Europe's Top Digital Banks of 2023 (2024 Edition)
Ranking the best online and mobile-first banks
Rapid Growth of Mobile-first
Traditional banking is heavily disrupted: more and more people abandon "classic" brick-and-mortar banks in favor of young digital-native mobile-first competitors. This trend is not surprising: convenience of online services, ease of switching and powerful mobile apps all make mobile banks very attractive to customers. Besides, the turbulent financial environment, namely rapidly rising interest rates all throughout 2023 saw neobanks quicker to land on their feet and adjusting their terms to benefit their customers, compared to their "big street" counterparts.
However, with so many neobanks launching in the last decade, it is quite easy to get lost if are not an expert in finance. Which online bank should you choose? Our team of finance professionals and fintech experts prepared their short-lists and, after tallying the votes, we're ready to present you with our selection!
Our team of experts went through the hassle and got hands-on experience with each of Europe's popular neobanks. All of them had their advantages and downsides, however a few banks stood out and made it into our "Best Online Banks" list below. Who are the lucky winners? Before we announce the winners at the end of this article, we will briefly explain the criteria used to assess the contenders and which factors were the most important in ranking challenger banks today.
Note: Considering a variety of use cases and specific requirements different people have, choosing winners while remaining unbiased is a challenging goal. Which is why we invite you to visit our selections of top mobile-first banks for freelancers, and our ratings of the best banks for joint bank accounts.
How Did We Rank Them?
When rating the most popular banks available on the market today, our experts assessed the following criteria:
- Pricing transparency, monthly costs and additional fees you would expect to incur
- Mobile apps and desktop versions: UX design, convenience, security and unique and useful features available
- Banking services provided: for instance, number of cards included in subscription, or fee-free currency payments
- Quality of customer support based on reviews their users left online
- Relative ease of opening a new account - including a joint bank account with your partner
- History of past incidents, security flaws and the complexity of security and AML measures in place
All of these factors significantly impacted the final rankings, We weighed the factors based on what the use cases of an average customer would be. For more specific use cases, refer to our articles where we reviewed Europe's top banks accounts for individuals and found the best digital banks for business banking.
Disclaimer: This list is unavoidably partially based on our experts and editors' personal experience and as such, might be biased. However, Fintech Compass did not get any monetary incentive or rewards from any of the banks mentioned, so the opinions below 100% reflect our assessment. Our selection below had a single simple intent - making people's lives easier by offering additional info that would assist them in making an informed decision. To get an overview based on a comparison, make sure to visit our bank reviews to draw conclusions and pick the winners yourself.
The Best Neobanks in 2024
#3 - Monese
Monese offers excellent currency exchange rates, an easy way to transfer money abroad in over 30 countries along with a great mobile app. Aimed at "digital nomads" from all over the EU, neobank offers customer support in 14 languages.
UK-based neobanking superstar Monese is arguably the easiest money management assistant you might have. Challenger bank's range of features is truly impressive: from salary advances and creating dedicated sub-accounts for recurring bills, to easy savings by rounding up purchases and automatic transaction categorization. Monese also offers a high interest rate on your savings account. Overall, you might find switching to Monese a real life-changer if you always wanted to be in total control of your finances! As an additional bonus, Monese bank cards are quite an eye-catcher.
Monese wins our "Best Budgeting Assistant" award!
#2 - bunq
Dutch online bank that gives you the freedom to bank like a local all over Europe. The bank's mobile apps are packed with exciting and unique features, and the fully fledged banking license bunq has ensures your money are 100% safe at all times.
This Dutch neobank bunq offers their users a unique ability to plant a real tree with every €100 spent, allowing you to offset your CO2 footprint without thinking. On top of that, bunq users get to choose where their money is invested: that way, you can choose to only allow the bank to use your money to invest in "Green" and sustainable companies. bunq has an impressive selection of joint banking features, powerful mobile apps and a flexible pricing with multi-tier plans.
Last year, bunq also added an option of opening sub-accounts with IBANs in multiple countries along with an option to store, pay and get paid in over 30 currencies. This (as well as customer support available in 7 languages and a wide range of truly unique and exciting features) made bunq a truly borderless banking experience for a modern freelancer or remote worker.
Our jury is proud to present bunq with the "Best Bank for Digital Nomads" award!
It was extremely challenging to pick an absolute winner, as other contestants for the "Best Digital Bank of 2023 (Awarded in 2024)" trophy put up a tough fight. Obviously, there could be arguments for all of them and everyone has a different set of needs when it comes to banking. However, there had to be a winner and today, we are proud to announce...
Our #1 Neobank: Revolut!
Europe's biggest neobank, Revolut is a pioneer of mobile-first banking. Offering a wide range of financial services and banking products, including (but not limited to!) trading stocks and crypto, Revolut is a safe option regardless of customer's country of residence.
Revolut is Europe's biggest mobile-first bank and for a reason! Revolut offers a great range of features, lightning-fast customer support, free joint accounts to bank as a couple, transparent pricing and even a free bank account for your business. The list goes on and on: fee-free currency exchange, trading stocks and ETFs in-app, multi-currency accounts as and even free international transfers.
The new cleaned-up app design looks great and feels so natural even your parents will figure it out. And we can't help but mention the amazing metal bank cards Revolut offers their users - seems like everything this bank does sets a benchmark for the whole industry.
We already compared Revolut to bunq, and both banks are great, so we definitely advise you to explore both of them out yourself, enjoy the free trial and make a decision yourself!
2023 was an exciting year in digital banking, a year where once again mobile-first banks accelerated their rate of adoption among the mainstream audience. We at Fintech Compass are really excited to see the industry develop further in the later parts of 2024: fintechs with huge market shares and strong customer brands with values increasingly important to modern audiences like Tomorrow bank's are surely making traditional banks nervous.
At the end of the day, we can already see how increased competition from agile and flexible online challengers benefits all customers. For instance, it makes banks like Santander explore digital innovation space to provide better banking products. COVID-19 kickstarted the new reality with an increased pressure to reduce operational costs, made banking more "remote-friendly" and "chat-first": finally, you can get a bank account, order a card and start investing without leaving your home.
The fierce competition for the best investment platforms available makes us even more excited about the future of banking. And it is changing fast: new start-ups pop up trying to reach the "unicorn" status of being valued at over €1B, their competitors adapt and improve their product... It is hard to keep up, but we are a team of experts after all, so stay tuned in the coming year!