Good for them! They’ve been far better at exploiting the EU single market than UK fintechs*.
Have you used N26?
I have, and quite frankly they’ve got nothing that the other fintech don’t do and better…
Apart from operating in multiple countries.
The best thing about N26 is their debit card. It’s different.
Didn’t say they were better or worse from a customer perspective, but if I was an investor I would be impressed by their confidence, ability to execute, and courage in quickly going outside the comfort of their domestic market.
I struggle to understand the logic of raising money so soon when they still have 300M cash. Revolut has done so much better for its shareholders by aiming to raise as late as possible.
Which of the fintech is best from user perspective then?
As a user, it does depend on what you actually want to use it for.
But if you are looking for a current account, then I’d go for Starling. They have a pretty good account, that’s relatively easy to use.
N26 is fabulous if you simply want an account and a debit card. Then it works well…
But if you need more like regular electronic payments to pay bills etc, then N26 can’t do that. Well it can but you have to put every bit of information in everytime. Frustrating as hell.
Starling does that so much better.
Monese & Revolut can probably do it, but I find their dashboards to confusing for this. Admittedly Revolut does have a somewhat different remit so this is not their focus.
For currency you almost can’t beat Revolut. I really do like their service.
Starling annoys me as I have to put in a reference for every payment - if I’m just transferring money between my own accounts, I like to just keep that field blank. Some may consider that a minor concern though.
You don’t have to put in a reference but it does offer you that option.
I’m pretty sure you can leave it blank.
But that is much better than having to enter EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF INFO like N26.
Name, Sort Code, Account, even if I am transferring to my own account the same one I do a transfer every few days.
You can’t leave it blank or I wouldn’t have said what I did.
It’s great seeing these neobanks doing well, although annoying when you see headlines like this…
Revolut FinTech Gets Twice The Complaints Of Rival Monzo
I think the article goes on to mention over the three years they had 172 and 82 complaints respectively. Why is that news? Our big banks get over 100k over the same period.
You Then get lazy writers quoting the headlines in their articles…is it really news? Or material? You rarely see people quote these banks for the $100s and the 1000s they are actually saving people. Being an avid traveller, I can say I have saved thousands through transferwise and revolut.
Keep on growing neobanks! And bring down the legacy fees the legacy banks keep charging (you too freetrade!)
You are correct!
You must put in something. Oh well. It’s easy enough just to click Starling.
Personally I dislike Revolut for travel - with them and transferwise you can only take out £200 cash fee-free per month, but the real pain with Revolut is using it over the weekend and the extra fees you get hit with on that plus a mark-up on any lesser used currencies like Thai Baht.
TW and Revolut are good for holding different currencies and sending those currencies to other people if you need to. But generally when you need to withdraw cash or use your card for transactions, Starling comes out on top. You can withdraw £300 fee-free per DAY and there are no hidden fees on weekends or illiquid currency mark-ups. Also the customer service beats Revolut hands down IMO.
A good tip on another provider is Azimo. I’m currently in Argentina at the moment and all ATMs charge a fee, some as much as 10%! But with Azimo you can send money to yourself to pick-up at certain points and the FX rate commission and fee is way less than withdrawing cash or using someone like Western Union. Unfortunately TransferWise don’t offer this yet. You can also transfer money like with TW and they operate in lots of different countries. Don’t think you can hold currency though unfortunately.
I managed to find a promo code so my first transaction had zero fees and £10 off so actually got a better deal than the interbank rate. Seems like you also do a lot of travel so if you’re interested PM me as I now have a referral code.
Can you build up a credit history with any of the fintech banks?
As long as you have an overdraft or loan then yes. Monzo report to transunion and starling to all 3 major (I think). If you don’t have a lending product it’ll report you have an account but that makes little difference really
I’m not sure just using a fintech with an e-money license makes any difference
Too true on the withdrawals and on the currencies you can hold.
On withdrawals, it is limiting. Although the banks do incur costs for these. So either your bank is absorbing them (charging you somewhere else or losing money) or passing them on to you. At the moment travelling in NZ and I can get away without cash 99% of the time and just pay with card (and getting 1% metal back). But can see in some countries cash is still required.
Generally to date I have been using Revolut in countries I can pre buy and hold currency, so avoiding weekend purchases is just something I generally do, given the FX market is closed. I can see if the currency isn’t available then it poses a challenge and cost if you need to use the card in the weekend, particularly if buying something expensive.
Ultimately no one card has solved the banking profiteering yet…however, I can say that both Revolut and Transferwise have saved me significantly vs. using my UK high st banks over the last five years…even if there have been a few fees here and there vs. the built in margins of FX transactions. The biggest saving was a house deposit I had to move internationally.
Customer service comes down to the experience…sounds like you had a shite experience. sorry to hear. I’ve had a few blocks on Revolut over the years to be re-verified which is a bit of a pain. But I approach them with the fact they are both relatively new and not perfect. I still pull out what little hair I have left when going through the various voicemail options and hold music when calling my high street bank…that is the base I use when assessing the Neobanks.
Thanks for the offer on the promo. Currently have cards and accounts coming out of my ears…
Enjoy the travels!
I’d highly recommend Argentina, especially if you like the outdoors of NZ. It’s a bit cheaper here as well, although not by much! I loved my time in NZ, I hope you’re enjoying your travels!
On this trip I’ve been around SE Asia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and a lot of South America and cash is still very much king in a lot of of the cou tries I’ve visited. If you can pay by card then there is often a 3-5% commission chucked in on top. Argentina has been
refreshing in that it hasn’t been the case, which is an improvement since I was last here a few years ago. So largely I’ve been relying on cash withdrawals and researching the 1 or 2 free ATM providers in each country so I can avoid all fees.
I went travelling for a year before and racked up about £1k in card fees so wanted to avoid that this time, so went for cards that don’t charge on withdrawals or transactions. I’m not wedded to any particular brand and only signed up to free accounts so don’t
care too much if the bank absorbs the costs as it isn’t passing them on to me in any other way. Starling therefore is definitely my best bet given the withdrawal limits on other options. But I still have Monzo, Revolut and TransferWise cards so can make the
most of those £200/mth withdrawals if Starling changes its policy (like Metro did last time I was travelling) or I lose the card. I know it is likely a temporary benefit as all other cards that have offered basically unlimited free withdrawals have found it
too costly and moved to a limited amount per month.
I also found a Barclaycard credit card that allows free cash withdrawals and doesn’t charge you interest from day 1, which I think must be the only UK credit card to do so.
I’ve found TW very useful for bank transfers in different currencies, although trying to figure out what the cost of transfers are in advance can be tricky without just plugging in the numbers into the app, as the fee structure seems to differ between each
currency pairing and depending on what method of transfer you use. But it has saved me money vs using PayPal because a lot of companies that allow PP payments now seem to chuck higher a commission on top as well, passing that cost back to the customer. I’ve
used it to hold some currencies that you can’t hold in Revolut as well, which has helped hedge a bit too.
I use Revolut to occasionally hold currency (usually USD) to hedge against a fall in the £ (something that seems to have happened regularly very recently given the Brexit uncertainty). But I haven’t been able to hold most currencies of the countries I’ve visited
so still need to change up from USD, incurring a fee if I’ve reached my £5k limit or it is the weekend. And half the time I don’t know what day it is whilst I’m away so don’t want to make a mistake in using Revolut on the wrong day. So have largely avoided
it for everyday transactions so far. I can totally see the benefits if you can hold the currencies of the countries you visit (and hopefully they add more) and the £5k/mth limit is very generous and more often than not would be enough. I’ve also used it to
dip in and out of crypto every now and then, just for a bit of fun, even if the spreads aren’t the best.
Completely agree on the costs of the high street banks - like you I’ve got cards coming out my ears but I made sure to leave those ones behind! I effectively use my neobank cards like cash cards, just topping up when necessary, which I feel gives me a little
bit more security to protect my main bank account.
I didn’t really use the neobanks before going away, I actually quite like how much easier they are vs the likes of HSBC so will probably switch most of my use when I get back. I’d say even Revolut’s customer service is better than HSBC who constantly blocked
my card when I went travelling before, despite me telling them when and where I was going, multiple times!
Initially I have used TransferWise but now using the Transfergo free transfer feature and the amount I receive after conversion is high with Transfergo.
The co-founder of N26, must be a big fan of the show:
“In all honesty, profitability is not one of our core metrics,” he told the Financial Times. “In the years to come we won’t see profitability, we’re not aiming to reach profitability.”
Russ Hanneman - “…It’s not about how much you earn, it’s about what you’re worth. And who’s worth the most? Companies that lose money. Pinterest, Snapchat - no revenue. Amazon…”