As the UK goes to the polls today to vote in the EU referendum, we’re looking at six banks from Europe who would rather we stayed…
Slogan: “Your bank account as it should be - simple, transparent and everywhere”.
Founded by two entrepreneurs from Vienna, Berlin-based Number26 just received another significant round of funding.
Another bank offering a real alternative to the UK’s traditional bricks and mortar based high street banks, Number26’s current accounts give real-time notifications of transactions, and automated reporting on areas of spending, all tied up within a well-designed and good-looking app. They also look set to offer some form of AI assistant service - to help us make the best use of our money.
Available in eight European countries at the moment, it’s expected to launch in the UK this year.
Innovative feature: open an account in 8 minutes using video verification
Slogan: “Banking for makers and doers”.
Another BBVA acquisition, Holvi, meaning vault in Finnish, is an online-only bank “for entrepreneurs”.
Founded in 2011, Holvi aims to offer the complete suite of services for businesses to run their own financial operations from a single interface - sales, invoicing, and cashflow tracking.
The headline app for iOS and Android launched last year, and with Holvi anticipating 1.75billion people using banking apps by 2019, they aim to be at the cutting-edge with theirs. How can they do this? They're purporting to save users “5-7 hours per month” by using their app for their business.
Innovative feature: truly paperless bookkeeping with automated reporting and notifications
Slogan: “The bank, renewed - we fit an entire bank in your pocket”
Based in the Netherlands, bunq aims to use technology to “empower you to focus on what to do with your money”.
With a flickr-esque name, they’re purporting to be “the WhatsApp” for financial services. It’s clear they’re targeting millennials, citing emoji support and ability to add photos to some of their headline features such as bill-splitting. They recently announced support for QR codes, too, despite that particular technology waning in popularity.
Innovative features: use one card for multiple account. Create banking “groups” with friends and family for easy payments
Slogan: “Banking for small business made awesome”
Hufsy allows small businesses to easily understand their financials from within a single app. It aims to use a “human-led” design approach to every feature, which include Blockchain support, and seamless integration with DropBox. While targeted at small business, it's likely a lot of the functionality will be rolled our to personal banking, too.
Innovative feature: seamless collaboration across both multiple accoutns, and multiple collaborators.
Idea Bank [Poland]
Slogan: "Poland’s most innovative bank”
Idea Bank caters to the SME market in Poland which makes up 96% of all Polish business.
Idea Bank allows users to collaborate and share ideas and innovations for the bank on it’s “Idea Hub”, and it’s Idea Cloud e-banking system is a popular end-to-end small business management platform. Coolest of all though, are its mobile ATMs that come to directly you in zero-emission cars which operate in 12 cities in Poland.
Innovative feature: those mobile ATMs
Slogan: “Your money and your payments, with no commissions. Your free time activities and your purchases, with discounts.”
A spin-off from Spain’s massive CaixaBank, Like bunq, it’s aimed at millennials, leveraging connections to common social media profiles. Users can even access their account details and transactions without ever leaving Facebook. Similarly, ImaginBank offer a dedicated 24-hour Twitter service, and a WhatsApp support contact. #SoCool
Innovative feature: rewards & discounts you’ll actually use - Google Play, Amazon & Ticketmaster vouchers
With competition for the UK’s current accounts hotting up from the likes of the new challenger banks, a little more competition can only be a helpful thing. Which challenger banks do you think will succeed, and what features do you love the most? Let us know in the comments below.