最有看点的互联网金融门户

最有看点的互联网金融门户
传统金融的互联网化全新的互联网金融模式国际资讯

6家欧洲数字银行如何改变零售银行战局?

传统金融的互联网化全新的互联网金融模式国际资讯

6家欧洲数字银行如何改变零售银行战局?

过去几年,新兴数字化银行发展突飞猛进,在欧洲尤其如此。据统计,自2014年以来,包括Atom Bank、Tandem Bank、Monzo、Starling Bank、Revolut和N26在内的多家数字银行累计吸引风投10亿美元,客户总量也成功突破250万。

今天,我们就将为您简单介绍一下数字银行这个金融界的后起之秀。在这篇文章中,我们将重点关注以下几个方面:

  1. 什么是数字银行
  2. 数字银行怎么利用监管规定
  3. 为什么移动应用促进发展
  4. 新监管条例如何帮助数字银行扩大服务
  5. 2018年值得注意的趋势

什么是数字银行

根据我们定义,数字银行就是利用科技和软件将零售银行业务数字化并精简的Fintech公司。这些挑战者使用数字销售渠道,尤其是移动渠道,向用户提供具有竞争力的零售银行业务(如活期存款、储蓄账户、贷款、保险和信用卡等)。他们的目标客户是没有获得传统银行服务或得不到全面服务的人,比如低收入消费者。挑战者银行的另一个吸引力是用户体验佳,吸引了不少希望通过手机就能取得银行服务而不用去网点的人。

如今,在规模不断壮大后,几家将为成功的数字银行先后开始通过API与其他Fintech公司合作,开发新产品进入新市场。

数字银行怎样利用监管规定

过去几年间,开明的欧盟监管者为数字银行Atom Bank、Tandem Bank、Monzo、Starling Bank、Revolut(均来自英国公司)和N26(德国)创造了不少快速获得所需金融牌照的机会。

其中,Atom Bank、Tandem Bank、Monzo、Starling Bank和N26取得了完全银行准许执照。这一过程需要两年,但这些银行得以向消费者提供更广泛的产品,他们认为取得银行许可能够建立消费者信任并且提供服务方面可以更有弹性,因为这两年等的值得。

Revolut的策略则是获得一个电子钱包执照,这个执照申请起来更快,但可提供服务范围有限。

此外,数字银行利用欧洲经济区(EEA)"护照"还可以在欧盟境内拓展业务。持有该护照,任何一家在27个欧盟成员国注册的公司都可以在另一成员国提供金融产品或服务而不用再次取得当地许可。N26利用护照已经将服务扩展到另外17个EEA成员国。

以下我们就来简单了解一下主要数字银行所获得牌照种类、首批产品类型以及相关的融资数据:

1. 传统打法:在推出服务前,Atom Bank、Tandem Bank 和Starling Bank首先集中精力获取了银行许可,他们认为这样一纸许可能为公司带来保障。比如Atom Bank在获得审批后推出了存款账户和中小型企业借贷业务。他们还计划推出活期存款业务,但目前计划被推后。这种做法最大的弊端就是失去了先机。虽然有监管保护并且能够提供更多产品,但他们直到2016年中期才推出产品,自向金融行为监管局注册整整18个月后。

另一弊端就是银行许可可以被撤销。Tandem因为无法获得融资许可已被撤销。12月,它收购了Harrod的银行部门以重新获得一张许可,但整个过程耗时耗钱。

2.半传统银行打法:Monzo和德国公司N26希望吸引平台用户。为此,Monzo推出了预付卡而不是完全活期账户。这一策略的优点在于产品推向市场快,在早期推出产品时就可以得到用户反馈修复漏洞,但缺点在于可能会妨碍增长。

Monzo之前增长迅速,取得执照时每月新增用户数达6万。2017年12月,他们不再增加新用户,而是宣布计划旨在将现有的50万预付卡用户转换至他们的活期账户。截至2018年2月,该公司新活期账户注册仍需排队,这意味着他们专注转换现有用户时错失了约18万潜在新用户(按最高每月新用户增加6万计算)。

另一缺点时在等待银行执照核准下来前,他们必须和其他机构合作。比如N26与Wirecard合作,必须向后者提供每笔交易提成。

3. 快速通道打法:Revolut则申请了更简便的电子钱包执照,挑战传统走向市场战略,主要业务是货币兑换而不是活期账户。一开始Revolut目标客户是经常出行的人,他们认为这个小众市场消费者没有得到足够服务。Revolut开发了一个电子货币交易软件,人们可以用此更频繁地兑换金钱而不用创建多个银行账户。

该公司利用EEA护照在欧洲扩张,同时和其他Fintech合作以达成更快迭代。他们无需等待银行执照就可以推出这款产品,而且很快就能基础到未来可能使用更广银行类服务的用户。

据了解,Revolut目前推出的最重要产品就是加密货币交易。2017年11月该公司宣布用户达100万,每天新增3500名。截至2018年2月,该公司称用户达150万。它也是首家报告月度收支平衡的挑战者银行。也就是说,该公司客户变现已足够抵消获客成本。

增长最快的数字银行--Revolut、Monzo和N26在银行许可时通过快速增长战略已经取得了250万用户。另三家公司Tandem、Starling和Atom等两年取得银行执照后才推出产品。目前,他们用户总数只有52000。

有趣的是,两家取得了银行执照的挑战者银行Tandem和Atom比Revolut烧钱更多,后者获客更快。

Revolut比寻求银行执照的对手们能够更快增加客户基础的原因是其能够集中资源快速推出产品并快速增加用户。

移动应用助发展

2011年,客户依然高度依赖银行网点而且刚刚开始拥抱互联网银行。但数字银行先驱们坚信移动平台会才是未来零售银行业务的销售渠道。事实证明他们的先见之明。截至2016年,移动交互已快速增长至占欧洲银行业务交互的55%。

数字银行持续受益于用户转向移动的趋势,而传统银行保持网店为中心的业务模式。最近两年,欧洲各大银行已关闭近1000家网点,但似乎还不够。分支网点运营成本(OPEX)现在已超过所产生的收益。

新监管规定帮助挑战者扩大服务

欧盟监管者十分热衷帮助数字银行,近年来也落实了不少给予他们发展空间的规定,比如英国的开放银行标准和欧盟的支付服务修改指导意见(PSD2)——两者自2018年1月开始逐步实施。

开放银行标准要求英国九大个人和公司活期账户银行提供方(包括Lloyds、巴克莱、汇丰、Santander和RBS)实施应用程序界面(APIs)开发标准。

而开放银行和PSD2这两个标准都允许第三方在客户要求下能够安全取得客户的活期账户数据。这意味着更多Fintech公司可以争抢传统银行市场,为消费者提供新服务。

2018年趋势

新的一年里,数字银行希望能够解绑零售银行服务,同时为没有得到足够服务的客户建立平台。

产品和伙伴关系

像Revolut和N26这样和其他Fintech合作的公司能够快速添加新服务,帮助他们降低成本、达到收支平衡。

与之类似,其他挑战者银行可能也会展开合作,尤其是英国的开放银行标准和欧盟的PSD2生效之后。

比如Starling Bank就已经开始利用新标准,并积极寻求和其他Fintech企业合作。2018年,该公司推出了API交易市场,准备和25家Fintech创企兼容。

Moneybox就是Starling Bank最早合作者之一。它是一家数字财富管理创企,为用户将每笔交易找下来的零钱自动存入一储蓄账户中,提供小额投资服务。Moneybox利用Starling是API改进了投资分配时间,一周一次变成了实时。

这种合伙做法的缺点是很容易被模仿。Moneybox也在计划和Monzo合作,且和Revolut已经展开合作。其他挑战者银行如Atom Bank和Tandem也可能增加合伙关系以更便宜地获客、更快速将产品推向市场并降低先期基建成本。

此外,数字银行可能也会和他们想要颠覆的臃肿传统银行合作以利用新的开放银行规定、增加网络速度并确保信息安全。Tandem和Atom Bank各自分别推出另类信用卡和另类按揭贷款时可能会寻找更大的机构伙伴。

因为合伙昂贵且会带来风险,我们预计有规模的挑战者银行将像Revolut学习,自己推出新产品。

2018年,如果Revolut获得银行许可,到底它会选择推出哪些产品、进军哪些市场呢?传统的做法是在英国或一已取得许可的挑战者银行竞争较小的护照国推出完全许可的活期账户产品。但数字银行都在迅速创新,可能会先寻求其他机会。比如Revolut已经建立了投资部门(Revolut Wealth),取得了养老金、ETF、按揭贷款投资许可。股票交易也是可能的下一步,符合该公司开创型精神

新市场

除了增加产品,数字银行会将目光投向EEA意外的市场寻求发展。N26、Monzo和Revolut都正在美国进行招聘,但那竞争更激烈准入门槛更高。美国各州监管不一,而且目前货币监理署Fintech宪章也已经提请讨论。

在美国,如Square和欧洲独角兽Klarna nor Transferwise等现有Fintech公司也会带来竞争。2017年,Square申请了行业执照并在18年3月推出了直接存款服务;Klarna也表示将进入挑战者银行市场。这两家公司都有殷实的金融资源和已建成的销售渠道,是实力不容小觑的竞争者。

随着这些Fintech公司不断扩张,可供数字银行参与的产品和市场空间仍然还是存在的。

Digital banking startups — or challenger banks — have gained traction over the past few years by bringing retail banking services mobile.

Europe has seen the first cohort of challenger banks (Atom Bank, Tandem Bank, Monzo, Starling Bank, Revolut, and N26) break out, collectively attracting $1B in funding and over 2.5M customers since 2014.

In this brief, we explain what challenger banks are, dive into the playbooks of notable challenger banks, assess how different regulatory approaches have impacted growth, and highlight trends to watch through 2018.

In this brief we’ll cover:

  1. What are challenger banks
  2. How challenger banks leveraged regulation
  3. Why mobile adoption has driven uptick
  4. How new regulations help challengers expand services
  5. What we’re watching in 2018

What are challenger banks?

We define challenger banks as fintech companies leveraging technology and software to digitize and streamline retail banking. Challengers use digital distribution channels, typically mobile, to offer competitive retail banking services such as current accounts, savings accounts, loans, insurance, and credit cards.

Challenger banks have targeted underserved and unserved demographics, like consumers in lower income bracket. They have also grown on the backs of improved user experience, appealing to those who want to be able to bank from their phones instead of visiting a retail location.

Now, as the most successful challenger banks look to scale, they are launching new products via API integrations with other fintechs and expanding into new markets.

How challenger banks have leveraged regulation

Over the past few years, the EU’s progressive regulators have made it easier for leading challenger banks Atom Bank, Tandem Bank, Monzo, Starling Bank, Revolut (all UK based), and N26 (based in Germany) to obtain the financial license necessary to operate.

In the case of Atom Bank, Tandem Bank, Monzo, Starling Bank, and N26 they obtained a full bank charter, which takes up to 2 years, but widens the services these banks can offer consumers. In pursuing this time-intesive process, these challengers bet that a charter would build trust with consumers and allow them greater flexibility in building their offerings.

Revolut’s strategy on the other hand has been to get an e-money license  which can be obtained much more quickly, though the scope of services that can be offered is more limited.

Challenger banks have also been able to expand within the EU by leveraging the European Economic Area (EEA) “passport.”  The passport enables a firm licensed in 1 of the 27 EU member states to provide financial products or services in another country without needing further authorization in each country. N26 has already leveraged a passport to expand its service to 17 other EEA countries.

Below we look at the license challenger banks obtained, the first product they launched, as well as select funding and investor data.

Traditional approach: Atom Bank, Tandem Bank, and Starling Bank prioritized having a bank charter prior to launch and built a suite of services that required a charter, believing it would create a moat around the platform. Atom Bank, for example, launched a savings account and SMB lending after regulatory approval. They also plan to launch current accounts but that roll out has so far been delayed.

The biggest drawback to this approach has been missing the first wave of early adoption. Despite having added regulatory protection and wider approval to launch products, they were behind on getting a product to market and didn’t launch until mid-2016, 18 months after registering with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Another drawback to the charter is that it can be revoked. Tandem lost its banking charter after failing to secure funding. It acquired Harrod’s bank division in December as a way to restore its charter, but that was a costly and time-intensive process.

Semi-traditional bank: Monzo and Germany-based N26 wanted to get customers onto the platform. To do so, Monzo launched a prepaid card instead of a full account product.

The benefits of this strategy include getting products to market faster, getting customer feedback, and fixing bugs during early product releases. But a drawback to this strategy is that it could potentially jeopardize growth.

Monzo was going through a period of rapid growth, adding a reported 60K users a month when the company was granted a charter. In December 2017, they stopped adding new customers and announced plans to focus on transitioning the 500K existing customers off of prepaid cards and onto Monzo’s own current accounts.

As of February 2018, the company has a waitlist for new current account registrations, which means it’s missing out on roughly 180K potential new customers (at the peak growth rate of 60K per month) as it focuses on transitioning its existing customers off of the prepaid cards.

Another drawback is having to partner with other corporates in the interim while waiting on a bank charter. N26, for example, partnered with Wirecard, and had to give them a cut from every transaction.

Fast-lane approach: Revolut challenged the conventional go-to market strategy by applying for an easier-to-acquire e-money license and targeting currency exchange rather than current accounts. Revolut initially focused on frequent travelers, a niche they believed was underserved. It built a digital currency exchange app, which allowed people to exchange money more frequently across countries without establishing multiple bank accounts.

Revolut leveraged the EEA passport to expand across Europe and partnered with other fintechs to iterate quickly. It was able to launch this product without waiting on a charter, while quickly gaining access to a roster of potential clients for a broader eventual banking offering.

The most viral product Revolut has launched to-date is a cryptocurrency exchange. Following the announcement in November 2017, the company crossed 1 million users and was adding 3,500 users per day. As of February 2018, Revolut reports it has 1.5M customer. It is the first challenger bank to announce breaking even on a monthly basis. This means that the company is monetizing enough customers to offset the cost of acquiring new ones.

The fastest-growing challenger banks — Revolut, Monzo, and N26 —  have acquired 2.5M customers through viral growth strategies and without a bank charter.

The other 3 companies — Tandem, Starling, and Atom — waited to launch products until receiving their charters, which took 2 years. To date, they collectively have only 52,000 customers.

Interestingly, in 2016, Atom and Tandem, 2 of the challenger banks pursuing a bank charter, burned more cash than Revolut, which was able to acquire customers faster.

Revolut has grown its customer base much faster than the challenger banks pursuing a bank license by focusing resources on rapidly launching products and bringing customers on board quickly.

Mobile adoption has driven uptake

In 2011, customers still relied heavily on branches and were just starting to embrace internet banking. But challenger banks bet that mobile would be the next platform for retail banking distribution. That has proven prescient. As of 2016, mobile interactions have quickly grown to account for 56% of customer’s banking engagements in Europe.

Challenger banks continue to benefit from the transition to mobile, as incumbents maintain a branch-centric business model. In the last 2 years, banks have shed approximately 1,000 branches across Europe, but it seems as if this still isn’t enough. Branch operating costs (OPEX) now exceed the revenue they generate.

New regulations help challengers expand services

Regulators in the EU are still very active in enabling challenger banks by implementing rules that give challenger banks room to grow. This includes regulations like the UK’s open banking standards and the EU’s Revised Payments Services Directive (PSD2), which both went live with phased rollouts in January 2018.

The open banking standards require the UK’s nine largest bank providers of personal and business current accounts (including Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC, Santander, and RBS) to implement open standards for application programming interfaces (APIs).

Open banking and PSD2 standards allow third parties to safely and securely access customers’ current account data at their request. This means there’s a big opportunity for more fintechs to plug into traditional banks and build new services for consumers.

What we’re watching in 2018

Challenger banks are focused on rebundling retail banking services in 2018 and creating one platform for underbanked customers.

PRODUCTS & PARTNERSHIPS

Firms that partnered with other fintechs like Revolut and N26 have been quick to add new services, which has helped them drive down costs and begin breaking even.

Following this, other challenger banks may ramp up partnerships, especially now that the UK’s open banking standards and the EU’s PSD2 are live. Starling Bank is already taking advantage of the new standards and is aggressively pursuing partnerships with other fintechs. In 2018, the company launched an API marketplace and is aiming to integrate with 25 fintech startups.

Moneybox, for example, was one of Starling Bank’s earliest partnerships. Moneybox is a digital wealth management startup that makes fractional investments for customers with spare change that is siphoned off of every purchase and automatically invested in a savings account. Moneybox leveraged Starling’s API to improve the investment allocation time from once a week to real-time.

One drawback to this partnership approach however is it’s easy to replicate. In fact, Moneybox is also planning to partner with Monzo and has an existing partnership with Revolut. Other challenger banks like Atom Bank and Tandem will also likely increase partnerships to achieve cheaper customer acquisition, increase speed to market with new services, and contain upfront infrastructure costs.

Challenger banks may also look to partner with bulge bracket banks they set out to disrupt in order to take advantage of new open banking requirements, facilitate network speed, and ensure information security. Tandem and Atom Bank may look for larger institutional partners as they launch more products like alternative credit cards and alternative mortgages respectively.

Because partnerships are costly and create contingency risk, we anticipate challenger banks with scale to launch new products in-house, following Revolut’s growth model.

Beyond Revolut’s 2018 roadmap, if the company gets approved for a charter, it will be interesting to see which new products and markets the company prioritizes. The conventional approach would be to launch a fully licensed current account product in the UK or in a passport country that has less competition from chartered challenger banks.

But challenger banks are innovating quickly and may pursue other opportunities first. Revolut already established an investing arm (Revolut Wealth) licensed to support pensions, ETFs, and mortgages. Stock trading is also a logical next product and follows the company’s trailblazing mentality.

NEW MARKETS

In addition to adding products, challenger banks looking to grow are betting on new markets beyond the EEA member states. N26, Monzo, and Revolut are all hiring in the US but face significantly higher barriers to entry and competition. The US regulatory landscape is fractured across state lines and the US Office of the Comptroller of the  Currency (OCC’s) fintech charter has been tabled.

Challenger banks that do try to expand in the US face potential competition from existing fintechs like Square, which applied for an industrial charter in 2017 and launched direct deposits in March 2018, and European unicorns Klarna and TransferWise, which are both operational in the US, have EU bank charters, and have announced plans of launching a current account product in Europe.

While neither Klarna nor Transferwise have said that they are going after the challenger bank market, both have considerable financial resources and established distribution that make them viable competitors.

As these fintechs expand their reach, it’s evident that no product or market is off the table for challenger banks.


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