Challenger banks are online, internet, or digital banks. They are competing against more traditional, incumbent banks, which is where they get the name “challenger” from. These challenger banks are hard at work across the world, using digital technology to disrupt traditional banking business models and streamline retail or small business banking. These organizations have achieved success in recent years due to their ability to provide faster onboarding and customer service, lower fees, and a better user experience than physical bank branches. Challenger banks are typically built on top of Banking as a Service technology providers.
Below are 20 of the most popular challenger banks around the world, based on the number of mobile downloads (Google Play) and rating (Apple’s App Store):
Neon: Neon operates a digital bank in Brazil whose mission is to unite technology and design to redesign and simplify people’s financial experience. (10M+ installs – Google Play / 4.2 rating on App Store)
Nubank: A Brazilian neobank and the largest Fintech in Latin America, and one of the most innovative companies in the world, according to the 2019 Fast Company ranking. (10M+ installs – Google Play / 4.1 rating on App Store)
Kakao: Kakao Bank, one of South Korea’s first digital-only banks. (10M+ installs – Google Play / 3.6 rating on App Store)
Revolut: A UK-based challenger bank to help you better manage your money with spending analytics. (5M+ installs on Google Play / 4.8 rating on App Store)
Chime: A US-based challenger bank that provides access to mobile and online banking with no hidden fees. (5M+ installs on Google Play / 4.8 rating on App Store)
Dave: Dave is a mobile-only deposit account aimed at helping young savers build their credit, prevent overdrafts, and learn to budget. (1M+ installs – Google Play / 4.8 rating on App Store)
Varo: Varo is a mobile banking app with free checking, high-yield savings, a free ATM network, and a full suite of budgeting tools. (1M+ installs – Google Play / 4.8 rating on App Store)
Starling Bank: A digital, mobile-only, challenger bank based in the United Kingdom. It focuses on current and business account products. (1M+ installs – Google Play / 4.8 rating on App Store)
Monese: A UK company that offers current accounts and money transfer services as an alternative to traditional banks. (1M+ installs – Google Play / 4.8 rating on App Store)
C6 Bank: C6 Bank is a new bank with no physical agencies. The company is born with the purpose of surprising people with true relationships, transforming the banking industry. (1M+ installs – Google Play / 4.7 rating on App Store)
N26: A mobile bank, helping you manage your bank account on-the-go, track your expenses, and set aside money in real-time. (1M+ installs on Google Play / 4.6 rating on App Store)
BankMobile: A leader in mobile banking, BankMobile provides a digital banking platform with checking and savings accounts, a great mobile banking app, and more. (1M+ installs on Google Play / 4.4 rating on App Store)
Bunq: bunq is the bank that saves you time and takes control over your money. You’ll always know what’s going on with your finances. (1M+ installs – Google Play / 4.4 rating on App Store)
Monzo: An online bank based in the United Kingdom helps you understand and control your money effortlessly. (1M+ installs on Google Play / 4.2 rating on App Store)
Current: Current is a mobile bank with a Visa debit card that gets you paid up to two days faster and gives you free overdraft up to $100 with no hidden fees. (500k+ installs – Google Play / 4.7 rating on App Store)
Simple: Simple is online banking with superhuman customer service and tools to help you easily budget and save, right inside your account. (500k+ installs – Google Play / 4.4 rating on App Store)
Aspiration: Earn and save more every single day. Compared to big banks and Wall Street, your Aspiration cash management account offers up to 100 times higher interest. (100k+ installs on Google Play / 4.8 rating on App Store)
Atom: Atom Bank is the UK’s first bank built for smartphone or tablet, without any branches. (100k+ installs – Google Play / 4.6 rating on App Store)
Cashplus: Where opening your current account can be as quick and painless as ordering your Friday night takeaway from your favorite delivery app. (100k+ installs – Google Play / 3.0 rating on App Store)
Oxygen: Oxygen is the banking solution for free thinkers, rebels, and entrepreneurs. Get flexible banking, along with real money cashback and a line of credit. (50k+ installs – Google Play / 4.6 rating on App Store)
Easily Build Banking Apps and Components with Hydrogen
Whether you are looking to create the next N26, NuBank, Chime, or any other challenger bank app or if you want to add banking functionality to your existing tool, Hydrogen can help.
Our platform provides data storage, analytics, UI, and business logic, along with challenger bank APIs that are designed to be modular. This means you can mix and match elements until you have a desktop or mobile application that matches your vision for the future of banking.
With our APIs and no-code options, you can build a new application or connect your existing application with our BaaS integrations, financial calculators, customer onboarding, savings plan recommendations, overdraft alerts, virtual card and wallet integrations, and much more.
Start building the next great banking application or component today.