Neo-banking market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR from 2022-2029.
Neobanks are financial institutions that digitally offer a wide range of banking and financial services. Neobanks operate exclusively online without any physical infrastructure. Neobanks rely on the use of fintech to provide banking services. Neobanks typically provide all the major services traditional banking institutions offer, such as savings and checking accounts, credit cards, payment and fund transfer services, vehicle and personal loans, mortgages and investment and insurance products.
Due to their lack of physical presence, neobanks typically have lower operating costs. Therefore, they can offer many banking services at lower charges than traditional banks. With increased digital penetration and cheaper internet services, neobanks are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to traditional banks and financial institutions.
The neobanking demand is mainly driven by the global demand for simplified banking services. Cybersecurity and data privacy concerns are key factors in limiting this market's growth.
Increasing global demand for simplified banking services
Growing dissatisfaction with traditional banking services is being observed globally. The dissatisfaction is more acute in developed regions such as North America and Europe. People face various hindrances in accessing traditional banking services. Cumbersome account opening process and hefty service charges lead to high customer dissatisfaction. Furthermore, traditional banking loans and other credit facilities are often exploitative and predatory, with high-interest rates, hidden charges and unethical debt collection methods.
The growing dissatisfaction with traditional banking has led to consumers' growing adoption of neobanking globally. Neobanks do not maintain any physical infrastructure and digitally present all their services. Neobanks generally have lower charges and a no-frills approach to offering banking services. Neobanks give utmost priority to customer service and satisfaction.
The penetration of smartphones and cheap internet services, especially in developing regions such as Africa and Asia-Pacific, leads to the growing adoption of neobanking services. Many young adults are opening their first bank accounts through neobanks, mainly due to the simplified digital process, which removes the hassle of cumbersome paperwork of traditional banks. The adoption of neobanking is likely to increase in the coming years due to rapid advances in financial technologies. The growing global demand for simplified banking services is a key driver for the growth of the global neobanking market
Cybersecurity and data privacy concerns
Neobanking services have proven popular due to their no-frills approach and simplified operating process. Neobanking relies heavily on adopting and integrating the latest digital technologies to improve customer experience. The heavy reliance on technology has raised concerns regarding cybersecurity and data privacy.
A lot of personal user data is required for opening and authenticating a bank account in the neobanks. Data privacy legislation has not yet caught up with advancements in technology. It raises concerns about the potential misuse of user data by neobanks. Similarly, cybersecurity is another major concern regarding neobank operations. Many neobanks are startups that are barely a few years old and rely heavily on venture capital funding for operations.
Neobanks may not have the funds to adopt the latest robust cybersecurity measures, leaving them vulnerable to cyberattacks. A cyberattack on a neobank could lead to catastrophic financial losses for the bank and its customers. Despite increased convenience, many people are hesitant to avail the services of neobanks due to security and privacy concerns. The cybersecurity and data privacy concerns limit the adoption of neobanking services and present a major challenge for the growth of the global market.
COVID-19 impact analysis
The COVID-19 pandemic had a positive impact on the global neobanking market. Normal routines and daily lives were disrupted due to the pandemic restrictions. Bank branches of traditional banks were closed and customers had to migrate to digital banking channels. Many customers of traditional banks faced difficulties in migration due to the cumbersome process and various bureaucratic policies instituted by banks.
The popularity of neobanks increased greatly during the pandemic. Since neobanks operate digitally without physical presence, the pandemic restrictions had minimal impact on operations. Many first-time customers opted to open accounts with neobanks for ease of use and increased convenience.
With the receding of the pandemic, neobanks face increasing competition from traditional banks and financial institutions. Many of them have utilized the pandemic experience to pursue digital-based growth strategies. Many traditional banks have rolled out digital banking services with zero balance and low service charges to compete with neobanks.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic positively impacted the global neobanking market, the market is expected to face significant challenges and increased competition. The pandemic is expected to aid the medium and long-term growth of the global neobanking market. The demand for neobanking services remains strong, especially in developing regions and the market is expected to grow significantly in the coming years.
The global neobanking market is segmented into account type, service, application and region. The neobanking market by account type is further segmented into business account and savings account. Savings account is leading in this segmentation since it is the most widely adopted neobanking account type.
Neobank's savings account offers many advantages for consumers over a traditional savings account. The consumer cannot maintain a balance within the account, whereas traditional banks have a minimum balance requirement. Furthermore, savings account-related services such as issuing debit cards and checkbooks are offered at modest and nominal rates instead of the hefty charges of traditional banks.
Consumers who maintain high account balances in neobank savings accounts are often made eligible for loans, credit cards and other financing options at extremely attractive interest rates. With the integration of the latest digital payment technologies, neobanks offer instant real-time payment and fund transfer services. Traditional banks have been slow in adopting new and emerging financial technologies, which has given a major competitive advantage to neobanks. Adopting savings accounts from neobanks is expected to accelerate in the coming years.
Asia-Pacific has a leading regional share in the global neobanking market. Asia-Pacific is a rapidly industrializing region undergoing sustained economic growth. The region has a large tech-savvy young adult population, the main target demographic for neobanks. The adoption of emerging financial technologies is driving the growth of the neobanking market in Asia-Pacific. Many neobanks have emerged in the region in recent years. China, India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Singapore have some of the largest markets for neobanks.
Neobanks are formulating customized neobanking services to suit various income classes. Neobanks are offering simple, no-frills services to drive growth among first-time customers. Many governments in Asia-Pacific have rolled out national financial inclusion programs and neobanks have partnered with governments to provide banking services to the poor and unbanked.
The proliferation of smartphones and cheaper internet services across Asia-Pacific is a key factor in the growing popularity of neobanks in the region. With a large young population and rising technological innovation, Asia-Pacific is expected to become a key market for neobanking. The market for neobanking in Asia-Pacific is expected to expand significantly in the coming years.
The global neobanking market is competitive due to the availability of various neobanking services that cater to different consumer requirements. Some major players contributing to growth in the market are Atom Bank PLC, Monzo Bank Ltd, SoFi Technologies, Inc., Nu Pagamentos S.A, Revolut Inc., Tinkoff Bank, N26 GmbH, Ubank, Fidor Bank and WeBank Co., Ltd. The players in the global neobanking market adopt several growth strategies such as launching new banking services, regional and global expansion, collaborations and government tie-ups to contribute to the growth of the industry.
SoFi Technologies, Inc.
Overview: SoFi Technologies, Inc. is a U.S.-based financial technology company offering various online banking and finance services. SoFi Technologies, Inc. was founded by a group of students at the Stanford Graduate School of Business with the goal of offering simplified banking services to the public. The company provides auto and student loans, home mortgages, investment and insurance products, personal loans, loan refinancing, credit cards and bank accounts. The company is currently expanding its user base by introducing new banking services. SoFi Technologies, Inc. was established in 2011 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California, U.S.
• SoFi Checking Account is the company's flagship checking account for individuals and businesses. The account has no minimum balance fees and no overdraft charges. The account has an annual interest rate of 1.25%. The account also comes with a pre-loaded credit card which can be used at select partner stores to earn up to 15% cashback. The credit card can also be used to withdraw cash at a network of more than 55,000 ATMs across U.S.
• In April 2020, SoFi Technologies, Inc. acquired 8 Limited, a Hong Kong-based investment services company, for US$ 16.1 million. It was the company's first major acquisition outside U.S. and is intended to aid its expansion in Asia-Pacific.
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