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The continued rise of digital banks

Most banking transactions today are done from the comfort of home. The digital age allows almost unlimited accessibility to such transactions, without the need to physically visit branches, which has led to the increasing growth of digital banks that offer their services only online.  Companies such as Revolut, Manzo or Monese are enjoying immense popularity, especially with the younger generation. However, this transformation also poses new challenges. Our digital footprints are everywhere and therefore securing our financial data is key.

Rapid growth of online banks

Undoubtedly, the most well-known bank of this nature in our country is Revolut. In February this year, the number of the bank's customers exceeded 40 million, 28 million of which were in Europe. The company currently operates in 35 countries around the world. According to Vytautas Danta, deputy CEO and member of Revolut Bank's management team, what is groundbreaking is that the bank has a single core platform for all countries and products, allowing it to adapt to customers based on their region.[1] Revolut gets most of its revenue from interchange fees, which amount to 0.2% of each transaction. It focuses mainly on European markets, while gradually expanding into other countries.[2]Another popular online bank is Monzo, which had more than 9 million customers at the end of 2023, adding about 2 million in the past year. Monzo offers various services such as mortgage monitoring, an investment platform or a Call Status tool for fraud prevention.[3] Monese is also gaining a lot of users, reaching 2 million customers in 2023. It's easy to open an account, doesn't require too many security steps and provides quick access to banking services or purchases.[4]

Traditional banks need to adapt

According to Rich Clow, director of innovation and strategy at Bank of America's global payment solutions, banks need to move towards an integrated approach that includes both digital and in-person services to meet customer demands. Customers are increasingly inclined to use their mobile devices and electronics to conduct banking transactions, but they also value the ability to interact in person and receive expert advice in traditional bank branches. The integration of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence is key in creating new products and services to help customers achieve their financial goals. These technologies also help with transaction security and fraud prevention.[5]


The rise of digital banking at the time of Covid-19

Despite online banking, brick-and-mortar branches have still not disappeared, but they are gradually transforming as consumer behaviour has changed. They are increasingly inclined to conduct banking transactions online, and it is this convenience that has become a key factor in the widespread implementation of digital banks.[6] These developments accelerated most during the Covid-19 pandemic, when people were forced to stay at home and physical bank branches were closed. Online transactions and payments became the primary mode of using banking services. Entities that did not adapt quickly to this change began to fall behind the competition. Although the pandemic has greatly enhanced the impact of digital banking, traditional banks have not completely disappeared as some believed. Customers still prefer face-to-face contact, especially for larger banking transactions, as they find this approach safer, while the online space faces security threats and fraud.[7] Moreover, many people still do not have access to online services or the skills to navigate the digital space. This is particularly the case for the older generation or poorer communities.

Preferences of different generations

According to a study titled Use of e-banking by Generations X, Y and Z by AHFE International, today's younger generation is addicted to digital tools and that includes banking. The study highlights the need to understand the different needs of these generations, which should help banks to better tailor their services. Each generation has different priorities and expectations. The older generation focuses on better accessibility of services, the middle generation uses digital banks to research financial markets, while the youngest generation mostly just transfers funds. Understanding these needs is key for banking service providers to keep up with the rapidly changing ecosystem.[8]


We can conclude that digital banking represents the future and it is necessary for standard banks to adapt to new trends if they want to stay in the game. Making payments and other transactions has never been more convenient and efficient. But there is also the issue of security, as the online space is a sensitive place where users can easily fall victim to various scams and cyber-attacks. At the same time, it is clear that personal access is still an important part of banking as a whole, especially for services with a more complex nature.

Adam Austera, Chief Analyst at Ozios

[1] https://www.fintechfutures.com/2024/03/from-start-up-to-unicorn-the-rise-of-revolut/#:~:text=With%20the%20vision%20of%20making,Yatsenko%20created%20Revolut%20in%202015.&text=In%20just%20nine%20short%20years,operates%20in%20over%2035%20countries.

[2] https://www.businessofapps.com/data/revolut-statistics/

[3] https://www.eu-startups.com/2024/03/london-based-digital-bank-monzo-raises-e397-milion-to-fuel-product-roadmap-and-diversification-strategy/#:~:text=The%20round%20follows%20a%20period,well%20as%20400%2C000%20business%20customers.

[4] https://getlatka.com/companies/monese

[5] https://www.pymnts.com/news/digital-banking/2024/bank-of-america-digital-evolution-demands-high-tech-and-high-touch-approach/

[6] https://www.pymnts.com/news/digital-banking/2024/banks-invest-in-digital-differentiation-to-remain-relevant/

[7] https://www.globalbankingandfinance.com/the-evolution-of-consumer-banking-preferences/

[8] https://openaccess.cms-conferences.org/publications/book/978-1-958651-91-9/article/978-1-958651-91-9_24


The material herein is considered as marketing communication under the relevant laws and regulations, and as such is not a subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and should not be construed as containing investment advice, or an investment recommendation, or an offer of or solicitation for any transactions in financial instruments. The published content is intended for educational/informational purposes only. It does not take into account readers’ financial situation, personal experience or investment objectives. APME FX Trading Europe Ltd makes no representation that the information provided is accurate, current or complete; and therefore, assumes no liability for any losses arising from investments based on the supplied content. The past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

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