Chime now has 5 million customers and introduces overdraft alternative – gpgmail


Challenger bank Chime has reached 5 million customers in the U.S. The San Francisco-based startup is creating an FDIC-insured mobile bank without any physical branch. The company also promises less fees.

Back in March, Chime said it had 3 million customers when it announced its $200 million Series D round. So that’s 2 million additional customers in roughly 5 months.

Chime says that it is the fastest growing challenger bank in the world. In other words, the company is throwing shade at European challenger banks, such as Monzo and N26, that have been doing really well too. N26 just entered the U.S. market.

The company is also rolling out a new feature that it has been testing for a while. Chime SpotMe is an alternative to bank overdrafts. It is specifically targeted at people who deposit their paycheck into their Chime account but also live paycheck to paycheck.

Chime users who receive payroll direct deposit of at least $500 per month can sign up to Chime SpotMe. After that, you can keep spending with your debit card even if your balance goes below $0. Your overdraft limit will depend on multiple factors but some users will be able to overdraw their account by $100.

When you next paycheck arrives, your negative balance is paid back and you don’t pay any overdrafts fee. The company says that you can also optionally leave a tip to help other Chime users make both ends meet.


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Bunq simplifies group payment tracking and adds analytics – gpgmail


European challenger bank Bunq is announcing a handful of updates today. You now get a better overview of your account with more insights on how you spend money. If you’re going on vacation with someone else, you can now choose to automatically add transactions to a Slice Group. There are also improvement to VAT management for business users.

Slice Groups are shared accounts for owners of the Bunq Travel Card. You can create a group with multiple Bunq users and then add expenses to the group. You can’t add money to a Slice Group directly. It is essentially a group accounting feature that lets you keep track of who paid for what, who has a positive balance and who has a negative balance.

While you could easily add Bunq transactions to a group, you still had to manually add them every time there are some new transactions. You can now turn on AutoSlice, a feature that lets you temporarily add all card transactions to a Slice Group.

In other news, Bunq wants to give you more information about your spending habits. It starts with a new feature called Bunq Insights. As the name suggests, your payments are now automatically categorized so that you can see a breakdown of what you do with your money.

When you travel, Bunq now gives you information about your travel destination, such as the exchange rate as well as tips and tricks for that country. Bunq users can add recommendations for other Bunq users.

And if you’re always wondering if you’re spending too much money after getting paid, Bunq now tries to predict how much money you’ll have left at the end of the month. The company analyzes your past transactions to predict how much you’re going to spend over the coming weeks.

Finally, Bunq is updating AutoVAT for business users who have to deal with VAT in Europe. In addition to setting aside VAT you’ll have to pay back, the app now counts how much VAT you’ve paid so far so that you know how much you can reclaim. By combining these two figures, you get the exact VAT amount for your taxes.


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Revolut ramps up customer support with plans to hire 400 people in Porto – gpgmail


Fintech startup Revolut has been growing like crazy and now has 6 million customers. The company has to scale its support team accordingly. That’s why Revolut just announced plans to open a customer operations centre in Porto, Portugal.

There are already 70 people working for Revolut in Porto. Eventually, Revolut plans to hire 400 people in the country. They’ll work on customer support, complaints, investigations and compliance.

And Revolut has been quite successful in Portugal so far. There are currently 250,000 Revolut customers in Portugal, and the company is adding 1,000 new customers per day in the country.

It should help when it comes to hiring local talent. The company is also hiring a growth manager, a communication and PR lead and a community manager in Portugal. Ricardo Macieira, the new growth manager, is the former country manager for Airbnb in Portugal. Rebeca Venâncio, the communication and PR lead, has worked for Microsoft in Portugal. And Miguel Costa, the community manager, has worked for Mog and Nomad Tech.

Earlier this summer, Revolut also announced plans to open a tech hub in Berlin. Originally founded in London, Revolut is slowly building multiple offices across the U.K. and Europe in order to attract local talent.


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N26 launches Shared Spaces and is now fully available in the U.S. – gpgmail


Challenger bank N26 is announcing two things this week. First, the company lets you share sub-accounts with other N26 users in just a few taps. Second, after a limited beta test, the company is officially launching in the U.S. with open registration.

Shared Spaces could be seen as an alternative to joint accounts. The feature could be particularly useful for groups with more than 2 persons and situations that temporarily require a shared account. For instance, you could use Shared Spaces for a vacation, to split bills with your roommates, etc.

Only a small subset of the company’s user base can access the feature for now. N26 plans to gradually roll out Shared Spaces to all users.

The company is building this feature on top of Spaces. This feature has been around for a while. It lets you create a sub-account and set aside some money in that separate sub-account. You can set savings goal and transfer money on a regular basis.

Shares Spaces is basically a multiplayer version of Spaces. When a user creates a Space, they can invite up to 10 other N26 users to that Space. While the original user remains the owner of the Space, other users can freely deposit and withdraw money from the shared account.

Sending an invite is the equivalent of granting a power of attorney on a Space. The admin of the Shared Space is the only person who can add and remove participant to the Shared Space. So it’s not technically a joint account as joint accounts have multiple owners.

Interestingly, N26 is launching this as a premium feature. You need a premium N26 account in order to create a Shared Space, such as an N26 You subscription (€9.90 per month) or an N26 Metal subscription (€16.90 per month). You can invite free users, but free users are limited to two active Spaces. Those limitations will most certainly foster premium subscriptions.

Unfortunately, you can’t spend money from a Shared Space directly for now. Your card and bank transfers remain tied to your main N26 account. You have to tap on a transaction and tap on “Pay back from a space” to get your money back from a Shared Space.

N26 co-founder and CEO Valentin Stalf told me that there could be a feature that lets you attach different cards to different Spaces in the future.

1907 Shared spaces PR 3 EN

When it comes to the U.S., N26 started accepting customers in the U.S. in early July. And it looks like it’s been working well as anyone in the U.S. can now download the app and open a bank account. N26 is also launching MoneyBeam in the U.S., a Venmo-like feature that lets you instantly send money to other N26 users.

N26 is also launching perks in the U.S. You’ll get small discounts on some monthly subscriptions if you pay with your N26 card. Current partners include Aaptiv, Blinkist, Luminary and Tidal.

I already coved the U.S. launch back in July, so head over to my previous article to learn more.

N26 US App and Card


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Revolut launches stock trading in limited release – gpgmail


Fintech startup Revolut is launching its stock trading feature today. It’s a Robinhood-like feature that lets you buy and sell shares without any commission. For now, the feature is limited to some Revolut customers with a Metal card.

While Robinhood has completely changed the stock trading retail market in the U.S., buying shares hasn’t changed much in Europe. Revolut wants to make it easier to invest on the stock market.

After topping up your Revolut account, you can buy and hold shares directly from the Revolut app. For now, the feature is limited to 300 U.S.-listed stocks on NASDAQ and NYSE. The company says that it plans to expand to U.K. and European stocks as well as Exchange Traded Funds.

There’s no minimum limit on transactions, which means that you can buy fractional shares for $1 for instance. You can see real-time prices in the Revolut app.

When it comes to fees, Revolut doesn’t charge any fee indeed, but with some caveats. The feature is currently limited to Revolut Metal customers for now. It currently costs £12.99 per month or €13.99 per month to become a Metal customer.

As long as you make less than 100 trades per month, you don’t pay anything other than your monthly subscription. Any trade above that limit costs £1 per trade and an annual custody fee of 0.01%.

Eventually, Revolut will roll out stock trading to other subscription tiers. Revolut Premium will get 8 commission-free trades per month and basic Revolut users will get 3 commission-free trades per month.

Behind the scene, Revolut has partnered with DriveWealth for this feature. This is a nice addition for existing Revolut users. You don’t have to open a separate account with another company and Metal customers in particular get a lot of free trades.


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