This is how the Vivid banking app differs from N26 and Revolut

Frankfurt The smartphone banks N26 and Revolut are facing new competition. The financial platform Vivid Money starts in Germany this Monday. As the Handelsblatt found out in advance from the founders Alexander Emeshev and Artem Yamanov, they wanted to offer customers savings and investment products in addition to a checking account and a free Visa debit card. The functions are only gradually being unlocked, but it is already becoming apparent that Vivid is offering a mix of popular products from its competitors N26 and Revolut. It also wants to lure customers with a bonus program.

The two founders Emeshev and Yamanov come from Russia and previously belonged to the management of Tinkoff Bank – a bank founded in 2006, which is characterized by digital and innovative banking services and has more than ten million customers. Yamanov has been responsible for business development there since it was founded as Business Development Director, and Emeshev joined in 2014 as the person responsible for new products. So far, the two have financed Vivid Money according to their own information from personal funds and through loans. However, TCS Group Holding – the group behind Tinkoff Bank – has already promised that it will contribute around 25 million euros in a first round of financing.

Emeshev sees no problem that the start date now falls within the corona crisis. “Right now, the topic of finance is coming into focus for many people, either they have to save or they have an increasing interest in stock trading,” he says. Management consultants, on the other hand, come to different assessments: On the one hand, the corona crisis is giving digitalization a boost, and the branch business is becoming less important. On the other hand, the established direct banks are already benefiting from this, and branch banks are also likely to expand their digital activities. This could slow down newcomers to the market.

However, the Vivid founders are already considering further expansion plans: After the start in Germany, three more European markets are to be added in the coming months. “Our goal is to win a total of several hundred thousand customers in these markets within a year,” says Emeshev. N26 recently spoke of more than five million customers worldwide, Revolut of more than ten million. Vivid Money, which will be based in Berlin, does not have its own banking license. Instead, it uses the Solarisbank as a service provider bank in the background – just like the corporate customer providers Penta and Kontist do. In its beginnings, N26 also initially used Wirecard as a service provider bank.

The product range compared to N26 and Revolut:

A rough comparison shows the parallels between the young competitors and the special features of the new provider.

Debit card:
Vivid was inspired by the “Apple Card” for the free Visa debit card: only the name of the account holder, but not his full card number, is printed on the card. Revolut and N26 also offer free debit cards. These can also be used with Google Pay and Apple Pay – Vivid is also planning this.

Account and cash withdrawals:
Vivid offers two account models: a free version and a “Prime” account, which can initially be tested free of charge for three months and then costs EUR 9.90 per month. The main difference: in the free version, users can withdraw cash up to € 200 a month free of charge from ATMs, in the prime version up to € 1000, after which a fee of three percent is due.

N26 and Revolut each offer three account models. N26: 0 euros, 9.90 euros and 16.90 euros. Revolut: 0 euros, 7.99 euros, 13.99 euros. The premium models include various extras such as insurance policies.

With the free Revolut account, users can also withdraw up to EUR 200 per month free of charge, after which a two percent fee will be charged.
The free variant of N26 includes three cash withdrawals per month (five if N26 is the main account). Thereafter, two euros will be charged per withdrawal.

Subaccounts:
At Vivid, the sub-accounts with which customers can, for example, separate their money for everyday expenses from different savings goals are called “pockets”. In the future, users should be able to share these accounts with other Vivid users. With N26 the sub-accounts are called “Spaces”, with Revolut “Vaults”.

Foreign currencies:
The pockets can also be topped up with different currencies – this is also possible with Revolut. N26, on the other hand, offers international transfers through a cooperation with Fintech Transferwise.

Categorized transactions:
A clear representation of personal income and expenses and the automatic assignment to different categories has become a standard function for digital account providers. Vivid is building on the competition. Like Revolut, it also offers the option of setting budgets for individual categories.

Send money:
Similar to N26- “Moneybeam”, Vivid also offers the option of sending money to friends quickly. Revolut also offers this. With all three providers, it is also possible to split invoices between several friends.

Bonus program:
A special feature of Vivid is a bonus program in which users receive up to 20 euros cashback per month. The cashback depends on where and for what amount the customers have bought. Revolut offers something similar with “Perks”. With N26, the most expensive account model offers discounts at selected partner companies such as WeWork.

Share trading:
At the market launch on June 8, Vivid will not yet enable stock trading. “However, that will change in a few months,” promises Artem Yamanov. The investment spectrum should then include European and American stocks as well as ETFs. The trade will be “mostly free of charge”. However, users are already being introduced to share trading as part of the bonus program. You can fictitiously invest your cashback in shares. “Customers benefit from price increases, but do not fall below the amount invested in the event of price losses,” says Emeshev.

At Revolut, users can invest in 750 US companies through the “Trading” product. In the account models subject to charges, trading commissions are waived for part or all of the transactions. N26 does not offer stock trading. An interim cooperation with a digital asset manager has ended.

Savings accounts:
At Vivid, savings accounts are to be added to the range over the next few months. Thanks to a cooperation with Fintech Weltsparen, N26 customers can deposit money in fixed deposit accounts. Revolut does not offer this, but instead enables investment in cryptocurrencies and commodities.

Credits:
Vivid does not plan to start lending for the time being. Customers also do not receive any loans at Revolut. In contrast, N26 itself offers consumer loans and also cooperates with the Auxmoney credit platform.

Smartphone app:
At Vivid, the account can initially only be controlled via the smartphone app. A desktop version is not excluded in the future. N26 already offers that, Revolut doesn’t.

More: Which online banks are benefiting from the corona crisis – and which are not

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