Summary of our market study

The neobank market has witnessed a substantial rise with more than 10% of the French population holding an online account as of 2020, signaling a shift towards digital banking solutions. Despite the closure of physical branches by traditional banks and their move towards expanding digital offerings to compete with neobanks, many in France still prefer to use traditional banks as their primary financial institution. This preference is largely attributed to their attachment to in-person consultations with bank advisors and skepticism about entirely digital platforms and automated services (bots). Neobanks, on the other hand, are not just content with offering basic banking services; they are aiming to become fully-fledged banks by diversifying into products such as pension insurance, life insurance, and various credit products as part of their global strategy.

Analysis of Neobank Market Trends in France

The neobank market in France is currently experiencing a phase of significant growth and transformation. With the emergence of online banks that are primarily accessed via the internet and smart devices, there has been a shift in how banking services are consumed by the French public. In the year 2020, it is evident that more than one person in every ten in France has opened an online banking account, showcasing a shift towards digital banking solutions. Nonetheless, online banking still holds the position of a secondary banking option for most citizens, as a considerable number still rely on traditional banking institutions for their primary financial needs.

Traditional banks in France have not remained passive in the face of this change; they are seen to be actively closing physical branches to cut costs and are expanding their own digital offerings in an attempt to compete with these emerging neobanks.

The strategy of the new banks is ambitious – they are not content to offer basic banking services but are looking to become full-fledged banks themselves by diversifying their range to include products such as pension insurance, life insurance, and various credit products.

However, it is important to note that there is a significant segment of the French population that remains hesitant to fully embrace online banking. This reluctance is rooted in a preference for the personal touch of physical bank advisors, as well as concerns and distrust regarding the reliance on digital technology and the use of bots for communication.

In sum, the neobank market in France is marked by a blend of rapid digital adoption by a noteworthy segment of the population, vigorous responses from traditional banks, and a lingering sense of hesitation from a fraction of the populace who remain loyal to the conventional banking model.

The Vanguard of Virtual Banking: Key Market Players Revolutionizing the French Financial Landscape

The French banking sector is witnessing a monumental transition as a multitude of neobanks carve their names into the financial market with innovative online services. These avant-garde entities are reshaping the traditional banking experience, offering customers the convenience of branchless banking through sleek apps and cutting-edge platforms. The neobanks are expanding their footprint by not only catering to digital natives but also by diversifying their services to potentially become the primary banking choice for the wider population. In this chapter, we will highlight the principal actors that are leading the charge in the French neobank market.

  • N26: Originating from Germany, N26 has successfully captured the French market's attention with its transparent fees and simplistic account management functionalities. Known for its intuitive mobile interface, N26 is appealing to tech-savvy consumers seeking efficient and hassle-free banking solutions.
  • Revolut: A major player hailing from the UK, Revolut offers a plethora of services including budgeting tools, instant payment notifications, and favorable exchange rates for international transactions. With a strong focus on innovation, Revolut is consistently adding new features, such as cryptocurrency trading, to appeal to a diverse client base.
  • Monzo: Also based in the UK, Monzo has made waves with its distinctive coral-pink cards and customer-centric banking services. Emphasizing user experience, Monzo's offerings range from savings pots to salary sorter features, all designed to provide users with greater control over their finances.
  • Starling Bank: Starling’s entry into the French market signals its ambition to be taken seriously on the international stage. With its robust in-app analytics and business banking options, Starling Bank is targeting a broad demographic from individual freelancers to small and medium-sized enterprises.
  • Orange Bank: The telecom giant Orange’s foray into banking brings its customer service expertise into the financial realm. By leveraging its existing infrastructure, Orange Bank provides a blend of digital convenience with the confidence of a well-known brand, enticing customers who might be reluctant to trust less established neobanks.
  • Hello bank!: A digital offshoot of the traditional banking conglomerate BNP Paribas, Hello bank! combines the trustworthiness of a big bank with the agility of online services. It offers a range of products including savings accounts and personal loans, making it an attractive option for those who prefer the backing of an established institution. 
  • Compte Nickel owned buy BNP Paribas is also a major and very successful actor of the french market
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 INTRODUCTION

A neobank refers to the emergence of new types of banks around the world, mainly online banks accessible via the Internet, on computers and smartphones. They provide simple access to accounts, simplifying transactions and customer interaction. The rise of neobanks is linked to the gradual disappearance of bank branches, insofar as neobanks offer remote banking services, without counters or branches to carry out operations.

Although more and more French people are turning to online banks, they are still often secondary banks, and many still use traditional banks as their main bank. While traditional banks are closing branches and expanding their digital offerings to compete with neobanks, neobanks are adopting a global strategy to become full-service banks, diversifying their product portfolios with provident insurance, life insurance and credit offers.

However, a significant proportion of the population remains reticent about online banks, as they remain attached to their physical banking advisors and have little confidence in "all digital" and the use of bots to communicate.

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Number of establishments registered under code 6419Z
  • Online banking secondary among French multi-bankers
  • Number of users of leading neo-banks
  • Market share of the top 5 neo-banks
  • Neo-bank losses
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Latest news

Revolut: the coming of age of a British success story - 18/01/2024
  • The company was founded in 2015.
  • In 2018, Revolut obtained its first banking license in Lithuania.
  • 25% to 30% of their business comes from the UK.
  • The company was valued at £33 billion at a fundraising in July 2021.
  • Revolut expects profits in excess of 300 million euros in 2023.
  • The company currently has 35 million customers, a figure it plans to increase tenfold over the next 5-6 years.
  • In Ireland, Revolut's adoption rate exceeds 50%.
  • Nearly 9 million customers were acquired by Revolut in the space of a year.
  • Currently, Revolut has almost 8 million customers in the UK, representing 12% of the population.
Revolut neobank plans to double sales in 2023 - 26/12/2023
  • Revolut reported net profit after tax of €6.7 million in 2022.
  • Revolut, founded in 2015, is now present in 38 countries.
  • By 2022, Revolut had gained nearly 10 million customers worldwide.
  • Sales increased by 45% in 2022, exceeding one billion euros.
  • Revolut should have 37 million customers in 2023, including 2.5 million in France.
  • Revolut's revenues should almost double compared to 2022, approaching two billion euros.
  • Revolut employs 8,000 people.
Revolut to almost double sales by 2023 - 22/12/2023
  • Revolut posted a net profit of £5.8 million in 2022
  • The fintech's net profit in 2021 was £26 million.
  • Revolut has over 35 million customers in 38 countries.
  • The fintech belongs to the club of companies with sales in excess of one billion euros.
  • Its revenues in 2022 reached £919 million, up 45% on 2021. Revenues are expected to almost double in 2023, with a forecast of £1.7 billion.
  • The fintech has begun offering consumer loans in France ranging from €1,000 to €50,000 for a term of 7 years.
  • Revolut has 2.5 million customers in France. Revolut intends to focus on organic growth rather than acquisitions.
Qonto ready to accelerate in France and abroad - 21/11/2023
  • Qonto currently has over 400,000 business customers, and is aiming to pass the million mark by 2025.
  • The company is well positioned with professionals, the self-employed and small SMEs, and is now targeting larger companies.
  • Qonto has 1,300 employees and plans to strengthen its teams dedicated to the French market.
  • The neobank plans to expand its partnerships in financial products, credit and potentially insurance.
  • Qonto is expanding rapidly in Germany, where it has just completed the integration of its rival, Penta.
  • The company was valued at 4.4 billion euros at its last financing round in January 2022, and raised 486 million euros in this round.
Nickel, the French low-cost bank aiming to conquer Europe - 25/09/2023
  • Founded in 2014, the Nickel account was acquired by BNP Paribas in 2017. Nickel is already present in Spain, Portugal and Belgium.
  • Nickel is aiming for 600,000 customers and 5,000 points of sale in Germany within the next five years.
  • Nickel employs 800 people. Nickel has been profitable since 2018, with net income of €7 million by 2022.
  • In France, Nickel's banking offer is distributed at a minimum annual subscription fee of €20, in 7,200 tobacconists.
  • 3.3 million people have opened a Nickel account, and the company expects to have 4 million account openings by 2024.
  • Two-thirds of Nickel customers have chosen it as their main bank.
  • The profile of Nickel customers is diverse: a third have banking problems, another third want to pay fewer bank charges, and the rest use Nickel as a secondary account.
  • At Nickel, the average annual banking bill is 70 euros.
  • Nickel plans to expand its product range to include term savings accounts, insurance and consumer credit.
  • Hello Bank! will soon be inviting 800,000 Orange Bank customers to join its ranks.
N26 relaunches its conquest of France - 06/07/2023
  • N26 aims to double the number of customers in France by 2025, from 2.5 million to 5 million.
  • Boursorama, Société Générale's online banking subsidiary, has around 5 million customers.
  • N26 expects to become profitable in 2024.
  • N26 hopes to double or triple the amount deposited by its French customers through more active account use.
  • N26 plans to offer a term account by the end of the year, with an interest rate of 2.26% in Spain.
  • British fintech Revolut has launched a consumer credit offer of up to 50,000 euros for its French customers.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Alma
Lydia
Nickel
Hello Bank !
Memo Bank
Qonto
Revolut
N-26
Bforbank
N26
Mangopay
Oney

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