Whenever we talk about savings, finances, and growing wealth, the banks are the first things that come to mind. These institutions have been serving customers and clients all around the world since times immemorial but in their physical offices, complete with the traditional queues. However, with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the world of our outdoor activities has seen an unprecedented halt. Everything including our mandatory bank visits has taken a tumble and digital adoption has been the norm of the new normal. All of these gave enough reasons for the digital banking services to pave their own path holding the hands of the neobanks. These are digital banks for all the customers to reduce the hassles of the physical banking services.
Both the digital banks and neobanks have been getting a lot of support from the Indian government also in the world canvas. Speaking on digital banks and digital banking in the Union Budget 2022, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that 100% of the post office banks will be grouped into the core banking umbrella. This will mean that the post office banks and bank accounts would now be accessible through net-banking, mobile banking and ATMs. Furthermore, this would also extend the facility to transfer funds between post office accounts and bank accounts to the users online, with an aim of boosting the overall financial inclusion. Besides, Sitharaman has also mentioned that the government has also decided that it would mark 75 years of India’s independence by 75 digital banking units in distinct districts, which will be set up by scheduled commercial banks, thereby empowering the digital banking ecosystem further.
What are Neobanks?
Neobanks are direct banks that operate online and without physical banking offices. Neobanks offer all the banking services that the physical banks offer but are operated digitally or with the help of mobile-only platforms. Though the concept of Neobanks started to come into the limelight somewhere between 2013-15, it was only in 2017 that the term "neobank" was first coined.
Referred as "challenger banks" in the UK, neobanks are often distinguished from the "digital banks" in that the primary kind of banks or banking startups do not have any registered physical office and are entirely online or mobile-based. The digital banks, however, are mainly developed as a part of their physical banking parents. However, the terms digital banks and neobanks are generally used interchangeably. Neobanking is thus, a virtual banking experience in which the bank's entire service offering is virtual, from client onboarding to the most basic banking services.
Why are Neobanks rapidly becoming popular?
Neobanks are powered by the latest technology and digital platforms and are disrupting the banking system ever since they came into being. Here's what steers it past the traditional banking institutions:
- Neobanks are cost-effective
- They are convenient
- They are streamlined to remove all the hassles
- They bring in numerous rewards and other benefits
- These banks ensure instant banking
- The neobanks are future-proof
- They are nearly infallible or at least keep the human errors to a minimum
- They are powered by 24/7 customer service.
The Neobanking Industry
The global market size of neobanks and other alternative banks was valued at $35 billion in 2020, which is estimated to grow at an annual average rate (CAGR) of 47.7% to be valued at around $722.6 billion in 2028.
Though the first neo-banks to open in India were aimed to serve corporate companies and users, many fintech companies have introduced them to the retail market, aimed to serve the retail users. So, without further ado, here are India's top 12 neobanks.
Top 12 Neobanks in India
Here's listed the top 12 Neobanks that are operating in India:
Founders - Jitendra Gupta
Founded in - 2019
Jupiter is a bank that is built to serve the digital customers of today with a banking service that keeps pace with them. Founded by fintech veteran Jitendra Gupta, with Jupiter the users can create bank accounts in a flash. Furthermore, they can put their savings on auto-pilot mode in pots. They can also get real-time insights along with a comprehensive breakdown of their spending. Jupiter claims to have zero balance account facilities and extends instant supports for its users. Moreover, it also helps the users gain rewards on each transaction, which are equal to 1% of their debit card and UPI purchase value.
Founders - Sujith Narayanan and Sumit Gwalani
Founded in - 2019
With the tagline "Banking Just Got Smarter", Fi Money is designed as a neobank with secure digital banking services for the working professionals of today. Founded by the co-founders of GPay, Sujith Narayanan and Sumit Gwalani Fi offer smart zero balance savings account for the customers in a way that they can manage their money better. Along with easy savings options that help the users get interests up to 5.1%, Fi Money also brings them an assistant that can solve almost any of the user queries. Secure banking services and exciting rewards are some more benefits that the users can avail of with the help of Fi Money.
Founders - Vinay Bagri
Founded in - 2016
Founded in 2015 by the banking industry and payments expert Vinay Bagri Virender Bisht, Niyo boasts of "Making Banking Smarter, Safer and Simpler". Niyo brings a suite of useful banking products:
- Niyo X - An efficient app that offers the customers the facilities of savings and helps them manage wealth without hassles.
- Niyo Money - Empowered by robo-advisory, Niyo Money helps the customers grow and manage wealth.
- Niyo Global - With Niyo Global the customers need not worry about round-the-clock support along with earning upto 5% interest against their savings.
- Niyo Bharat - Marketed as an open banking platform Niyo Bharat is an app that ensures salary cards for the employees.
Founders - Dr. Neeraj Sheth
Founded in - 2015
Driven by the tagline "Your Digital Health Passport", Dr. Neeraj Sheth founded OCareNeo to help this generation focus on their medical needs. OCareNeo helps its customers dive into their digital health journey with which they can get instant access to their own health and that of their families along with the financial information. The company offers the unique facility of the Digital QR code that keeps the owner's health history and insurance details, along with Digital Card and Digital Piggy Bank to pay for the medical expenses and save for the health. Furthermore, OCareNeo also helps customers ensure their health via a list of secure and easy insurance policies.
Founders - Raj N
Founded in - 2020
ZikZuk is an Indian SME neo banking startup founded in 2020 by Raj N that is built with the aim of fostering the growth of Indian SMEs. Among its products and services, ZikZuk offers founderscard, a credit card that empowers business founders/entrepreneurs with the best credit scores by bringing numerous exciting rewards. Furthermore, ZikZuk also helps the company founders get unsecured credit to satisfy their immediate capital requirements. With ZikZuk the entrepreneurs can also get an easy way to manage their business finance. Connected banking is yet another facility that ZikZuk offers.
Founders - Ajeesh Achuthan, Mabel Chacko
Founded in - 2017
Open is a well-recognized digital business banking solution that is trusted by 20,00,000+ Indian businesses. Headquartered in Bengaluru, Open aims to simplify business banking. Founded in 2017, the Open business accounts offer VISA business cards that help in banking, payments management, accounting, and more. The company acquired another neobanking startup Finin on December 14, 2021, for $10 mn.
Founders - Suman Gandham and Sudheer Maram
Founded in - 2019
Finin is a modern neobanking startup founded in 2019 that strives to bring "a new approach to banking." The first-ever consumer-facing neobank offers easy account opening and management facilities via a comprehensive app. Powered by the latest Artificial Intelligence technology Finin also helps the users with clever insights to improve their finances. The company has recently been acquired by Open on December 14, 2021, and will result in adding value to Open and its band of SMEs.
Founders - Uday Kotak
Founded in - 2016
811 by Kotak or Kotak811 is a neobank-based banking concept that offers personal accounts with debit cards for individuals. Opened after November 8, 2016, the day of demonetization, which changed everything, Kotak Mahindra came up with this new concept of easy, online banking services for its customers via Kotak811, where the numbers reflect the date of demonetization. With the help of Kotak811, the residents of India can open mobile bank accounts that can be instantly opened and are paperless, easy to use, and can be easily handled.
Founders - Shailendra Agarwal
Founded in - 2013
Billed as India's largest neobanking platform, InstantPay offers full-stack digital banking services for businesses and individuals. Empowered with the slogan, "Banking for the New India", InstantPay extends easy banking options via which the users can spend, save and manage money online. Founded by Shailendra Agarwal in 2012, InstantPay strives to make banking an experience for the customers instead of an obligation that it seems like!
Founders - Harshil Mathur
Founded in - 2013
RazorPay X is a powerful and simple business banking alternative founded by Harshil Mathur, Founder, and CEO, in 2014. With a completely digital account, automatic payments, and payables, corporate cards, and deep financial insights all in one place, RazorPay X is built to supercharge the banking and finance of Indian companies.
Founders - Tahem Veer Verma
Founded in - 2019
North Loop is known as "The financial hub for India". Headquartered in San Francisco, US, and founded by Tahem Veer Verma in 2019, North Loop offers digital NRI banking facilities, being the first of its kind. The NRI banking startup brings all finance-related facilities under one app. With North Loop, the NRI customers can open their accounts easily within 5 minutes and get a wide range of banking services with enormous security.
Founders - Government of Singapore
Founded in - 2019
Digital banking services startup, Digibank was founded in 2019 by DBS Bank to help customers get all the banking services online. Billed as the world's best digital bank, Digibank lets users keep their money safe. Digibank also offers a unified platform for all banking customers to minimize the hassles. With Digibank the users can avail all these benefits and more with the help of a minimum average balance of Rs 5000.
What are neo banks in India?
Neo-banks are digital banks that do not have any physical branches. They provide financial services through apps on smartphones.
Who has founded Jupiter neo bank?
Neobank Jupiter was founded by Jitendra Gupta in 2019.
What are the top Neobanks in India?
Some of the top Neobanks in India are:
- Fi Money
- Kotak 811
- North Loop
Which Neobank acquired Finin?
Google-backed Neobank Open acquired Finin on December 14, 2021, in a cash and stock deal valued at $10 mn on December 14, 2021.
What is Neo banking Open?
Also known as Asia's first neo banking platform, Open brings business banking ease that comes with a VISA business card and blends banking, payments,
accounting, expense management and taxes, all in one place.
What is Niyo?
Niyo bank is often referred to as India's leading fintech company that is founded in 2015, and brings smarter, safer and easier banking for all. Niyo bank has served over 2mn customers now, as of March 2022.