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143

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

176

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

259

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

398

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

450

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

363

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

185

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

340

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

2354

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

2323

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

2009

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

1669

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

1248

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

4177

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

395

Monese Announces New Collaboration With PayPal

via Crowdfund Insider

Digital challenger bank Monese announced on Thursday it has formed a new collaboration with payments platform giant PayPal. Monese reported that customers in the UK will be able to do the following:

  • Link Monese and PayPal accounts, to manage PayPal balance and transactions in the Monese app
  • Seamlessly add Monese card to PayPal digital wallet to buy from, and send money to, PayPal’s 277 million consumers and merchants around the world
  • Easily select Monese as preferred way to pay within PayPal wallet

(more…)

Banks, Mobile-first banks, Payment processors/providers/gateways

July 5, 2019

Revolut launches charity feature Donations

via Tearsheet

UK challenger bank Revolut has released a new in-app feature called Donations, which allows customers to round up their card payments and donate the difference to charity.

What is it: Using a round up feature, five million Revolut users can donate spare change to charity. There’s also the ability to make one time and recurring payments. Revolut doesn’t require a minimum donation amount and the feature can be turned on and off by customers at any time. (more…)

Banks, Mobile-first banks

July 1, 2019

411

Monzo, the UK challenger bank, raises £113M Series F led by YC’s Continuity fund at a £2B post-money valuation

via TechCrunch 

Monzo, the fast-growing U.K.-based challenger bank with more than two million account holders, has raised £113 million (~$144m) in additional funding.

Confirming TechCrunch’s scoop in April, the Series F round is led by Y Combinator’s “Continuity” growth fund, and gives the company a new £2 billion (~$2.5b) post-money valuation. That’s double the £1 billion valuation it garnered in October last year. (more…)

Banks, Deals, Mobile-first banks

June 25, 2019

794

New Indian challenger Payzello launches

via FinTech Futures written by

Payzello is a new challenger bank in India, focusing on the retail market that offers a wide variety of products, with a specific focus on personal finance management.

In its list of offerings, the firm includes a single card for both debit and credit, app-based loans, money transfer and request, end to end expense management, Bharat QR, three minutes’ account opening, among others – and all this with zero paperwork.

A chatbot is included in the app, called Ello. It was made for conversations regarding users’ finances and provides suggestions. (more…)

Banks, India, InspirAsia, Mobile-first banks

June 10, 2019

735

Step raises $22.5 million to help teens manage their money

via VentureBeat

Step, a financial services startup that offers fee-free money management accounts to teens, today announced that it has secured $22.5 million in a series A round led by Stripe, with participation from existing investors Crosslink Capital, Collaborative Fund, and Sesame Ventures. The round — which also saw contributions from Will Smith’s Dreamer’s fund, hip hop musician Nas, consumer tech holding company WndrCo, former NFL player Ronnie Lott, Matt Rutler, Kevin Gould, and Noah and Jonah Goodhart — brings Step’s total raised to over $25 million. CEO and cofounder CJ MacDonald said the new funds will be used to expand Step’s offerings, workforce, and user base. (more…)

Banks, Mobile-first banks, PFM/PFP services

June 6, 2019

729

You probably haven’t heard of Nubank. But it could be a $10 billion company, so you should.

via Vox 

Not many people in the US are familiar with Nubank, a digital bank that has become the most valuable startup in Latin America by extending credit cards to the unbanked and challenging the financial system of one of the world’s biggest markets, Brazil.

But Nubank is trying to become one of the most valuable financial technology startups in the world — aiming for a valuation of between $8 billion and $10 billion as it prepares to expand beyond Brazil to all of Latin America, Recode has learned. (more…)

Banks, Mobile-first banks

June 5, 2019

740

Revolut, Chip and Marcus by GS integrate with Money Dashboard

via FinTech Futures

UK-based money management app, Money Dashboard, has released integrations with Revolut, Chip and Marcus by Goldman Sachs.

The integrations help consumers track spending and progress towards their savings goals in real time.

Money Dashboard is the first UK personal finance app to release an integration with Revolut and follows the recent integration with cryptocurrency platform, Coinbase. (more…)

Banks, Mobile-first banks, PFM/PFP services

June 1, 2019

727

BankMobile Grows Through Partnership Marketing

via Forbes 

BankMobile has the most customers of any mobile-only bank, according to Cornerstone Advisors. The bank reports 1.064 million active accounts, and 1.8 million  open accounts. It has built those numbers through student banking by acquiring HigherOne which provides student checking accounts that are linked to their school’s disbursement of refunds and student aid and more recently through a partnership with T-Mobile. (more…)

Banks, Mobile-first banks

May 24, 2019

559

Online bank Simple makes things harder by removing bill pay

via TechCrunch

With a growing number of challenger banks taking on the U.S. market, one of the original startup banks, Simple — now owned by BBVA — has taken the unusual step of removing a core banking feature: bill pay. The company claimed the feature was under-utilized and usage was trending downwards, which is why it decided to sunset the option to pay bills through its app. That decision, not surprisingly, has angered a number of customers who are taking to social media and online forums like Reddit, threatening to switch banks as a result.

It’s likely true that fewer people today use bill pay than in the past. (more…)

Banks, Mobile-first banks

May 24, 2019

518

Challenger bank N26 ordered to bolster money laundering safeguards

via American Banker

The German smartphone bank backed by billionaires Peter Thiel and Li Ka-shing has been ordered to bolster safeguards against money laundering and terrorist financing.

Germany’s financial regulator told N26 to “take appropriate internal safety measures” and “comply with general customer due diligence obligations.” The measures are likely to lead to higher security costs.

BaFin also said in the order, publicly released on Wednesday, that the lender must “remove backlogs in IT monitoring” and “ensure the existence of an adequate personnel and technical-organisational equipment in order to comply with its obligations under money laundering law.” (more…)

Banks, Mobile-first banks, Security

May 22, 2019

991

Kard is a challenger bank for teens

via TechCrunch

Meet French startup Kard, a challenger bank that works a lot like N26 or Revolut. But Kard is all about convincing teens that their first bank account is going to be a Kard account — a bit like Step in the U.S.

When I talked with Kard co-founder and CEO Scott Gordon, he kept saying that Kard was a product for Generation Z. While I’m not a fan of that buzzword, it still looks like a well-designed app with some personality. (more…)

Banks, Fintech news, Mobile-first banks

May 21, 2019

1610

How Monzo, Revolut, Starling and N26 plan to topple legacy banks

via WIRED UK

Digital banks aren’t going anywhere – with Monzo, Starling Bank, Revolut and N26 starting to rival legacy banks. Perhaps best known for their personal finance apps, they are now also starting to sell financial products. And there’s a lot more to come.

Meanwhile, traditional high-street banks are trying to up their game by investing in – and imitating – their digital offerings. Last month, for instance, NatWest began trialling Mimo, a new personal finance app with budgeting tools, spending insights and reminders. It will be rolled out later in 2019. Barclays, HSBC and others are also jumping on the bandwagon and adding features to their existing mobile banking apps. (more…)

Banks, Fintech news, Global trends, Mobile-first banks

May 17, 2019

687

YouTrip, a challenger bank in Southeast Asia, raises $25.5M for expansion

via TechCrunch

Singapore-based startup YouTrip thinks consumers of Southeast Asia deserve a taste of the challenger bank revolution happening in the U.S. and Europe, and it has raised $25.5 million in new funding to bring its app-and-debit-card service to more parts in the region. (more…)

Banks, Fintech news, InspirAsia, Mobile-first banks, Singapore

May 16, 2019

1457

FrankieFinancial signs Australian neo banks to RegTech platform

via Finextra

RegTech startup FrankieFinancial has signed Australian neo banks Xinja and Novatti Group to its financial systems aggregator platform, which provides a single point of access to ID verification, KYC, AML, fraud and credit tools from 114 vendors and data sources. (more…)

Banks, Fintech news, InspirAsia, Mobile-first banks, RegTech, Security

May 15, 2019

557

Hong Kong Issues More Online Banking Licenses

via PYMNTS

The banking regulator in Hong Kong has issued an additional four online-only banking licenses to Ping An, Alibaba, mobile phone maker Xiaomi and a joint venture (JV) consisting of Tencent, ICBC and Hillhouse Capital.

Reuters is reporting that this totals eight total licenses handed out by the government.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority, which handed out the licenses, expects the banks to launch in about six to nine months. The new ventures would be closely regulated, with special attention given to customer reactions and the response of the banking industry. (more…)

Banks, Hong Kong, InspirAsia, Mobile-first banks

May 9, 2019

1105

Tink, the European banking platform, partners with British incumbent NatWest

via TechCrunch

It’s easy to push a narrative of fintech upstarts versus the big incumbent banks, but the more subtle reality is that as well as competing on numerous fronts, there are partnerships being formed across the board. The latest such move sees Tink, the Sweden-based banking platform that raised €56 million in new funding in February, partner with British bank NatWest.

The agreement gives NatWest access to Tink’s Personal Finance Management (PFM) and “Data Enrichment” products, which will be integrated into NatWest’s core mobile banking app. This will allow NatWest to improve its mobile banking offering by giving NatWest customers personalised insights into their finances based on transaction history. The features built with Tink’s technology are planned to go live in Q4 2019. (more…)

Banks, Mobile-first banks, PFM/PFP services

May 8, 2019