Nordic challenger bank Lunar raises €40M, Monzo launches Monzo Premium and more

Mox Bank, a new virtual bank in Hong Kong backed by Standard Chartered, released a snapshot of their first month, announcing how they performed, transparently.

Some key figures about their first month:

  • Mox account opening record: 2 minutes and 57 seconds.
  • 55%+ accounts are opened outside traditional bank hours.
  • Most customers make deposits on Day 1 with Mox and their average deposit balance HKD 70.000+ (approx. $9.000)



This week's podcast recommendation is another great Wharton FinTech podcast episode. In this episode, Miguel Armaza interviews Stefan Moller, Co-Founder and CEO of Klar, a Mexican challenger bank working to democratize debit and credit in Mexico. Listen here.


App Annie, the leading mobile data and analytics company, released a report on Generation Z, How to Build a Winning Gen Z Strategy on Mobile, that reveals the mobile habits of this generation to help businesses understand and cater to this group. Gen Z is quickly becoming one of the world’s most powerful consumer segments – as one of the youngest generations, Gen Z amounts to a third of the world’s population and controls an estimated spending power of $143 billion annually. Link here.



The story of how Tom Blomfield left Starling Bank in 2015 to launch his own banking rival Monzo is a cornerstone of UK FinTech folklore. However, in the five years since, few details have ever emerged about what really happened, despite all those involved being asked countless times. Until now. In her new book Banking On It, Starling Bank CEO Anne Boden is setting out her version of those crucial moments in 2015, which would lead to the creation of her greatest business rival. Find out more here.


  • NEO Vs High Streets: What Can They Learn? Link here.


Monzo Bank is dipping its toe into the world of banking subscriptions for the second time as it launches Monzo Premium just over three months after relaunching its Monzo Plus subscription. Link here.

Lanistar, a UK challenger bank hopeful, has landed £15 million in funding from family members of Lanistar’s CEO, Gurhan Kiziloz. The start-up says the new capital injection puts its valuation at £150 million. “The £15 million investment […] was sold for 10% [which] pushed it [Lanistar] to a £150 million valuation pre-valuation,” a spokesperson tells FinTech Futures. Link here.

Family money app, gohenry, has released a new Teen account and card today in a bid to up the independence stakes for its customers aged 13 to 18. The Teen account builds on the existing gohenry app offer to give its 1 million plus members further financial freedom, along with a new sleek design for teen customers, who are offered the app upgrade when they turn 13. Link here.


Insha, the “account with principles”, has announced a seed financing round of €2.5 million, led by Turkish payment service provider Param. insha will use the money for European expansion, further develop its ethical banking product and strengthen the team at its headquarters in Berlin and Istanbul. Link here.

Leading enterprise connectivity platform Yapily has announced that it is working with BUX, Europe’s largest mobile broker. The new partnership will enable German users of BUX Zero to seamlessly fund their accounts and build an investment portfolio in a matter of seconds. Link here.

The B2B financial service Finom joined hands with Salt Edge, a leader in offering open banking solutions, to innovate business management processes for SMEs and professionals all over Europe. Link here.

Nordic challenger bank Lunar raises €40M Series C, plans to enter the ‘buy now, pay later’ space. The injection of capital follows a €20 million Series B disclosed in April this year and comes on the back of Lunar rolling out Pro paid-for subscriptions — similar to a number of other challenger banks in Europe — personal consumer loans, and the launch of business bank accounts in August. Link here.


Fiserv, Inc., a leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, announced First Women’s Bank, a de novo institution in organization with a strategic focus on the women’s economy through small business lending and other financial services, has selected Fiserv to enable the bank’s launch in early 2021. Link here.

Massachusetts-based PeoplesBank has enlisted cloud-based core banking provider NYMBUS to help it launch a digital-only subsidiary called ZYNLO® Bank. Zynlo is offering a digital fee-free account with features including a debit card purchase roundup offering that puts the difference into the customer’s savings account and an 'early payday' service which gives users access to their direct deposit funds up to two days in advance of deposit into their account. Link here.

Deel, a payroll and compliance platform enabling companies to hire anyone anywhere, announced Deel Advance, a new feature that allows Deel users to access their earnings up to 30 days in advance, without interest rates or traditional credit scoring. The new feature is the latest addition to Deel’s suite of solutions that make remote work accessible and desirable. Link here.


Expanding on its hugely popular buy now pay later (BNPL) offering, Afterpay will be offering money-management products to its 3.3 million customers in 2021. The FinTech will offer a savings account and other cashflow tools to customers through a new partnership with Westpac. Link here.

Australia’s neobanks have gone quiet during the pandemic, as low-interest rates and stalled launches erode their competitive advantage, but not Douugh. The fintech appears to be breaking the mold for digital banks in Australia, as it cuts a very different path. Link here.


Temenos, the banking software company, today announced that WeLab Bank, Hong Kong’s first homegrown virtual bank, has publicly launched using cloud-native Temenos Transact to provide a range of next generation digital services for customers to enjoy 24/7 from their mobile phones. Link here.

With an aim to help teenagers and young adults become financially smart at an early age as well as provide them banking solutions, FinTech company Walrus announces the launch of Signature Prepaid Debit Cards for teenagers. Issued by RBL Bank, this card is a Prepaid Card powered by Mastercard and can be used at any retail store in their neighborhood and for making online purchases at merchants like Flipkart, Amazon, etc. Link here.


Abu Dhabi investment firm ADQ plans to set up a digital bank with an initial capital of 2 billion dirhams ($545 million) after obtaining the legacy license of First Gulf Bank. First Abu Dhabi Bank, formed with the merger of First Gulf Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday its shareholders approved the transfer of the license to ADQ. Link here.

This ends my weekly digest. Let me know if there are any questions or news/insights worth mentioning in next week's digest. Until the next!

NOTE: This article was featured in my weekly newsletter on October 27th, 2020. Do you want to be the first to read the next weekly overview? Sign up for my Weekly Digital Banking Newsletter here.
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