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What is Neobank? All you need to know

A neobank is basically a digital bank without any physical branches. It is entirely online without being present at any specific location.

Abhinav Ranjan Abhinav Ranjan @abhinav_1108
New Delhi Published on: July 20, 2021 12:29 IST
neo bank
Image Source : FREEPIK (EDITED)

What is Neobank? All you need to know 

Neo banking is gaining popularity in India as well as across the world. There is a new player in the market every day who primarily intends to simplify financial services to a large extent. As the financial ecosystem is shifting towards focusing more on customer experience and satisfaction, it has led to a gap between what conventional banks offer to what the customers expect. And it’s the neobanks that are striving to bridge this gap.

What is a Neobank?

A neobank is basically a digital bank without any physical branches. It is entirely online without being present at any specific location. It covers within its ambit various financial service providers who cater to present day tech-savvy customers. Neobanks can be understood as fintech firms providing digitised and mobile-first financial payment solutions and money transfers, money lending and so on.

Instead of being physically present at a particular location, neo banking is entirely online. It is an umbrella of financial service providers who attract today’s tech-savvy customers. Neobanks do not have a bank license of their own but rely on bank partners to offer bank licensed services.

Why Neobank?

Unlike the traditional banking systems, these banks comprise a completely different and unique business model as they marginally make money between money lending and inflow. Neobanks are highly customer-centric and provide customized services to their customers backed by technology.

Neobank entails digital banking services conveniently available at a palm’s touch. It is relatively secure as it uses advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), facial identification and biometrics. And all banking services are available in one click as they are linked with one portal.

Sam Gupta, CEO, RBP Finivis, said that when deciding on a neobank, customers should see if its value aligns well with them and also check if there are any bonus benefits. "The lightness of a digitised bank is the greatest benefit into itself."

Tips to Choose the Right Neobank: 

1. Do Your Research: Choosing the right bank is the most important financial decision. Hence, researching online should be the first thing to do. You will easily find expert and customer reviews for neobanks online. These reviews will include everything right from site experience and customer experience to rewards programs and interest rates.

2. Consider the Values: When choosing a neobank, make sure that the money you invest here aligns with your core values. Banks deposit your money and then re-invest it somewhere else. This is how they pay interest to the customers and make money for themselves. For example, a certain bank may invest your money in fossil fuels which might not really align with your values. So, go for a bank that spends your money in a way which makes you feel good about it.

3. Understand the Costs: Without any physical branches, the expenses of running a bank come down with a neobank. As a result, you can open a neobank account with lower transaction fees or withdrawal costs etc. Additionally, many neobanks offer customer-friendly budgeting tools by which we can track and reduce our expenses and avail services which help us save more money.

4. Interest Rates: Find out the different rates of interest offered by neobanks. Most of these banksprovide above-average interest rates, especially for their savings accounts. This is partly to incentivize customers to help them retain more capital. Neobanks also have lesser overhead and can offer more interest incrementally.

5. Find the Trade-offs: Just like other industries, it is natural that you will trust the tried and tested. A feeling of security comes with experience, which not many neobanks can offer currently. So, before you choose a neobank, check what innovation is in place for providing smoother and seamless services, and whether these are lighter and quicker to respond as well as reorient if challenged. 

READ MORE: Corporate Fixed Deposits vs Bank FDs: Difference, investment risk- All you need to know

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