A look into the key differences between two of the biggest growth areas in Fintech


Since the start of the new millennium, there have been an increasing number of online banks. The increase in internet banking was sustained by the September 11th attacks because financial firms were looking for new, non-airborne ways to transport money and checks. Right now, the statistics provided by challenger banks and neobanks are nothing short of amazing.

These two categories of banks will be worth more than $470 billion USD by 2027. Both phrases are frequently used to refer to a certain kind of financial organization. However, doing so is unfair to the two different kinds of banks. Neobanks only conduct business online, whereas challenger banks conduct the vast bulk of their transactions there.

Neobanks don’t have a physical location, which is the major distinction. While fewer than typical banks, challenger banks do have physical locations. Let’s look at some of the other differences between these two institutions.

The Key Differences

Challenger banks typically provide both personal and commercial accounts.

To make itself more user-friendly for online users, their functionality and financial services have been streamlined. Smaller organizations, these challenger banks got their name from their determination to take on the big banks. In the middle to late 2010s, the smaller, primarily internet banks began to “challenge” the larger, more conventional banks. Traditional banks had never seen the dedication to technology and personalization that challenger banks provided.

Customers and business owners started using these alternative banking institutions as a result.

Neobanks occasionally provide personal accounts, although often their main source of income is small- to medium-sized enterprises. They also have a sizable portion of new startups among their clientele.

Despite the fact that challenger banks are primarily online based, they do have a few physical facilities, which allows them to operate with a banking license. Neobanks don’t have this same license, on the other hand.

As a result, challenger banks can provide their clients with a wide variety of financial services. Options for credit cards and loans are among these services. Neobanks are technically capable of providing these services, but there is a catch. Before being allowed to offer these financial services, they must be in some way married to a traditional financial institution.

Some of the key traits of each of these banks are highlighted in the aforementioned examples. Having a list of examples can aid in providing a greater understanding of the nature and operations of these banks. These are some instances of the biggest participants in each sector when it comes to challenger banks and leaders in neobanking.

Except for their designation as a neobank or challenger bank, these banks are not classified or organized in any particular sequence.

The Good

Challenger bank accounts are simple to open and utilize quickly. These accounts have been streamlined for the greatest ease of use online.

The majority of challenger banks can get you registered, authorized, and conducting business in only fifteen to twenty minutes.

Compared to established banks and other institutions, challenger banks have significantly reduced fees.

Challenger banks are able to offer customers a comprehensive range of financial services thanks to their bank licenses. Challenger banks are permitted to include loans and credit cards in their membership offerings.

With neobanks, there are fewer rules and no credit checks. This usually means that the costs and fees associated with neobanks are the lowest of any financial institution.

Data is used by neobanks to forecast future account activity. This can help you create a budget or plan for trends in your business.

A smartphone app can handle all of your banking needs.

Crypto trading and purchasing are available on the majority of neobank platforms. Neobanking apps of today also function as cryptocurrency exchanges.

The Bad

For prospective consumers, many challenger banks still perform a credit check. You might not be as protected as you would be if you used a conventional bank. There typically isn’t a physical place where you may visit and speak with a banker face to face.

Neobanks can be challenging to use if you’re not tech-savvy. If something bad happens, there aren’t as many safeguards or legal options. An ATM network has no actual branches or connections. Cash deposits might be challenging.


Challenger banks are swiftly becoming into comprehensive financial organizations with all the frills of conventional banks while staying contemporary by embracing neobank innovation.

The majority of challenger banks do provide cash deposit locations with thousands of possibilities for ATM access, despite the fact that some customers may find the lack of physical facilities to be problematic.

While giving more SME alternatives and API tools for business owners, neobanks are still expanding their digital footprint.

Neobanks can be seen as a more well-rounded financial platform because they enable consumers to handle stocks and cryptocurrencies in addition to their regular banking needs. Challenger banks have enough attributes of a regular bank to offer a level of professionalism and security in terms of longevity and relationship-building.

Yes, it’s practical to experiment with stocks and cryptocurrencies while researching possible business trends. However, one of the primary objectives of having a history with a bank is to increase your financial standing, forge relationships with your institution on a personal level, and take advantage of credit-building opportunities.