Challenger Bank Innovation- What Works?

We all know that the face of finance has changed in the last few years. :exploding_head:

With the emergence of challenger banks like Starling, Monzo, Revolut and other financial apps like Plum, Klarna, Emma and Curve (of course :heart_eyes: ), we’ve been introduced to completely new ways of spending our money and tracking our finances.

It’s an exciting time for the money-minded and it’s a more stress-free time for those who aren’t. With this in mind, my questions for you are:

  • Which new features do you think are most innovative across the various different challenger banks and new financial tools?

  • How can you see these developing as users are empowered to take more and more control of their finances?

I love virtual cards, and I’m hoping it will eventually come to Curve. I like to sign up to subscriptions etc with them and be sure I’m not gonna forget to cancel and pay £1000 to that free first box of food


Apart from what Curve offers (connecting cards, moving back in time) I think that fractional share purchases available at Revolut and Freetrade brokerages are revolutionary.

I think that some sort of financial analysis built into the bank app would be useful. For example, when you pay for an expensive item, the bank app would analyse in real time the affordability of the purchase based on your past income and expenses and ask for a confirmation of the purchase: „Are you sure that you need this item?” Or in the case of SME banking, inform you of your revenue vs expected expenses for the current month, quarter, based on your direct debits or past activity, so you know that you need to focus on generating more sales.

Also, I think that there should be an unrestricted ability to accept card or NFC payments by individuals. If I can take a paper note from someone, why can’t I take money from someone’s card?


Maybe paypal added as a card, and splitting a paymant between cards

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One trending feature is PFM (personal finance management), based on transaction analysis and categorisation, some fintechs are starting to provide more than expenditure reporting: they offer optimisation hints and tips, intelligent planning, up to money-saving supplier recommendations (also a source of revenue, btw ;))

All digital challengers HAVE the data for this, but most are not using it (properly), even fewer are monetising it.

A good example is Snoop (my benchmark for PFM) - but do NOT copy them: use better AI and partnering models to OUTDO them instead! :slight_smile:

Another group of features resemble lending but are not credit cards or loans that enslave customers into debt, ‘softer’ forms are trending to give consumers some breathing space in tight financial times. A typical example is the ‘Earned Salary’ feature (and variations like ‘early paycheck’ etc). Another example is monetising transaction data by creating the equivalent of ‘credit scores’ (creditworthiness metrics based on regular income and timely payments of recurring obligations) - which are then offered to facilitate credit applicatins with other institutions, or (as some fintechs are trying) to act as a ‘loan origination’ platform…