Digital banking arms race continues

By Ryan Weeks on Wednesday 10 May 2017

Digital BankingAlternative Lending

Fintech banking challengers Monzo and Revolut plan new products.

Product expansion continues apace in the app-banking space. Monzo’s May Journal, which went out to users yesterday, indicated that its debit card launch is just around the corner. Meanwhile, a recent update to the Revolut app revealed new insurance and wealth tabs, currently listed as “coming soon”.

Both Monzo and Revolut have recently staged equity crowdfunding campaigns on Crowdcube and Seedrs respectively. Both rounds were oversubscribed and both were part of larger institutional investment rounds.

Monzo indicated in its May Journal that its new debit card offering is imminent. The firm is now in the process of making sure everything works smoothly with its backend card processor systems. 48 members of its team already have Monzo current accounts.

A Monzo spokesperson told AltFi that the launch of its current accounts won’t be a huge change for users. But what it will mean is faster payments, the ability to set up direct debits, standing orders, to make international transfers, to have salaries paid into a Monzo account, and so on. Monzo will also be able to hold balances itself, under FSCS protection. Others in the challenger banking space have instead been forced to bootstrap a current account through partnerships with existing banks.

11 members of the Monzo team are also testing out overdraft facilities, which is relatively uncharted territory for digital banks.

Asked about its insurance and wealth plans, Revolut’s head of partnerships Rishi Stocker said that the focus has been on creating fully integrated insurance products, and that the first of these could launch within the next few weeks.

He added that the wealth offering would encompass everything from integrated savings accounts through to peer-to-peer investment opportunities.

Revolut’s modus operandi on new products has been to partner with other fintech firms. So far we’ve seen the app integrate with peer-to-peer lender Lending Works on an instant credit offering, and with digital mortgage broker Trussle to cover off mortgages.

Revolut CEO Nikolay Storonsky’s comments at the AltFi Europe Summit 2017 in March would suggest that Lending Works will be a front runner for any peer-to-peer investment integration. 

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