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A new-wave of challenger banks

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  • A new-wave of challenger banks
Monzo, Starling and Revolut have locked down the challenger banking market.
Now smaller rivals are finding a foothold by offering niche, specialised services, from business accounts to fixed savers.
Bunq bank
This Dutch fintech has been around since 2015, but only landed in the UK a few weeks ago. Like other challenger banks, it has the usual features of a slick mobile app with instant notifications, automatic categorisation, easy bill splitting, and savings tools such as roundups.
Bunq has a few extra tricks to set it apart, notably the ability to have multiple sub accounts; any mobile bank can do this, but Bunq's sub accounts have their own IBAN, meaning they can be used for direct debits and online payments – and you can change which account links to your card. Bunq also links with Apple's Siri, for those who want to talk their way through their finances. Plus, the cards are designed to be vertical rather than horizontal – they've got to set themselves apart somehow, after all.
Tandem bank
Tandem doesn't just offer you a bank account, it works alongside your existing current account, pulling in your data to offer you advice on saving. This lets you stay at your high-street bank while still getting all the challenger features in a free app.
It also offers fixed savings account, letting you lock in a certain amount of cash to set aside for a specific amount of time, as well as credit cards. Tandem will analyse your spending, make a suggestion on how much you could set aside, and then let you do it. For those looking to track their spending and learn how to save better, Tandem could be a handy tool.
Monese bank
Monese offers current accounts; it isn't a bank, so deposits are not protected by FSCS but are held separately in a protected account. While Monese has challenger features such as up-to-date account balance and instant card management, not all of its accounts offer roundups.
What makes Monese stand out? There isn't much, to be honest – it's a cheap and easy to use spending card with a solid app. It's certainly a welcome realisation that's now the norm, though it may make solid startups like Monese struggle to get attention.
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A new-wave of challenger banks

A new-wave of challenger banks