FinTech in US – The first impression

After one month and half living in US, I had some observations about the fintech system in US.

  • Less “Neobank”: unlike in EU (UK and France) there are many so called “NeoBank”, in USA, there are less.Personally, I think in USA, the big banks, they don’t have so many fees and their applications, web site are already well designed, user friendly, fast and secure. When you open new accounts, you can have some bonus and many banks provide “cash back” system for their customers. So there is no need for “Neobank”, the large and transitional bank already do their work. In this case, when you look back at EU FinTech system, I think in the long run, the big banks will transform and work with so called “Neobanks”. The Neobank concept will disappear later, in my option.
  • Everything is about “Credit”. In US, the credit score is the key for personal finance. People spend lots of money in credit. But in EU, people used to save money. For the credit card, only big banks can provide. The Neobank can only provide Debit card, I think that is also one of the reason why people don’t need Neobank in US.
  • “Plaid” is a big success. The biggest success in FinTech world so far, is the company “Plaid“. I’ve been watching for it for several years. They build beautiful bank connection APIs and they only work for API no other bullshits. And today, so many popular APPs are based on Plaid in US, like Robinhood, Venmo, Coinbase etc. Started in 2013, in 7 Years, Plaid is acquired by Visa with $5.3 billion. What a story ! So many French FinTech should learn from it! In France, “Budget Insight” seems to do the same thing like Plaid, and famous App Lydia work under its API. That is why Tencent recently led the  $45 million Series B round on Lydia. I think in France, there are some good FinTech startups who do the right thing. Like Luko, Alan, Payfit, Qonto and Lydia, personally I see a good future for them.
  • Stock Market is very active. In US, the stock market is very active and people can really make money and become rich on it. Thanks to the FinTech like Robinhood now everyone can buy and sell the stocks easily. In EU especially in France, that is not the case..

Generally I think, US is the paradise for FinTech. But in EU, FinTech is very hard. I guess the best way is to find a win-win way with large traditional banks in the future..

Build NeoBank System

Fintech Revolution begins those years and in Europe, there are many neo-banks come up with lower fees, better UX, mobile first who seems to change significantly the traditional banks.

As a software engineer who works in a fintech Startup in France, I’m always curious about how the Backend Core system behind those neobanks is built, which technology stacks are chosen by those start-ups.

In this first blog, I’m trying to find some clues from their sites, engineering blogs, job post descriptions etc.

  1. N26: Stack Share   – Java
  2. Monzo: Engineering Blog  Stack Share – Go
  3. Starling Bank: Slide Share – Java
  4. Revolut: Slide Share – Java, Scala
  5. Qonto: Jobs – Ruby, Go
  6. MargoBank: Medium – Elixir, Kotlin
  7. Shine: Jobs – Nodejs
  8. Alan:  Python, JS

Obviously, Java is chosen in most of the neobanks as backend programming language in UK and Germany.

But here in France, it’s quite different. I thought maybe that Qonto, MargoBank or Shine are for SME, Freelance, professional clients. Others are B2C banks. The number of users (volume of data ) is not the same level.

And here in France, many start-ups are CTO skills driven, so the whole tech stacks are decided by their knowledge.


PSD2 (The second Payment Services Directive) came into effect 13 January 2018. It will force the banks to open their clients’ financial data for the third parties. This will bring significate change in the future Europe Banking markets.

Updated 2020: Customer Authentication 

Here is a list of views by some hotTEST Europe Fintech Startups: