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Top 8 Features of Digital-Only Banks You Should Look For

Recent news about pandemic and coronavirus shows that remote services are new kings. Self-isolated people and citizens on forced lockdown change their daily behavior. Earlier, you could visit any branch of your bank to get a consultation, issue a credit card, exchange currency, etc. Now, we start using apps and online services for these tasks.

Undoubtedly, you deserve a service that can solve your challenges with professional approach. From leading digital-only banks like Revolut or Monzo to innovative applications of traditional firms like BBVA or Wells Fargo, the market is full of offers. In this article, we want to discover the most useful features of mobile/digital banks in 2020.

Innovative Banks Are Rising

But let’s start with a quick overview of the current situation. Today, the global banking space features two categories of players:

  • FinTech startups. These teams realize the importance of remote customer service, so they opt for mobile banking apps and online solutions. They save on offices and often go branchless. As a result, FinTechs can provide the most innovative features with low fees. However, they still strive to earn solid customer trust.
  • Traditional banks. Unlike startups, established banking corporations evolve slowly. They have to change and offer innovations because of fiercer competition today. But they tend to stick to traditional channels like branches or telephony. And banks can afford such a slow transformation because they have their loyal users.

What’s interesting, FinTech startups aren’t green newcomers. Some of them are already well-known industry leaders. Look at PayPal. The company originated in 1998 and completed ICO in 2002. It’s one of the most successful FinTechs that leads in the sector of global payments now. It seems that digital-only banks will follow the same path in a little while.

Business Insider reports that so-called digital neobanks will increase their value, users, and accounts gradually. From $18.6 billion in 2018, this sphere is projected to rise to $63 billion in 2024. The number of users is forecasted to reach almost 100 million, showing four times growth in six years. And COVID-19 is likely to boost these rates.

Considering these estimations, you may be interested in switching to innovative banking services. Thus, let’s look at the most useful features of these banks.

Prominent Banking Features for Consumers

If you need a crash course on mobile-only modern banking, look no more. Below, we review all the essential and innovative features. Feel free to move through the list, spot the most critical points, and choose the service provider that meets your demands. Remember that both startups and major banks now offer mobile/digital features.

Well, here are the functions and benefits you may be interested in:

  • Budget planning. Application stores offer myriads of finance planning apps. Mobile banks often include this feature in their service, as well. The tools range from simple lists/calendars with spending tracking to professional tips and consultations.
  • Geolocation links. This part is more useful for traditional banks with mobile apps. They can integrate a map to show locations of the nearest ATMs and branches. Trackers are helpful, too, as they hint the shortest routes.
  • Image recognition. It’s a pretty convenient feature for remote interactions. With it, users can scan their IDs and licenses to open accounts. They also can scan receipts to track expenses or check credit cards to get their numbers automatically.
  • Lending services. Startups that rely on credit or loan products can outpace traditional lenders significantly. The thing is that mobile solutions approve and deliver loans much faster than banks. Surely, this benefit improves user experience.
  • Peer-to-peer payments. Yes, this category is familiar to many clients. Quick money transfers aren’t innovations but current industry standards. However, not all major banks have this feature, so startups still benefit from it.
  • Personal notifications. Hyper-personalization is a modern trend in customer experience. Banking apps can analyze your behavior, track location, and offer exclusive services like discounts on your beloved cake or info about the recent football game.
  • Stock and trading advice. Following the idea of comprehensive budget planning, banks enable personal wealth management features. Some apps come with trading suggestions that optimize investment strategies.
  • Voice payments. The rise of virtual assistants and voice recognition technologies affected the banking sphere, too. Many fresh and big banks already have voice payments based on Google Assistant or Siri.

Of course, don’t forget about more disruptive technologies. For example, blockchain is enabling the world of DeFi – decentralized finance. But this approach is even less widespread and trusted than mobile banking. Simultaneously, the reviewed features are turning into industry standards, so pay attention to them.

Moving to the Digital Environment

Thanks to open banking initiatives and due to the disruptive impact of COVID-19, the global finance industry is literally forced to transform. It’s clear now that customers will continue rejecting traditional services. More and more users will switch to remote banking through apps or sites. We can expect the rise of innovative digital-only banking soon. And it’s great because we will see more high-quality services from both startups and traditional banks!