Top 10: Digital Banks

Top 10: Digital Banks
In this Top 10, we look at the leading digital banks on the market in 2024 and chart their impressive courses to become challengers to incumbent players

Today, digital banks are carving out significant market shares in the financial services space, challenging incumbents with streamlined, customer-centric digital offerings. 

Defying the status quo, digital banks have leveraged an open ecosystem approach to offer improved and personalised banking services with digital technologies at their core. 

In this Top 10, we look at the leading digital banks on the market as we reach the mid-point of 2024…

10. Ally Bank

Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, Ally Bank provides a wide range of financial services including online banking, car finance, corporate lending, mortgage loans and vehicle insurance. Offering early direct deposit options for its customers, Ally has 11 million customers today, managing US$193bn in total assets and sits as one of the US’ Top 25 financial holding companies. With the mantra ‘People come first’, Ally champions financial inclusion, DEI and delivering strong social impact. 

Revenue: US$15.97bn FY2023 (Ally Financial)

Employees: 11,000

CEO: Michael G. Rhodes

Founded: 2009

9. Varo Bank

Based in San Francisco, Varo Bank is a leading digital bank on the US West Coast offering personalised banking services with financial inclusion at its heart. Combining a unique employee base of seasoned financial veterans with technologists, Varo Bank has piqued the interest of numerous venture capitalists since its 2015 establishment, including Gallatin Point Capital, Harbourvest Partners, Lone Pine Capital, Progressive Insurance, Russell Westbrook Enterprises, The Rise Fund and Warburg Pincus. The bank prides itself on delivering rapid access to cash, high-yield savings options and automated savings tools. 

Revenue:US$101m FY2022 

Employees: 500-1000

CEO: Colin Walsh

Founded:2015

8. Current

Current is the New York-based digital bank delivering mobile banking services to consumers in partnership with Choice Financial Group. With over four million members, Current offers a range of products and services from savings rewards to crypto trading options and direct deposit capabilities. Leveraging a digital-only model, Current is committed to meeting the financial needs of Americans looking to build brighter futures by leveraging innovative, cutting-edge technologies. In an increasingly digitised and complex world, Current endeavours to offer inspiring products to its customers to give them better management over their finances.

Revenue: US$50.7m FY2023 *estimate

Employees: 51-200

CEO: Stuart Sopp

Founded: 2015

7. Atom Bank

The UK’s first digital-only bank, Atom Bank stands out for its mobile-centric operating model. Based in Durham, England, the bank has amassed over US$700m in funding since its founding with backing from Spanish banking giant BBVA. The bank has expanded its services in recent times to support small businesses with secured tailored loans while continuing its support for everyday customers with competitive mortgage and savings products. Founded by Metro Bank Co-founder Anthony Thomson and First Direct CEO Mark Mullen, Atom Bank’s launch heralded a new age in banking with digital players the challengers to established organisations. 

Net-operating income: £65.84m (US$82.43m) FY2023

Employees: 500

CEO: Mark Mullen

Founded: 2013

6. Starling Bank

Founder of the UK’s first female-founded bank, Anne Boden, has propelled Starling Bank to unprecedented heights since its establishment in 2014. Although she has since taken a backseat, with Starling now led by newly-appointed Raman Bhatia, the neobank continues to grow its client base rapidly, with 4.1 million accounts opened and over US$300m in funding generated since its inception. Delivering personal current accounts, joint accounts, business accounts and Euro accounts, Starling has maintained its branchless model.

Revenue: £453m (US$566m) Year to March 2023

Employees: 2,700

CEO: Raman Bhatia

Founded: 2014

5. Monzo

Another UK-based challenger bank, Monzo is among the most successful globally. Growing from a mobile application and prepaid debit card service in 2015, today Monzo has over nine million customers nationwide. The neobank has introduced a series of new products and services in recent times, including its buy now, pay later (BNPL) product Monzo Flex, which was introduced to support consumers in managing expenses during the cost of living crisis. Monzo has also recently redesigned its mobile app and homepage, making navigation even easier for customers, and has recently generated an additional £150m (US$187m) in funding as it looks to enter the US market.

Revenue: £355.6m (US$444.93m) Year ended February 2023

Employees: 2,500

CEO: TS Anil

Founded: 2015

4. N26 

N26 is the leading neobank in Germany. Founded in 2013 by Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tayenthal, the bank holds a comprehensive European banking licence and now operates in 25 diverse markets, including Barcelona, Madrid, Milan, Vienna and Paris. It also operates outside of Europe with markets in Latam, including the Brazilian city of São Paulo. N26 has expanded its services significantly in recent times, and now operates N26 crypto, offering trading options on up to 200 coins. The bank has also reaffirmed its commitment to security, leveraging fingerprint identification and advanced 3D Secure technology so customers can make purchases confidently. 

Revenue: €236 million (US$254.3m) FY2022

Employees: 1,500

CEO: Valentin Stalf

Founded: 2013

3. SoFi

San Francisco’s leading digital bank, SoFi, harnesses technology to deliver a host of competitive financial offerings, from loans and credit options to investment services and mortgages. An online-only bank, SoFi achieved initial growth as an alumni-funded lending model, connecting students and recent graduates with investors and University alumni, before transitioning to a non-traditional underwriting model prioritising lending to responsible borrowers. With over eight million members today, SoFi has cultivated a robust reward programme for its customers, offering complementary benefits and round-the-clock customer support. 

Revenue: US$2.12bn FY2023

Employees: 4,400

CEO: Anthony Noto

Founded: 2011

2. Nubank

Nubank is the leading digital banking option in Latam. Founded by Cristina Junqueira, who leads the bank’s Brazilian arm, and David Vélez, CEO of Nubank in Colombia, Nubank has evolved to challenge traditional incumbents like Itaú. Leveraging a consumer-first approach, Nubank has a customer base exceeding 70 million and continues to leverage cutting-edge technologies like machine learning to drive innovative business practices and deliver new products and services to its personal and business customers. A digital-only bank, Nubank provides its services via its comprehensive app, which aims to deliver financial solutions that are straightforward, intuitive and, most importantly, human-centric. Nubank continues to innovate too, recently partnering with UK fintech Wise as part of its bid to enter the global accounts market.

1. Revolut

Top of our list of leading digital banks is Revolut. Founded in 2015 by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko, the neobank has experienced rapid growth, today boasting a user base of 35 million people and 500,000 business clients. With a mission to simplify finances for all, Revolut’s services include currency exchange accounts, debit cards, stock trading, virtual cards and cryptocurrency trading. The bank handles up to 250 million transactions per month. On a mission to deliver one of the UK’s first financial ‘super apps’, Revolut has made a string of recent announcements on its path to go beyond any of the financial services offerings currently seen on the market. Announcing plans to offer mobile phone plans, Revolut has scaled its partnerships with the likes of Sabre – to propel B2B payment processes for travel agencies – and launched a new AI fraud prevention tool to scale its cybersecurity efforts. 

Revenue: £850m (US$1.06bn) FY2022

Employees: 7,500

CEO: Nikolay Storonsky 

Founded: 2015

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