Through the use of technology, several operators around the world have been able to set up mobile banking apps, or neobanks, which do away with all the costly physical space that banks use for their myriad of services.
Instead, these new mobile banking applications are focused on a select few services, like debit, credit and overdrafts, while eschewing some of the more technical and costly services high-street banks have offered for decades.
This works well for the unbanked, which are typically younger and less interested in mortgages, loans and insurance.
Without these cost factors, neobanks have been able to offer services without the usual banking costs. Hardly any have a monthly cost for banking with them, and offer free ATM withdrawals, international payments and other services that often cost at traditional banks.
In countries like Brazil, which have high fees on almost all transactions, the introduction of NuBank has been a game-changer for the millions of unbanked in the country. NuBank has over 40 million users and is currently the most popular neobank in the world.
As the industry has grown, so have the ambitions of several operators. Revolut, established originally as a way to exchange cash in foreign countries for cheap, now offers direct debit, zero commission stock trading and a cryptocurrency exchange.
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In this sector profile, we are specifically looking at neobanks. These institutions are not connected to the previous banking infrastructure, and have often been set up to fill the needs of customers who do not use banking services.
Revenues, users and other values will only include neobanks. Read on below to find out more.
Top Mobile Banking Apps
|Chime||Largest neobank in the United States, with 12 million active users|
|Revolut||Aims to be a financial super-app with direct debit, money transfer, commission-free stock trading and cryptocurrency exchange|
|Monzo||One of the most popular “challenger banks” in the UK, with over four million users. Popular with teenagers and young adults|
|Starling Bank||Seen as the more grown up neobank in the UK, Starling Bank has 1.4 million users and has been awarded best bank two years in a row|
|NuBank||The most popular neobank in Latin America, with 40 million users. One of the few banks in the region to offer zero fees for most transactions|
|N26||German neobank with seven million customers across 25 markets. Built for finance management and banking online securely|
|Tinkoff Bank||Russia’s largest neobank with 13 million users. The second largest provider of credit cards in the country with $11 billion in assets|
|Current||Following in the footsteps of Chime, by offering the front-end and partnering with banks for the back-end. Reached 3 million users in 2021|
|Vero Bank||The first neobank to receive a banking license in the US, it added one million new customers in 2020|
Mobile Banking App Revenue
Neobanks global revenue was estimated at $3.6 billion in 2020. Revenues are projected to increase by 88% to $6.8 billion in 2021, pushed by newfound venture interest in consumer fintech apps and the expansion of neobanks into new regions.
Mobile Banking Revenue by App
NuBank generated the most revenue out of all the neobanks, at $963 million. Impressive considering Brazil’s lower average income in comparison to competitors in the US and UK.
Mobile Banking App Users
NuBank also has the most users. It has plans to expand into more countries in Latin America. Revolut, which is available in Europe and the US, is seeing a lot of interest due to its other services, such as stock trading and cryptocurrency exchange.
US Mobile Banking App Users
Chime is far ahead of other providers in the US, although Acorns, which is primarily a savings service rather than a full banking, is catching up with eight million users. Dave and Varo Bank have both seen double digit increases in usage in 2020.
UK Mobile Banking App Users
Revolut has a lead on other UK mobile banking apps, but that may be due to its strength across Europe, while Monzo and Starling are primarily UK-businesses. Monzo has suffered in the past year, with Starling Bank adding more users in the same time period.
Mobile Banking App Valuations
Valuations for fintech startups have accelerated in the past 12 months, as revenues, usage and projections have all been elevated. Revolut, NuBank and Chime all doubled their valuations in 2021, with expectations that all three are on the road to the public market.