Comparing Revolut, Chime and N26: Neobank Success Stories

Neobanks are digital-only, app-based financial institutions
Discover why Revolut, Chime and N26 are leading the neobank revolution with innovative features, user-friendly apps and more competitive offerings

In recent years, neobanks have revolutionised the banking industry, offering customers a new way to manage their finances through entirely digital platforms. Among the most prominent players in this space are Revolut, Chime and N26. These neobanks have distinguished themselves through innovative technologies, user-friendly interfaces and competitive offerings, attracting millions of users worldwide.

Revolut

Revolut’s success can be attributed to its comprehensive suite of financial services, including currency exchange, stock trading, crypto trading and traditional banking services. The platform’s user-friendly app, competitive fees and innovative features, such as disposable virtual cards and budgeting tools, have made it particularly popular among tech-savvy users and frequent travellers. Revolut's ability to adapt and expand its offerings has allowed it to maintain a strong foothold in the competitive neobank landscape.

"Revolut was built around the core aim of customer-centricity," notes Louise Potts, Head of Banking Customer Advisory at SAS UK.

Additionally, Revolut aims to enhance digital payment solutions in various sectors​. Its recent partnership with Sabre has propelled its B2B payments for travel agencies, significantly streamlining transactions through virtual cards, real-time foreign exchange and API-based payment products.

"Revolut is excited to drive digitalisation in the travel sector alongside our partners at Sabre," says Will Hannan, Global Head of Embedded Finance Sales at Revolut.

This year, Revolut also launched a new AI feature to protect against card scams. The new feature comes after NASDAQ suggested new technologies, such as AI and Large Language Models (LLMs), be implemented by banks and financial institutions after 2023 saw US$3tn of illegal funds transferred through the global financial system.

Revolut
  • User Base: Over 25 million users worldwide
  • Funding: Raised over $1.7 billion from investors
  • Market Presence: Operates in over 35 countries, with plans for further expansion

Chime

Chime has grown rapidly due to its focus on providing a no-fee banking experience, early direct deposit feature, and user-friendly mobile app. Its partnership with The Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank, allowing it to offer FDIC-insured accounts, has also contributed to its credibility and appeal.

Chime’s ability to offer financial products that cater to everyday needs has resonated with a broad user base, particularly in the US. "Chime’s partnership with The Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank has allowed it to build trust and credibility among users," says Jeremy Grinbaum, Area VP for EMEA at Amplitude.

Chime
  • User Base: Over 23 million users
  • Funding: Raised over US$2.3 billion in funding
  • Market Presence: Predominantly in the United States

N26

N26 emphasises simplicity, transparency and ease of use. Its seamless mobile banking experience, real-time transaction notifications, and fee-free accounts for everyday use have attracted a large customer base, particularly among younger generations.

"N26’s focus on providing a straightforward and user-friendly banking experience has been instrumental in its growth and popularity, especially in the European market," says Grinbaum.

N26
  • User Base: Around 8 million users
  • Funding: Raised over US$1.8 billion in funding
  • Market Presence: Primarily in Europe, with plans for expansion in other regions including the US

Neobanks: Their Pulling Power Today

Neobanks hold a significant advantage technologically, leveraging AI, machine learning and cloud services to provide more convenient customer services. These digital-first banks have capitalised on the legacy banking sector’s slow transition to digital, offering personalised and efficient services that resonate with modern consumers.

"Neobanks were built around the core aim of customer-centricity," Louise Potts notes. "Their focus is not limited to providing the best transaction experience or pricing, or bundling their core products".

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Innovations and Differentiation

To sustain their growth and stay ahead of traditional banks, neobanks must continue to leverage technology for real-time engagement, providing tailored financial advice and services. Hyperautomation, which combines digital operating systems, workflow, robotic process automation, and AI, will play a crucial role in delivering sophisticated services entirely online. This approach will enable neobanks to offer faster, higher-quality services while passing cost savings on to customers​.

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