the moment. It plans to expand into Italy in the fourth quarter.

(more…)

Banks, SME

August 6, 2019

129

Tide, Starling Ramp Up Rivalry Over SMB Customers

via PYMNTS

The rivalry between U.K. challenger banks Tide and Starling continues to heat up as Tide signs on its 100,000th small business customer.

Reports in The Telegraph on Monday (Aug. 5) said the companies continue to compete for the small business customer base. Tide has on-boarded 100,000 small business customers, described by the firm’s chief executive Oliver Prill as a “very significant milestone.” (more…)

Banks, Open Source/ API, SME

August 6, 2019

243

Monzo says it wasn’t storing ‘some’ customer PINs correctly, but has now fixed the bug

via TechCrunch

Monzo, the fast-growing U.K. challenger bank that recently soft-launched in the U.S., is disclosing a potential, albeit relatively limited, security oversight that saw customer PINs stored incorrectly within the company’s internal systems. (more…)

Banks, Mobile-first banks, Security

August 5, 2019

365

Ex-Lazada CMO’s neobanking platform for SMEs, Aspire, raises US$32.5M to grow in Southeast Asia

via e27

Aspire provides SMEs with a 60-day, interest free credit line of up to S$100,000 to solve their working capital needs (more…)

Banks, Deals, InspirAsia, Singapore, SME

August 1, 2019

407

Fintech firm Revolut launches a Robinhood-style stock trading service

via CNBC 

  • Revolut’s trading feature lets users buy or sell popular U.S. stocks from Apple to Beyond Meat.
  • Users can also buy a fraction of a share, with the minimum amount being $1 worth of stock.
  • The move comes after Robinhood’s botched attempt to launch checking and savings accounts.

(more…)

Banks, Financial Markets / Trading

August 1, 2019

394

Challenger banks in South Africa: who’s who and what’s their tech

via FinTech Futures 

FinTech Futures has put together a list of the current challenger banks and banking services in South Africa and the tech they are using. (more…)

Banks, Mobile-first banks

July 31, 2019

441

Digital Only Starling Bank Partners with SumUp, a Point of Sale Payments Fintech for Business

via Crowdfund Insider 

Digital-only challenger bank Starling Bank has partnered with SumUp, a mobile point of sale Fintech, to provide small merchants with access to faster settlements.

Starling Bank has created not only a digital bank offering but a digital marketplace where both businesses and individuals may access a growing array of 3rd party services. Other examples of approved 3rd party providers include the Department for Work and Pensions, Raisin UK and Fintechs Currency Cloud, Pockit, PelicanPay, and Vitesse. SumUp is the latest offering.

SumUp is said to be currently in use at over 1.5 million businesses. The terminals can be used with an accompanying app or via a standalone 3G card reader. (more…)

Banks, Mobile payments/banking, Mobile-first banks, POS/mPOS and online acquiring

July 30, 2019

362

Challenger bank Judo raises $400 million

via The Sydney Morning Herald

Challenger bank Judo has raised $400 million in the biggest individual private funding round by an Australian start-up, making its founders multimillionaires on paper.

The equity raise is record-breaking when combined with Judo’s $140 million raise last year and values the bank at $1.5 billion to $2 billion over the next two years. (more…)

Banks, Deals, InspirAsia

July 30, 2019

360

Fintech decacorn Nubank raises $400M led by TCV

via TechCrunch

Another day, another mega round for a fintech startup. And this one is mega-mega.

Brazil-based Nubank, which offers a suite of banking and financial services for Brazilian consumers, announced today that it has raised a $400 million Series F round of venture capital led by Woody Marshall of TCV. The growth-stage fund is best known for its investment in Netflix but has also made fintech a high priority, with over $1.5 billion in investments in the space. According to Nubank, the company has now raised $820 million across seven venture rounds.

Katie Roof and Peter Rudegeair of The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that the company secured a valuation above $10 billion, potentially making it one of a short list of startup decacorns. That’s up from the $4 billion valuation we wrote about back in October 2018. (more…)

Banks, Deals, Mobile-first banks

July 27, 2019

383

Mbanq backs Arival Bank by acquiring shares

via FinTech Futures 

Mbanq, an accredited investor, has backed Arival Bank by acquiring shares, as reported by Medium.

Mbanq provides digital core technology and banking-as-a-service (BaaS) and Arival Bank chose it for its digital core banking back in July 2018. (more…)

Banks, Deals, Hotnews

July 26, 2019

327

Why N26 Is Keeping Fraud Top Of Mind In The US Market

via PYMNTS

Meeting a consumer’s banking needs requires FIs to think locally — but when it comes to fighting fraud, it pays to think globally. That’s why FIs need to stay ahead of fraud trends both domestically and internationally, says Nicolas Kopp, U.S. CEO for German challenger bank N26. In the latest Digital Fraud Tracker, Kopp discusses how N26 is using customer data from 24 countries to better protect users against fraud attacks as it enters the U.S. market. (more…)

AI / Machine Learning / Big Data, Banks, Security

July 26, 2019

183

Revolut tweaks business accounts with new pricing structure

via TechCrunch

Fintech startup Revolut announced changes to its business accounts this week. The good news is that if you were thinking about trying Revolut for your business needs, it’s now cheaper to get started. But there are some limits.

While Revolut is better known for its regular consumer accounts that let you receive, send and spend money all around the world, the company has been offering launched business accounts for a couple of years.

The main advantage of Revolut for Business is that you can hold multiple currencies. If you work with clients or suppliers in other countries, you can exchange money and send it to your partners directly from Revolut’s interface. (more…)

Banks, Mobile-first banks

July 25, 2019

339

UK challenger bank Atom raises another £50M from BBVA and more at £530M valuation

via TechCrunch 

Another hopeful among Europe’s so-called challenger banks — startups taking on the big names in consumer banking by targeting niche groups of users with a more modern set of tools to manage users’ money — has raised a sizeable round of funding to expand its business.

Atom Bank — which targets mainly millennial-aged consumers (current slogan: “It’s all about you, you, you”) with mobile-first savings accounts and mortgages as well as small business loans — has raised a further £50 million in funding. It’s not disclosing its valuation officially, but sources confirm it’s £530 million (or around $660 million at current rates), up from £450 million previously. (more…)

Banks, Deals, Mobile-first banks

July 23, 2019

2353

Australia just got a new digital bank called 86 400 and its chair has a history of taking on...

via Business Insider Australia

  • A new set of digital banks are arriving in Australia to compete with the big four — NAB, ANZ, Westpac and the Commonwealth Bank — with a new one approved to operate on Thursday.

  • 86 400 — named for the number of seconds in a day — has now been authorised to accept deposits, and promises to be in operation later this year.

  • Anthony Thomson, the chair of 86 400, has a history of founding successful challenger banks, including Metro Bank, which was the UK’s first new high street bank in over 150 years.

  • Competitors Xinja, Digital banks Volt and Judo have already arrived in Australia and are at different stages of approval.

(more…)

Banks, InspirAsia, Mobile-first banks

July 18, 2019

2319

Banking startup N26 raises another $170 million at $3.5 billion valuation

via TechCrunch 

Fintech startup N26 is raising $170 million a few months after raising $300 million. While it’s technically structured as a new round, the company considers today’s new funding as an extension of the Series D round.

N26 has only reached out to existing investors. All the investors in the Series D round are investing again, as well as a few investors that have been around for a while. So that’s Insight Venture Partners, GIC (Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund), Tencent, Allianz X, Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Earlybird Venture Capital and Greyhound Capital. (more…)

Banks, Deals, Mobile-first banks

July 18, 2019

2007

N26 announces N26 You, a revamped premium account

via TechCrunch

Challenger bank N26 has unveiled a new premium plan called N26 You. This plan replaces N26 Black with the same benefits and a few tweaks.

N26 is keeping its three-tier system with a free basic bank account, a premium account (N26 You) and a super premium account (N26 Metal). With N26’s free plan, you can pay anywhere in the world without any foreign transaction fee, but there’s a 1.7% markup on ATM withdrawals in a foreign currency.

N26 You costs the same price as the previous premium plan N26 Black, €9.90 in the Eurozone and £4.90 in the U.K. In addition to a travel and purchase insurance package, you can withdraw money without any foreign transaction fee (€9.90 is roughly what you’d pay in fees if you withdraw the equivalent of €580 with a free N26 account). (more…)

Banks, Mobile-first banks

July 16, 2019

2321

Customer onboarding and the brand new digital banking licences by MAS

via e27

The announcement from MAS that non-banking fintechs will be eligible to create banks in the digital format, and provide services without any physical branches whatsoever can be considered as the biggest headliner in the financial news of Singapore in July. Altogether, MAS is planning on issuing 5 digital banking licenses in the nearest future.

Applications admission shall begin in August and financial enterprises are, one after another, already announcing their interest in getting the license. As early as today, top managers form Validus, Grab, Razer, Singtel, and InstaReM have already expressed such intentions.

The new licenses issued for digital banking allow the performing of the following services: depositing, lending, and investing for both businesses and natural persons. Customer onboarding therefore, will become essential as the very first step towards utilizing the product. This step has to take into consideration the requirements of the regulations as well as internal risk assessment. This motivates companies to engage in specific partnerships in order to perform the onboarding and KYC. (more…)

Banks, Global trends, InspirAsia, Singapore

July 16, 2019

2071

Curve, the ‘over-the-top’ banking platform, raises $55M at a $250M valuation

via TechCrunch

Curve, the London-based “over-the-top banking platform,” has raised $55 million in new funding. The startup lets you consolidate all of your bank cards into a single Curve card and app to make it easier to manage your spending and access other benefits.

Curve’s Series B round is led by Gauss Ventures, the London-HQ’d fintech investor, alongside Creditease, IDC Ventures and previous backer Outward VC (formerly Investec’s INVC fund). A number of other early investors, including Santander InnoVentures, Breega, Seedcamp and Speedinvest also followed on.

The new round of funding values Curve at $250 million (or one-quarter unicorn, so to speak), and will be used by the company to continue adding more features to its platform and for further European expansion. (It also plans to launch in the U.S. in 2020). To date, the company claims 500,000 users and says it is on track to reach 1 million by the end of the year. (more…)

Banks, Deals

July 16, 2019

1666

How CARD used affinity marketing to emerge as one the largest challenger banks

via Tearsheet

There are a handful of firms gunning to become leaders in the challenger bank space. There are the usual suspects, like Revolut and N26. But there are others firms that are growing their userbases and assets. One of those companies is CARD. It has 600,000 accounts and $3 billion in customer deposits to date. With some new growth initiatives, CARD claims it is on track to surpass 1.5 million new accounts in 2019.

CARD’s kind of an unbank bank — meaning, the product focus is on branded debit cards, including logos from popular sports teams, athletes, and music groups.

CARD CEO Tim Coltrell joins us to talk about how he’s doubling his account base year over year and what he’s doing to evolve into a competitive challenger bank brand. We discuss Card’s product pipeline and how the company acquires new customers. (more…)

Banks, Mobile-first banks

July 15, 2019

1244

Challenger Bank Tandem Recognized as “Best Credit Card Provider” at Consumer Credit Awards

via Crowdfund Insider 

Challenger bank Tandem Bank has been recognized as “Best Credit Card Provider” and “Innovation of the Year” at the Consumer Credit Awards, according to a release. The Consumer Credit Awards are run by Smart Money People.

Tandem CEO Ricky Knox said the Consumer Credit Awards mean a lot to his company because the winners are voted for by consumers. (more…)

Banks, Mobile-first banks

July 15, 2019

4172

N26 launches its challenger bank in the US

via TechCrunch

European fintech startup N26 is now accepting customers in the U.S. The company is launching a bank account with a debit card that should provide a better experience compared to traditional retail banks. (more…)

Banks, Mobile-first banks

July 11, 2019

3833

Ualá’s new credit line evens the playing field in Argentina

via Contxto 

As the challenger and neo-bank industry starts to mature, what used to be called “startups” are now reaching puberty.

These alternative banks aren’t the cute little babies that they used to be. Rather than hoping to someday be like dad, now they’re actually competing with dad.

At least this is the case of Argentina’s most famous challenger bank, Ualá. Previously succeeding in terms of debit card allocation, it is now joining the big boys club with its new credit services. (more…)

Banks

July 10, 2019

3634

Bengaluru-based neo-banking startup NiYO raises $35 million in series B round

via The Indian Wire

NiYO Solutions, a Benglauru-based neo-banking startup has raised $35 million in a Series B funding round. The round was led by Horizons Ventures and Tencent. While, the company’s existing investor JS Capital also participated in the funding round.

The company plans to use the funding to accelerate the development and rollout of new product offerings. It will also use funds to amplify distribution and marketing. (more…)

Banks, Deals, India, InspirAsia

July 10, 2019