FinTech Futures is exploring the challenger bank landscape in Spain.
With Spanish heavyweights like BBVA and Santander making great investments in new technologies (as well as in challenger banks), and a number of banks finding inspiration in the innovators abroad, the Iberian country is looking well-placed to disrupt the “traditional banking” model.
We’ll be revisiting and updating this list on a regular basis. If you have any additions to the list, please get in touch with our editorial team.
Last updated: 25 February 2019
2Gether Global is a “collaborative banking platform” app based in Spain, now available in its home country following the launch of its open beta in January 2019.
However, it doesn’t define itself as a bank, but as a banking platform. It was founded by Salvador Casquero, Salvador Carrillo, and Luis Estrada in 2016. Its CEO is Ramon Ferraz.
The basis of the model is the 2GT token, which can be acquired through the app. Users need to hold a minimum of €10 worth of 2GT to access the services, and they get rewarded for their contribution in 2GT. When regulations allow in the future, 2Gether aims to decentralise ownership among the 2GT holders.
This coin is regulated by the Maltese authorities, as it’s the only country in the EU with blockchain regulation.
Bnc10, whose wordplay works in Spanish, Catalan and English, is based in Barcelona. It was co-founded in July 2018 by Jordi Dominguez, CEO, a long-term banker with experience in HSBC, Societe Generale and USAA; and William McCahey, COO, who has worked at Australian bank NAB and Scottish Clydesdale Bank.
Bnc10 has already opened up a waiting list for potential customers. “Welcome to the new era of banking with values and zero commissions,” it states.
It is mobile-focused, offering chat banking and WhatsApp banking through its app.
The bank doesn’t have its own banking licence, but instead is relying on a licence of an undisclosed established bank.
According to Bnc10’s CEO, Bnc10 has found a “seven-digit figure” of funding from an undisclosed investor.
Bnext is a digital and mobile bank that has openly admitted to be following the beat of UK’s Monzo.
The Bnext co-founders are Juan Antonio Rullán, CTO; and Guillermo Vicandi, CEO, who has experience at BBVA and ING.
By 2017, the bank had under ten staff, and a beta version was out on the market with 1,000 customers in Madrid and Barcelona. It also completed a Crowdcube round of €130,000, alongside a €170,000 from investment funds.
In 2018, Bnext closed a financing round of €1.5 million with the aim of reaching 100,000 active customers.
Banking Technology understands that Bnext is using a third-party licence.
Bunq is a new digital bank from the Netherlands which launched in its home country in 2015, and announced its expansion into Spain and Italy in 2018. The CEO and founder, Ali Niknam, said at the time the move to the new countries followed Bunq’s “successful growth” in the Netherlands and Germany.
In September 2014, Bunq obtained its official banking permit with the Dutch Central Bank. In November 2015, the app was available to the public.
It offers an account, through which the user can send payments to IBANs, contacts’ phone numbers and e-mail addresses, among other payments features. It also offers up to three different cards, Maestro or debit Mastercard, as well as being available for businesses.
The bank has its in-house developed core banking software and relies on a limited number of third party suppliers for its technology. Among these is Veridium, which provides the bank with biometrics software.
EVO Banco is a Spanish bank based in Madrid, created by NCG Banco in March 2012. As part of its launch campaign it introduced its main financial product: “The Smart Account”.
The following year, NCG Banco sold the EVO Banco division to a US private equity firm, Apollo Global Management, for €60 million.
In 2018, Spain’s Bankinter bought EVO Banco. Since then, it has become the testing grounds for Bankinter, as well as a new channel to target younger demographics.
It is understood that Bankinter’s online portal Coinc will be integrated with EVO’s mobile app, which has now also fully launched a smart voice assistant.