Neobanks, the new breed of digital banks, are transforming the traditional banking landscape by offering financial services without physical branches. Their ease of use, convenience, and low fees have made them incredibly popular, redefining the future of banking. In the United Kingdom, Neobanks are taking the financial hub, London, by storm. The city’s financial infrastructure, access to venture capital, and diverse talent pool make it an ideal location for Neobanks.
At present, the Neobank landscape in London is diverse, with both homegrown startups and international players setting up shop. Companies such as Revolut, Monzo, and Starling Bank, which originated in the UK, have experienced tremendous growth and garnered significant customer bases.
These Neobanks differentiate themselves through innovative features such as budgeting tools, real-time transaction notifications, and fee-free spending abroad. In 2023, it’s worth examining how these three banks compare and which one emerges as the most suitable choice for SMEs. With their seamless and hassle-free banking services, Neobanks are indeed revolutionising the banking industry.
Founded in 2015
Founder: Tom Blomfield
Total funding: $1.3B (as per Dealroom)
Monzo, a UK-based Neobank, offers a unique and intuitive banking experience that values simplicity, speed, and cutting-edge technology. With just a few taps on the phone, customers can access a range of financial services. Monzo’s credit score tracker provides users with real-time creditworthiness updates, making it easier to manage finances.
The current account is the centrepiece of Monzo’s banking services, offering a reliable and accessible platform for day-to-day transactions, including transferring money, making payments, and monitoring expenses. Monzo also offers a diverse range of financial products and services to cater to various needs, such as the ISA and insurance offerings. Its unique “round up” feature automatically saves the difference when users make payments, promoting financial resilience.
With open banking, customers can seamlessly integrate their other bank accounts and credit cards into the Monzo app. Additionally, Monzo offers an overdraft service, joint accounts, teen accounts, and business accounts. Further, the London fintech also provides phone and travel insurance, offering comprehensive coverage for its customers.
Founded in 2015
Founder: Nikolay Storonsky, Vlad Yatsenko
Total funding: $1.7B (as per Dealroom)
Revolut, another UK-based neobank, has transformed the way people manage their finances by offering a revolutionary platform that provides users with a wide range of features and services. From simple money transfers to currency exchange, Revolut offers a seamless experience for sending, receiving, and spending money globally.
With its multi-currency card, users can forget about carrying multiple cards or dealing with currency conversions when traveling. Moreover, Revolut operates as a bank in several European countries, providing users access to current accounts, expense management, and personal loans. Its budgeting and analytics tools offer valuable insights into spending habits, enabling users to take control of their financial well-being.
Revolut also recognises the importance of cryptocurrencies in today’s economy and allows users to buy, sell, and hold popular digital assets like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Ripple. The neobank also offers an investment account, enabling individuals to invest in stocks without commission fees. By allowing users to add their other bank accounts and credit cards to the app, Revolut provides a comprehensive view of their financial dealings, ensuring complete control over their finances, all within a single, user-friendly interface. Whether you’re an individual seeking better control over your finances or a business owner looking for comprehensive financial solutions, the fintech has got you covered.
Founded in 2014
Founder: Anne Boden
Total funding: $1.1B (as per Dealroom)
Starling Bank’s mobile app allows users to open and manage various types of accounts, including personal, joint, teen, child, and business accounts, all from the convenience of their phone.
With real-time financial management and visualisation tools, the app helps users reduce financial stress by offering a complete view of their finances.
The bank’s current accounts come with several benefits, including interest-bearing accounts, money transfers, expense management, insurance, personal loans, overdrafts, and multi-currency accounts.
Starling Bank also boasts several unique features, such as automatic savings when rounding up payments, free ATM withdrawals abroad in any currency, and spending insights to help users better manage their money.
Users can access other financial services through the Starling marketplace, deposit and withdraw cash at local post offices, deposit cheques up to £500 via their mobile phone, and give their child a debit card to manage their pocket money.
Furthermore, users can easily split bills and settle payments quickly with the “settle up” feature.
To summarise here’re the main features of Monzo, Revolut and Starling Bank
After all is said and done, Monzo, Revolut, and Starling Bank have made significant advancements in the realm of digital banking. Each bank has its own set of distinct features and benefits, making it difficult to determine a clear winner.
For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) searching for a bank, it is crucial to consider factors like their particular business needs, access to specialised features, integration options, and overall customer satisfaction.By taking these factors into account, SMEs can make an informed choice and choose the bank that suits their needs the most.