When the first challenger banks hit the market in the early to mid-2010s, nobody had experienced anything like them before.
Account opening in under 48 hours? No queues or paper forms to fill in? Instant payment notifications on your phone?
Woah! Where do I sign up?
The landscape is very different in 2020.
In the UK, one in four people under 37 now use a challenger bank. And the global challenger bank market worth is on its way to reaching $578 billions by 2027.
But like traditional banks, not all challengers have progressed at the same pace or meet the high bar the trailblazers set almost a decade ago. So we started asking ourselves: who are the leaders? And, more importantly, what has propelled them to the front of the pack?
Our Battle of the Challenger Banks series is an attempt to answer these questions.
We’ll be using our market intelligence platform to look into a different aspect of how challengers do what they do and reporting our findings.
Ready to dive in?
But, wait a second.
Who are these challengers we speak of? What makes them “challengers” as opposed to traditional banks?
We had a pretty heated discussion at Scientia HQ. But we finally settled on a few criteria.
For us, a challenger bank is:
Digital-only, with no physical branches
Small to medium in size
Tech-first and focused on removing as much friction as possible from the user experience
Fun, approachable, and maybe a dash quirky - just like their Debit Cards
Challenger banks do what traditional banks do, except they promise to do it better, faster, and more transparently. They’re more accessible and offer a smoother user experience. They have clear fee structures. And their savings and investment products tend to have higher interest rates than what you’d get from traditional banks.
In short, challenger banks work hard to make banking a pleasure, instead of an experience you break out in a cold sweat just thinking about.
Meet our contestants
We’ve picked six prize fighters to kick off our battle of the challengers. They are:
FinTech InsightsChallengerFintechBattle of the ChallengersDigital Banking
by Erenia N. Kontolatou
Erenia holds the position of VP of Business Development at Scientia, and is in charge of partnerships and international expansion. With a vast fintech knowledge and an addiction to data analysis, she is driving Scientia to success while making partnerships that bring value.