Mobile-Only challenger banks are shaping the future of financial services industry

By Sofia in

Simple combines innovative technology, impeccable user experience and expertise in behavioural economics to help its customers spend smarter and save more. The company offers a bank account that has all the tools users need to manage their money built right in. The funds in a user’s Simple account are held by company’s partner banks. The company’s banking services are accessible via intuitive Web, iPhone and Android apps. In 2013, it recorded a 330% growth and more than $1.7 billion in transactions. The company serves more than 100,000 customers. Simple was acquired by BBVA in 2014.

Fidor Bank, based out of Munich in Germany, has been offering virtual accounts to customers since 2009. The company boasts of more than 200,000 customers. Fidor Bank is the lone major player in virtual banking to have its own banking license. Thus, it offers special services like peer-to-peer lending, crowdsourcing and bonus payments for interactions within the community.

Number26 has built the most modern bank account in Europe; it is also the first one that users can manage entirely on the smartphone. Peter Thiel, Co-founder of PayPal and Valar Ventures, has invested in the company.

BankMobile is the first bank to offer free checking and savings accounts without any fees as well as a line of credit, access to over 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs, and a higher savings rate than the top four banks in the country. They’ve leveraged technology to put a bank in a pocket so that users can enjoy the freedom of banking wherever and whenever they want.

Hello bank! is a new-generation bank designed to help users to manage their day-to-day finances in the long term. As part of BNP Paribas, the company is underpinned by the financial stability of a European banking leader.

SOON by Axa Banque is fully digital bank that offers a free checking account and 24/7 customer service. SOON offers a Visa card that can be used for NFC payments with the mobile device. A playful interface allows to associating photos, comments and emotions with each transaction.

GoBank is the first bank account designed from scratch to be opened and used on a mobile device. It enables checking balances, viewing transaction history and transferring funds between accounts from supported mobile devices. It’s owned by GreenDot, which is an active player in card management industry in US. GoBank has formed a national partnership with MetroPCS to distribute the GoBank mobile application across MetroPCS’ compatible Android device portfolio. It offers its products and services exclusively online or over the phone, because it does not operate through physical branches.

Moven is a mobile-centric banking app. Moven’s app, debit card and contactless payment sticker provide real-time spending insights to its customers to make smarter decisions and save more.

Atom Bank is building a bank with none of the baggage of the past. It hasn’t been launched yet but has been authorized with restrictions by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the PRA. As a mobile-only “challenger bank,” Atom will bring biometric banking to the UK, using biometrics instead of passwords in their innovative mobile app. Atom Bank was listed at number eight in KPMG’s Global FinTech Innovators 100. Spanish bank BBVA owns almost 30% of Atom’s stakes.

London-based Osper is a prepaid debit card and mobile banking service that empowers young people to manage their money responsibly. It offers a safe MasterCard prepaid debit card and a simple mobile banking app with separate logins for young people and parents. All money on Osper is safely managed by a regulated European bank.

Monese is a digital banking service that let users open a UK banking account on their mobile in minutes regardless of their citizenship. Monese is a UK-based startup that targets immigrants who experience daunting tasks in opening a UK bank account as a foreigner. The mobile banking service established by Estonian Norris Koppel lets users open a current account and get a Visa debit cardin just three minutes with a snapshot of their passport and a selfie. Monese’s technology is based on the cloud and removes many of the barriers that legacy banking systems impose.

Mondo is a digital platform that provides smart banking services to make money easy for everyone by pricing it at a low cost. Users are given access to Mondo’s iPhone app and a MasterCard prepaid debit card. They can load money onto the card every month and spend it at shops, ATMs and online. The users also receive real-time feedback regarding their spending.

Starling, founded by Anne Boden, the former Chief Operating Officer of Allied Irish Bank, is aiming to lure mobile-focused customers and provide a superior current account service to those offered by the incumbent high-street banks.

Tandem is a digital banking startup led by Azimo founder Ricky Knox and Capital One’s Matt Coope. In December 2015, Tandem was granted a license by the Bank of England. The startup will now begin the process of constructing its technology platform and meeting capital requirements.

Secco is an early stage bank with a mission to reinvent banking. Secco follows the principles ease vs. security, social vs. private, choice vs. automation, transactions vs. interactions and freedom vs. protection.

the article first appeared in LTP