U.K. challenger bank Monzo is in early talks with regulators about acquiring a license for possible expansion to the United States, the company said.
Monzo is still in the “very, very early stages” of these talks, for a launch that is not set for the immediate future, according to bank CEO Tom Blomfield. Blomfield told CNBC:
The U.S. is a really attractive market for us…I think there’s a huge market opportunity there, because there haven’t really been any new banks the last 10 years or so … So I think there is a big opportunity to use modern technology to launch a real consumer facing bank that does the kinds of things consumers expect from a smartphone.
The company is first aiming for profitability in the U.K., Blomfield said. Monzo currently has about half a million users in the country, after its founding in 2015. The bank has made several strides in its services since 2015, including moving its users to current accounts, raising new funding, and adding support for mobile payment services such as Android Pay.
Monzo has also partnered with various fintechs in the United Kingdom to expand its banking platform, most recently fellow challenger bank Emma. While the U.K. has several challenger banks in competition with more established financial institutions, the United States is less of a saturated market. Monzo’s expansion to the country would put it in competition with incumbents like Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase.
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