Neobanks: Is the Mobile Experience Really that Far Ahead of Top Banks?

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30 November 2015
Stephen Greer


The rise of smartphones has brought a new banking business model: mobile-only neobanks. These startups seek to deliver the kind of customer experience that consumers have grown to expect from other industries.

Challenger neobanks like Moven, Simple, GoBank, Soon, UBank, Bluebird, and Bank Mobile enter the market with the promise of delivering a comprehensive financial offering with a modern customer experience, carving out a competitive advantage among institutions they say are poorly equipped and ill-suited to maneuver in a digital world.

In practice, how has this played out? Have the challengers been able to deliver on the promise of a more compelling digital experience? Have large banks been able to leverage their resources to keep up with the market, or have barriers kept them behind?

In the report Neobanks: Is the Mobile Experience Really that Far Ahead of Top Banks?, Celent examines apps at the top four traditional banks by assets (Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, and Citibank) with four prominent neobanks (Simple, Moven, GoBank, and Bluebird) across five dimensions:

  • Transact
  • Purchase
  • Connect
  • Experience
  • Learn

The industry is still far from seeing neobanks gather a significant share of the market, but they carry a few distinct advantages over traditional institutions that could enable success going forward.

“Conventions in digital are fast moving,” says Stephen Greer, an analyst with Celent’s Banking practice and author of the report. “Traditional institutions have found keeping up with trends in digital difficult, even as their business models succumb to even higher levels of digitization.”

This report contains 35 figures and five tables.

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Retail Banking
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Banking, >>Retail & Business Banking
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Asia-Pacific, EMEA, LATAM, North America