Numerous FinTechs are working on digitalising the banking experience. From the customer’s perspective, bank transactions should be quick, mobile and as simple as possible. Since the introduction of PSD2 to regulate data exchange via banking APIs, there have been many open doors in the banking world for new providers.
We have compiled eight examples that show that you don’t have to be a bank to offer good banking solutions.
All bank accounts in one app? This is possible with the Numbers’ multi-banking service, which aggregates accounts for iPhone and Android users in a clear user interface. More than 1.5 million smartphone users have downloaded the app from the Apple and Google app stores.
After gaining the approval of users, the Swiss FinTech start-up can access over 3,500 bank accounts at German banks via banking APIs. The core functions: all current and anticipated account transactions at a glance, transfers in the app and intelligent analysis functions. Expansion into the British market is planned – initial tests with 10,000 beta users are underway.
With around two million customers and a monthly transaction volume of two billion dollars, Revolut is one of the most prominent FinTech stories ever. The British company has concentrated on international money transactions based on API banking.
Customers can transfer money free of charge in 25 currencies, pay and withdraw money for free worldwide and even exchange cryptocurrencies. From the customer’s point of view, the only restriction is that Revolut currently only works with a prepaid Visa or MasterCard. Nothing works once the account is empty.
However, this could soon change since Revolut has now applied for a banking license. Mind you, the FinTech start-up does not want to become a bank in the classical sense: everything will remain mobile and digital. Rather, the license should help to offer more than prepaid-based services. Revolut customers can then use their account like a current account with the usual features such as SEPA direct debit and an overdraft facility.
Yet another multi-banking app that is enjoying increasing popularity? This should not surprise us, since more than half of all bank customers now use smartphone banking. This figure is as high as 69 percent for Millennials – the exciting target group with great purchasing power.
The market is also large enough for several providers that give universal access to all accounts of a customer via a single app. We already mentioned Numbrs at the beginning, and the second major player in the FinTech market is Outbank.
As a so-called PFM tool for personal financial management, Outbank offers its customers access to all the important banking functions of everyday life. Meanwhile, the provider belongs to the comparison portal Verivox and should be expanded with many other financial products such as insurance.
Banking APIs are the technical basis for multi-banking apps such as Numbrs and Outbank. Should they grant approval, customers can aggregate their bank accounts into a single app – access to the account runs via an API interface. Learn how a banking API works in our blog post.
Kontist appeals to a much sharper target group than the many multi-banking providers. For freelancers and small-scale entrepreneurs, the FinTech start-up has created a business account offer that is intended to provide greater transparency in the management of business finances.
Kontist connects to common accounting solutions and synchronises account transactions with the bookkeeping. A constantly updated tax estimate shows the expected tax burden, allowing self-employed people to build up more accurate reserves and dodge surprisingly high tax payments.
Access to all the functions happens via the iPhone or Android app. Instead of endeavouring to get its own banking license, Kontist relies on the FinTech banking platform of the Berlin-based solarisBank.
Lendstar is considered a pioneer for mobile payment solutions in the private sphere. Since 2015, the Starnberg-based FinTech has been running an app that friends and family can use to send and borrow money from each other. Lendstar is now regarded as the market leader for peer-to-peer payments in Germany and operates as a non-bank service that is otherwise only provided by savings banks and co-operative banks with Kwitt.
Something of particular interest to online shoppers: Lendstar works with shopping credit for Amazon and Zalando. Users load shopping vouchers into their Lendstar app and pay their shopping bill via their smartphone. As an incentive, there is currently a cash bonus of eight percent.
Contovista is a provider that operates primarily in the background. As a white label solution, the Swiss FinTech operates a personal financial assistant on behalf of a number of primarily Swiss banks.
The solution categorises the account transactions of a bank customer and prepares all the information in clear expenditure analyses. Additional functions for business accounts include the pre-sorting of transactions into company-relevant categories and a liquidity forecast.
Banks can offer their private and business customers an intelligent additional service with the personal financial management of Contovista.
In addition to Kontist, the Finnish FinTech start-up Holvi also targets the self-employed. While Kontist primarily focuses on classic banking functions, Holvi brings together comprehensive financial management and even has its own online presence.
As an all-in-one solution, Holvi sees itself as a digital control centre for freelancers and small entrepreneurs with functions for invoicing, an integrated business account, a corporate credit card and the setting up of your own online store – an interesting approach that demonstrates that API banking is actually paving the way for completely new business models.
With the motto “Banking for professionals”, the FinTech Subsembly, which was founded in Munich in 2013, offers an exciting app which customers can use to bring order to their finances. With Banking 4i for Apple users and Banking 4A for Android fans, a multi-bank account overview can be brought to the smartphone.
Whether a current account, money market account, savings account, credit card accounts or PayPal: Subsembly presents all account entries in an aggregated overview. With split bookings and intelligent categorisation, customers can put their finances in order with just a few clicks.
API banking is a real win-win situation for banks, FinTechs and consumers. We have gone through international studies for you in great detail. The most important facts and figures as well as an overview of the most important trends in the world of digital banking can be found in this blog entry.