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challenger bank
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488

FairMoney raises $11 million for its challenger bank for emerging markets

via TechCrunch

Fintech startup FairMoney is building a challenger bank in Nigeria. The company first started offering microcredit and now plans to expand to current accounts and savings. FairMoney just raised an $11 million Series A round (€10 million) led by Flourish, DST Global partners and existing partners Newfund, Speedinvest and Le Studio VC.

FairMoney lets you get a loan from its mobile app. After answering a few questions and sharing financial information, the startup analyzes this data set as well as your geolocation, other apps installed on your phone and other factors to give you an answer in a few minutes.

On average, people borrow the equivalent of $33. Eventually, if you always repay on time, you are able to borrow as much as $415. Interests vary depending on repayment periods and other factors, but the maximum annual percentage rate is 13%. (more…)

Banks, Mobile-first banks

September 17, 2019

480

Neobank Northmill Gets Swedish Banking License

via PYMNTS

The FinTech Northmill, which offers cloud-based financial services, was awarded a banking license from the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (SFSA) on Friday (Sept. 13), according to reports.

The company submitted an application two years ago and is now all set to become an official bank. (more…)

Banks

September 13, 2019

480

Soon to Launch Challenger Bank Zenus Bank Selects NICE Solution for AML/KYC

via Crowdfund Insider 

Digital challenger bank Zenus Bank wants to be one of the first banks in the United States to service a global clientele. The San Juan based operation is said to be nearing launch, currently scheduled for Q4 of 2019, and in advance of this event, Zenus has enlisted NICE (Nasdaq: NICE) to establish a cloud-focused financial crime strategy for both anti-money laundering compliance and enterprise fraud protections with its AML and Fraud SaaS Essentials solutions. (more…)

Banks, Security

September 11, 2019

411

Digital Bank Revolut Gives Up on Luxembourg e-Money License

via Crowdfund Insider 

Revolut has decided to withdraw its application for an e-Money license in Luxembourg, according to a report in the Telegraph. The application was originally filed in September of 2018. Revolut was said to make the decision following the approval of two financial services licenses from Lithuania that will allow the digital bank to “passport” its services across the European Union. Additionally, Revolut has filed for a similar license in EU member state Ireland. (more…)

Banks, Mobile-first banks

September 10, 2019

657

What’s Driving The Digital Banking Boom In Latin America

Via Crunchbase News 

High smartphone penetration in Latin America is the key factor driving digital banking and financial inclusion in the region. One of the most prominent fintechs is Brazil’s Nubank, which is the largest digital bank outside of Asia and the highest-valued digital bank in the world. Mexico and Argentina are two other fintech ecosystems with albo and Ualá attracting much attention. 

The major trends that are influencing Latin America are: increased focus on small business banking, regulatory initiatives, bank-fintech collaborations and China’s banking services as a source of inspiration for Latin American fintechs.  (more…)

Analytics, Banks, Mobile-first banks

September 8, 2019

629

Chime now has 5 million customers and introduces overdraft alternative

via TechCrunch

Challenger bank Chime has reached 5 million customers in the U.S. The San Francisco-based startup is creating an FDIC-insured mobile bank without any physical branch. The company also promises fewer fees.

Back in March, Chime said it had 3 million customers when it announced its $200 million Series D round. So that’s 2 million additional customers in roughly 5 months. (more…)

Banks, Global trends, Mobile-first banks

September 4, 2019

475

Digital Banking Group Varo Money Launches No Fee Overdraft Feature

via Crowdfund Insider 

Digital-only challenger bank Varo Money announced on Tuesday it is now offering No Fee Overdraft. According to Varo, the No Fee Overdraft feature allows customers to overdraft their bank account balance up to $50 with no fee and no interest when they meet certain eligibility requirements. (more…)

Banks, Mobile-first banks

August 27, 2019

633

N26 launches Shared Spaces and is now fully available in the US

via TechCrunch

Challenger bank N26 is announcing two things this week. First, the company lets you share sub-accounts with other N26 users in just a few taps. Second, after a limited beta test, the company is officially launching in the U.S. with open registration. (more…)

Banks, Mobile-first banks

August 23, 2019

828

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

831

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

873

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

728

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

2608

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

2268

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

1581

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

4466

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

4076

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

4114

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

3726

Do good by doing well: Fintech moves further into charitable giving

via Tearsheet

Digital banks are looking to make donating to charity more accessible and simple for their customers. From round-up features to charity linked loyalty programs, raising money for fintech users’ favorite causes is becoming more tech friendly.

54 percent of donors worldwide prefer to give to charity online, according to Non-Profits Sources. That’s driving $31 billion of online charitable givings in the U.S. alone. Plus, in 2018, mobile payments grew by 36 percent. While there are still some who prefer mailing donations, the number of people who are attracted to quick and easy forms of giving to charity is growing. (more…)

Banks, Global trends

July 9, 2019

739

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

576

Swedish ‘neobank’ P.F.C. picks up €5M backing from Nordic banking giant Nordea

via TechCrunch

P.F.C. (Personal Finance Co.), a so-called “neobank” founded in Sweden, has raised €5 million in funding. Backing the young company is Nordea, the largest bank in the Nordics region.

In other words, chalk this up as another example of an incumbent bank placing financial and strategic bets on a fintech upstart, even if it doesn’t always end as the parties involved planned. (more…)

Banks, Deals

July 4, 2019

2032

Crypto Friendly Digital Bank Arival Accepting Investment Reservations on SeedInvest for Upcoming Crowdfunding Round

via Crowdfund Insider

Digital challenger bank Arival is now accepting reservations for preferred stock on SeedInvest.

Arival will be a crypto-friendly bank – unlike most traditional banks in the United States which tend to be crypto-averse.

The bank was founded on the notion that banks in many places around the world are closing accounts of crypto-related businesses as they are fearful of any collateral ramifications to holding these types of accounts. Arival says they surveyed “hundreds” of Fintech and blockchain startups in their network and 90% indicated they have encountered problems in some capacity.

But it is not only the crypto-sector that Arival wants to service. The digital-only bank wants to provide banking services to all SMEs and GIG economy companies seeking an alternative to the high cost, low service, experience of traditional brick and mortar banks. (more…)

Banks, Crowdfunding/investing, Cryptocurrencies, Hotnews

June 12, 2019

1051

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

891

Dan Ariely on how Qapital uses behavioral finance principles to help people save more

via TearSheet 

Challenger bank Qapital recently named behavioral economist Dan Ariely chairman of the board. One of the foremost leaders in psychology and its application in the personal finance, Ariely joined Qapital in 2015 as chief behavioral economist. He’s been instrumental in shaping how the bank’s members build positive relationships with money.

In November 2018, Qapital introduced tiered subscriptions as well as the addition of a robo investing platform and budgeting tools. The company now has more than 1.6 million members and has helped them save nearly $1 billion to date. (more…)

Banks

May 24, 2019

724

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

1351

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

1982

Varo Money Builds A No-Fee, High Interest Paying Bank On New Technology

via Forbes 

Varo Money Inc. may be on its way to becoming the first full-service all-mobile bank in the U.S. It provides tools that let users monitor their spending and save for special purposes. It is similar to offerings from Simple and Moven which also offer advice on how much is safe to spend by using AI and machine learning to understand a customer’s income and regular payments, like rent. Like them it has worked through a partner bank.

Unlike them, it has applied for its own banking charter; in September 2018 it announced a preliminary approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) of its application to become a national bank. (more…)

Banks, Mobile-first banks

April 29, 2019

1632

Revolut Refines Its Culture As It Seeks Expansion

(more…)

Banks, Mobile-first banks

April 23, 2019

1205

N26 to open security-focused tech centre in Vienna

via Finextra

N26 is opening a technology and innovation centre in Vienna that will focus on using AI to detect fraudulent transactions – which have reportedly been a problem for the digital bank, prompting a probe by German regulators. (more…)

AI / Machine Learning / Big Data, Banks, Mobile-first banks, Security

April 23, 2019

654

New challenger Xpats kicks off from Mexico

via FinTech Futures 

Xpats Challenger Bank is a new Mexican venture targeting, as you can imagine, expats around the word, with a digital and mobile offering.

FinTech Futures understands that the new digital bank was set up by Ictineo Plataforma, which offers financial solutions for productive sectors of the population with low incomes. The company is a financial institution regulated by the CNBV. (more…)

Banks, Mobile-first banks

April 16, 2019