THE Fintech industry is thriving and challenger banks take presctiption the rise. Channel director and finance expert at moneyguru.com, Deborah Vickers, has got the lowdown on a raft of innovative and exciting companies making their mark around the retail banking sector in 2021. So, thinking of making the switch, take a look at some of the benefits:
It's surprising to think that N26 only launched in america and UK last year, considering how popular they've become. Their three current account products attract customers looking for an equivalent to a standard or packaged current account, with easy choices to save by creating 'Spaces' within the app.
Alongside their banking app, they also provide a desktop version called N26 Web, so customers can access their account from practically any device. In addition, they're working on an overdraft facility that needs to be available soon in the UK.
Launched back in 2021, Revolut is one of the largest challenger banks in the market. In March 2021 they reported they'd hit 4.5 million customers, with 1.6 million being UK-based.
They are one of the only challengers to permit customers to exchange money into cryptocurrencies and you can earn cashback with any purchase made on their Metal card. Their form of a savings account comes in the form of Vaults, which can be set up right out the app.
- Starling Bank
Having recently celebrated their two-year anniversary, Starling is a challenger bank going from strength-to-strength in the UK. They have recently developed Marketplace, making it simpler for customers to access financial products from partner companies.
Despite not offering reasonably limited current account, Starling offer an overdraft facility along with a personal loan option, being among the only challenger banks to do so. They became known for offering a portrait-style, teal debit card, but customers have flocked to the bank for other features such as saving money via Goals and analysing their accounts through Spending Insights.
Monese takes pride in being the simple alternative to high-street banks, built for customers who would like an easy route into managing their money. They have one free current account and 2 premium accounts that charge a regular monthly fee.
This hassle-free approach to banking appeals particularly to those who have emigrated from another country to the UK, as Monese doesn't require evidence of address or a credit history, which makes it much easier to apply and be accepted.
Cashplus really are a challenger who have entered both personal banking and business banking sectors, allowing those with a bad credit score to still benefit from a secure bank account that suits them.
Both of the current account offerings possess a monthly fee, but don't require a credit check, making it much easier to apply and keeping the credit score intact. Through the Creditbuilder feature, you can also start to make improvements to your credit rating over 12 months, with no risk to yourself.
Cited as one of the most popular challengers in the UK (according to the BACS switching statistics), Monzo Bank is now used by more than 2 million people, since their launch in early 2021. They pride themselves on being transparent with customers and have an active community forum with 40k users.
They have recently launched a premium account option called Monzo Plus, that is in early development but has started with a monthly fee of lb3. After that you can add on extras such as travel cover, with many more options in the pipeline.
Tandem focus on being a companion for your existing current account, helping you work in tandem with your finances. All that you should do is download their free app and start saving.
Unlike other major challengers, Tandem concentrates on offering savings accounts and charge cards to customers, alongside their cash management app. Use of the app creates a seamless transition between your existing current account and a savings pot, which gathers to the nearest pound using Autosavings and puts the modification into a pot for later use. They are looking at implementing a full current account soon, along with support for Apple Pay and Google Pay too.
- Atom Bank
Atom Bank have entered the challenger space by giving savings accounts, mortgages and loans to customers, all available by applying online and managing through their app. Like Tandem, Atom Bank are a challenger that you can use alongside your overall current account to help with saving for the future.
Along with providing competitive rates for his or her fixed savers accounts, they are also the only challenger in our list to provide mortgages, meaning potential homeowners can find an alternative to high-street banks when looking for funding.
Start browsing our choice of challenger banks and other current accounts here.