Episode 1 of “Money Bell”: Neobanks

Listen to the first episode of our brand new podcast "Money Bell by Exton Consulting" on Neobanks

This episode focuses on neobanks and their international expansion.

What does it take to build a neobank in 2021? What are the main challenges that neobanks are facing today? How are they expanding internationally, especially in Europe? Many questions we are going to discuss with our guests, Christoph Stegmeier and Frédéric Perrin – both partners at Exton Consulting from the Munich and Paris offices, and Marie Degrand Guillaud, Deputy CEO at Nickel.

Episode 1: Neobanks
Money Bell by Exton Consulting

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“If we talk a bit about numbers, we are now tracking about 300 neobanks globally, most of them still being active – there has not been a large number of neabanks dropping out or being acquired. The lion share of this 300 neobanks still sits in Europe with about a 100 neobanks. The countries are led by the UK, where we have clearly seen most activity in the last 5 to 10 years. But also a country like France has been extremely dynamic, we are counting today 24 neobanks both in BtoC and the BtoB world.”

Christoph Stegmeier

“If we go a bit beyond numbers, maybe the most interesting fact or insight from just tracking these 300 neobanks globally, has been that you can ultimately divide them into 2 categories, in 2 major business strategies. The first one I would call “Neobanks following the Amazon model” which is “scale scale scale” and eventually looking for profitability, and the second model which is much more similar to that of traditional banks, aiming for a much earlier breakeven and profitability. And we have seen over the last 12 to 18 months a significant shift from that first to that second model.”

Christoph Stegmeier

“What we are trying to build here with Nickel is to rebuild this freedom and this liberty of choice that our clients are willing to get just to live their lives. I think there are no other products that are as close as your bank account to your life, to your choices; and that’s why we just want to disintermediate the relationship between you and your money.”

Marie Degrand Guillaud

“We are actually profitable because we don’t have a freemium model: so our clients are paying from the first day, but they are just paying the right fee, and this is changing everything. We have a unique value proposition because we’re not targeting only the digital native, very young or urban segments that are very competitive, but we want to change the life of everyone.”

Marie Degrand Guillaud

“For us, for a French neobank to go abroad, I think the cultural gap is very challenging, so we start with countries we know, with largest markets that we know.”

Marie Degrand Guillaud

“We always think that in our rich countries there is no underserved, no underbanked segments but it’s totally wrong. If you look at the figures you will see that in France we have a banking rate at 88 % of the population that has a bank account but they don’t always have the payment tool that is going with the bank account if they lack the reimbursement of a credit installment of something like that they can be very blocked in the system. We totally believe that we have a word to say and there is a segment for us in western Europe as well.”

Marie Degrand Guillaud