Norway has a high level of digital loans adoption. In 2019, 95 percent of respondents said they used the internet for online loans, with 97 percent saying they had used it in the previous three months. As a result, only banks with a strong focus on digitization will succeed in the country. Neobanks are very welcome in Norway, given the significant digitization of the banking system and the openness of the people in the region to new digital payment methods. Even though Norway is home to none of Europe’s challenger banks, many fintech disruptors have set up shop in the country’s digital banking heartland.
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Bunq, a Dutch neobank, touts itself as an open IT platform for digital banking. It was created in 2012. It works with third-party APIs, giving the app a lot of flexibility. API can connect the account to an accounting program or transfer money overseas in collaboration with Transferwise. The software includes budgeting features, a travel assistant with recommendations on how to effectively manage your money in different locales, bill splitting, and a PC version.
In recent years, the young bank has expanded its range of offerings to include a savings account and various physical cards geared for travel, business, and environmental impact. With ethical investing options and Easy Green subscription plans that help offset CO2 emissions by growing new trees, this new bank appeals to individuals and corporations.
Bunq has been self-funded by its founder and CEO, Ali Niknam. This year, the company opted to seek outside funding, resulting in the largest Series A deal in European fintech history. At a $1.9 billion value, the business raised $228 million (€193 million). Bunq has reached a milestone of €1 billion in customer deposits and is now ready to go up rapidly.
Curve’s “over-the-top banking platform” transforms your smartphone into a financial command center. Rather than opening a new account, the platform allows you to link all of your other debit and credit cards (including those from other challenger banks) to a single, simple, and secure Curve Mastercard. Credit and client loans are two of the most recent solutions to this digital banking platform. The company intends to allow crypto trading in the future.
The fintech raised £9.9 million in a crowdfunding effort this year. Its pre-money value has risen to well around £592 million. The Curve will now focus on growing in Europe and expanding into the United States.
Lunar is a digital bank located in Denmark that offers a mobile banking app. Interactive budgeting, motivating savings, insurance, and investments are among the services available. The challenger bank offers Project Blue to environmentally conscious consumers, where your money helps collect plastic from the Nordic oceans. Teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17 can use Lunar’s budgeting and savings services. The digital bank debuted a ‘pay later’ feature for its users in December 2020 and a joint account option.
In July, Lunar finalized a €210 million Series D fundraising round, which will aid the fintech’s expansion aspirations. It now serves over 325,000 clients throughout the region. Lunar is looking for fresh M&A prospects after acquiring Sweden’s largest loan marketplace, Lendify.
This new bank allows you to open accounts in a variety of currencies. Money is aimed at ex-pats and immigrants who have difficulty opening a standard bank account. You can choose between a free and a premium account. Current borderless accounts, money management, and low-cost money transfers are the major services provided. Monese celebrated 2 million sign-ups in 2020 when it launched RON accounts and Monese for the web. On the other hand, the coronavirus epidemic led the startup to scale back its immediate fundraising and expansion plans. Monese’s expansion aspirations were only resumed in 2021. It plans to generate £40 million before the end of the year.
In 25 markets, the German digital bank has around 5 million customers. For freelancers and the self-employed, N26 offers three distinct personal banking plans and an exclusive business bank account option. Users can set spending and withdrawal restrictions, save and budget using Spaces, and send money instantaneously with MoneyBeam using the in-house app. Customers can get a genuine exchange rate for overseas payments thanks to its TransferWise interface.
N26 has raised about $800 million in 2020, preserving its valuation at $3.5 billion. This year, it is holding preliminary negotiations with investors in preparation for a new investment round. It is estimated to raise the bank’s value to $10 billion.
Nuri, formerly Bitwala, is a German neobank that offers the world’s first blockchain bank account. It allows you to invest in cryptocurrencies and earn up to 5% on bitcoin every year. All accounts include a built-in Bitcoin and Ether wallet for safe coin storage, as well as a debit card to spend your funds both online and in stores when traveling overseas. The Nuri account, on the other hand, has a German IBAN. It is compatible with SEPA transfers as well as international payments. In addition, the debit card allows you unlimited free ATM withdrawals. Since its inception in 2015, the company has raised approximately €6 million in funding from European and American investors.
Revolut, situated in the United Kingdom, has a market capitalization of $33 billion since receiving its ECB banking license. Their services have grown in scope: you can now cover your phone, get travel medical insurance, buy cryptocurrencies, trade-in stocks, donate to charity, save Money, and more, all from a single banking app that uses open APIs. As a result, Revolut’s financial “super app” has 16 million users worldwide.
Soldo is a business-focused spend management tool. It provides:
- Multi-user spending accounts.
- A mobile app for employees.
- A web console for managers.
Accounting software such as Xerox effortlessly integrates with the accounts, making financial processes easier. Prepaid Mastercard cards from Soldo come with specific budgets and spending limits, giving business owners complete control over their expenses.
Soldo recently completed a $180 million Series C round of investment. More than 26,000 SMEs in over 30 countries use fintech. Soldo intends to use the fresh funds to grow into new markets and strengthen its European footprint.
Money in Vivid Colors
Vivid Money, a new German fintech firm, is a financial platform with operations in Berlin, Amsterdam, and Moscow. Vivid Money was founded in 2020 by two former Tinkoff Bank top executives. The venture was launched with Berlin-based SolarisBank, which provided its licensed online banking infrastructure and Visa. TCS Group Holding, which owns Tinkoff Bank, has made a seed investment, but the amount invested was not disclosed. The challenger bank raised two rounds of capital and was valued at $436 million (€360 million). Because it serves various banking needs, the product it delivers may be referred to as a financial “super app.” Customers can trade ETFs, equities, and 50 cryptocurrencies with zero-commission fractional shares in addition to spending and saving. A no-cost instructional resource Workshops are held by Vivid Classes to introduce clients to the world of investing.
When you open an account, you’ll receive a German IBAN, which allows you to conduct direct debits, as well as a metal card with no sensitive information (those are stored in the app and protected by biometrics). Your Vivid Money account may be linked to a few existing real and virtual bank cards. Vivid banking accounts accept over 150
different currencies and provide up to 10% cashback on purchases. Create sub-accounts and invite other users to share spending or saving goals with the Shared Pockets feature.
By pairing people moving Money in one direction with people transferring Money in the other, the company achieved remarkable success in the remittance market. TransferWise has lately entered the mobile banking industry, despite its reputation as a quick and cost-effective money transfer provider. Its borderless account allows users to transfer money between local bank accounts in EUR, GBP, and USD. It also comes with a full-featured debit card.
Wise has recently begun trading on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) as the first direct listing without an expensive public sale of shares. On their first day of trade, the fintech’s shares were 10%. It is now valued at 11 billion dollars.