In many ways, banking hasn’t changed much in decades. If you go to your local bank, you can cash a check or deposit money with a teller much as you would have years ago. Parallel to the traditional banking system, though, we’ve also seen immense change powered by technology. Apps allow us to manage our finances while on the go, and a growing number of people no longer have a meaningful connection to a local bank – and that disconnect is only primed to grow over the next several years.
The Rise Of Neobanks
One of the most significant threats to traditional banking, and the most disruptive fintech technology of the moment, is the neobank. Neobanks are VC-backed online banks trying to draw users away from conventional consumer banking. Like conventional banks, they offer savings accounts and loans, monitor your credit, and exchange currency. Some even offer traditional checks, along with ATM access. Most important to users, many offer these services with lower maintenance fees and better customer service.
Among the emerging neobanks, these 3 apps promise to have the greatest market impact in the next few years. By cutting out a lot of the infrastructure and staffing costs, these banks not only offer convenience, but also financial advantages over their conventional cousins, which will create stiff competition for brick and mortar banking.
Judo got off to a serious start, reaching $1 billion in deposits within 9 months of launching. But why is this neobank performing so well? One reason is that the company works with businesses, not just individuals, but that’s just scratching the surface. Despite generally low rates right now, Judo is offering some of the highest term deposit rates around. While many major banks are offering a rate of about 1.25%, Judo’s are 1.95%, and that’s drawn users to the service.
Judo may have great term deposit rates, but Xinja’s basic savings account rates have helped the company hold its own. Within its first week, Xinja had attracted $30 million in savings deposits into what they call their “Stash” accounts. Stash accounts have a 2.25% interest rate, well above the Australian “Big Four.” It’s not unheard of to get a high interest rate on high-value accounts, but there’s no minimum to get such a rate at Xinja.
86 400 takes its name from the number of seconds in the day, and the company wants to encourage people to take every second as an opportunity to save – and the people are responding. With $100 million in deposits over a four-month period, though, deposits aren’t pouring in quite as quickly as they are for Xinja, likely because only savings accounts with a minimum $1,000 deposit qualify for the highest interest rates. Since a lot of younger users, this may be out of reach, hence why they opt for Xinja, but it may also make the rate more sustainable for 86 400 over the long term.
The Future Of Neobanks
Depending on the country, neobanks are all in different phases of development; they’re popular in the UK and starting to seriously take off in Australia. They’ve also found significant support among those who move a lot and lack a permanent address, but the fact is that they’re just getting started. Some are still hesitant to get on board because neobanks aren’t yet full service, but they’re well on their way. It’s worth keeping an eye on them, whatever your current banking situation.