European Neobanking Fintech bunq Applies for US Banking License

The second largest neobank in the European Union is reportedly launching in all 50 US states.

bunq, a neobank in the EU, has filed an application for a US banking license with the FDIC in the state of New York. By applying for a bank charter, bunq notes that it “brings its proven and user-centered approach to banking to location-independent people and businesses in the US.”

After serving its European users for almost a decade, the neobank aims “to introduce its transparent, value-based subscription model to a community of almost 5 million digital nomads – expats, international entrepreneurs, and professionals working remotely – who are EU or US citizens with deep ties on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Dedicated to making life easy for its users, the challenger bank will “enable them to bypass banking bureaucracy by opening a fully fledged international bank account in just 5 minutes.”

The bunq app, “tailored to those who live an international lifestyle, enables its users to manage their finances from anywhere in the world.”

Through saving “on foreign exchange fees, using multiple currencies, and automated budgeting, digital nomads will get full control over their finances.”

Designed to help its users maintain “a financially healthy lifestyle, bunq has no hidden fees or minimum balances.”

Ali Niknam, CEO and founder of bunq, says:

“In a world of banking giants, bunq was created to support people in their pursuit for individual freedom. Throughout bunq’s history, we’ve always focused on making life easy for digital nomads in Europe. We can’t wait to bring our user-centered philosophy stateside, giving a community of location-independent people an effortless way to bank on the go.”

At the end of 2021, the number of European expats in America “reached 4.9 million.”

As more and more Europeans are met with complexity and lack of transparency when it comes to access to financial services in America, bunq is poised “to give its users in the US a product tailored to their wants and needs.”

Having shown continuous growth thanks to a user-centered and service-oriented business model, bunq has rapidly “expanded to 30+ European countries and, after the acquisition of Belgian fintech TriCount in May 2022 and welcoming 5.4 million new users, became the second largest neobank in the EU.”

In 2021, bunq was the first EU neobank “to record an operating profit. In December 2022, bunq became structurally profitable and reported its first quarterly profit of €2.3 million.”

bunq, founded in 2012, was reportedly “the first bank to obtain a European banking license in 35 years.”

For nearly a decade the company was “bootstrapped by its founder, serial entrepreneur Ali Niknam (1981), who deployed over $125 million of his own money into bunq.”

In 2021 bunq “raised $228 million, at a $1.9 billion valuation, in the largest series A round ever raised by a European fintech.”

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