This month, let's continue the conversation from our last meetup on Open Banking to discuss the current state of digital (and digital-only) banking. Let's grab a beverage, fire up our favorite digital finance apps (one you use or one you're building), and compare what wows with what simply digitizes a familiar set of legacy banking interactions.
Location will be The Urban Tap on S. Highland Ave. I've reserved space for us from 6-8pm.
Americans don't want a digital bank. Or do they?
We're at an inflection point for digital banking.
On one hand, adoption of digital-only banking in the US has been sluggish. JP Morgan recently shuttered their digital bank, Finn, that was originally positioned to woo Millenials. According to a survey from earlier this year, homegrown challengers and legacy bank offshoots have yet to individually eclipse 2 million customers.
On the other hand, European challengers Monzo (UK), TransferWise (UK) and N26 (Germany) have all launched or announced retail banking products in the US over the last few weeks. Monzo has over 2m users, has raised over $400m and was last valued in June at over $2.5b. N26 boasts over 2.5m users, has raised over $500m and was last valued at $2.7b.
Will these European challengers fall flat on their US launch in a crowded and established market, or can they delivering a truly better customer experience to challenge the notions that (1) Digital banks can not own the primary banking relationship, and can only serve as an "accessory" with better tools/rates/rewards, and (2) Branches are security blankets for consumers.
Can digital-only banks steal a page from the tech giants and re-invent what is possible from a mobile experience? This post from earlier this year argues for 10 trends in UX that will lead to fintech success.