Indeed, a large part of Neobanks’ appeal comes from a certain next-door vibe. Many of them get new clients, both corporate and individual ones, through word-of-mouth. They also target certain minorities: for example, immigrants (Majority, Remitly), persons of color (MoCaFi, Greenwood), or the gay/transgender community (Daylight), offering valuable services to underserved groups.
Still, this is not what makes new banks stand out against the current economic background. Unhindered by legacy systems, they can quickly adapt to the current conditions and create new products – particularly those related to cryptocurrencies – and I believe this is why Neobanks have become a part of today’s financial zeitgeist.
While the Wallstreet top banks are exploring the possibility of working with digital currencies, and the crypto-wary EU is still trying to figure out the regulations, the Neobanks have long dived in. For one, UK-based Revolut has been offering its clients to trade crypto since 2017 – and there are more examples, including German Solarisbank and Swiss SEBA.
So what does it mean for mainstream finance and the crypto industry? On the one hand, Neobanks bring the fintech revolution closer, as incumbents are forced to catch up. To not be left behind, they have to modernize their systems, bring up the level of customer service and consider adding crypto-related products to their range of services. On the other, Neobanks fill the gap between traditional and crypto economies, as cryptocurrencies get more exposure with their support.