Bunq is the latest fintech player to expand across Europe

2 Oct 2019

Ali Niknam, CEO of Bunq. Image: Bunq

This week, Dutch challenger bank Bunq rolled out its Travel Card to all EU markets.

On Tuesday (1 October), another fintech player framing itself as a challenger bank announced that it is expanding across the EU market, as well as Norway and Iceland.

That company is Dutch start-up Bunq, which was founded in 2015. Since then, the company has raised €44.9m, according to Crunchbase.

It offers a deposit account service and a Travel Card, which enables users to benefit from “getting the real exchange rate, without any additional charges, anywhere in the world”.

Bunq was already available in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Ireland, Belgium and Austria, but now users from 30 countries will be able to sign up.

A hand with red nail polish holding a rainbow-designed Bunq card taps the card against a Contactless reader that is held by another person.

Bunq founder and CEO Ali Niknam said: “We’re extremely excited to launch the Travel Card all across Europe. By offering the best card to travel the world, European travellers can now always pay with the real exchange rate and enjoy the benefits of a true credit card without the burden of debt or monthly fees.”

The company claims that using the true exchange rate on purchases in foreign countries can help users save up to 3pc on their spending every time they travel.

Along with the geographic expansion, the company is also launching Google Pay and Apple Pay for its users in Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Belgium.

Card options

Besides the standard Travel Card, Bunq also offers a business card, a premium card and a joint card, which can be used by a couple.

The Travel Card is free to use but there is a one-time fee of €9.99 to avail of one, while the joint package and the business card cost €9.99 per month.

The premium option costs €7.99 per month, and allows users to control 25 Bunq bank accounts, each with a unique IBAN, and three cards of their choice.

A view from the shoulders down, of a man in a navy corduroy shirt wearing a brown leather watch with a gold face, using the white Bunq app on his iPhone XR.

The Bunq app. Image: Bunq

In a blogpost about the product’s launch, the fintech company said its service lets users know “if other ‘Bunqers’ have been there before and what they discovered”. The aim of this is to help users “learn from their experiences so you know what to expect when you arrive”.

Updated, 1.45pm, 2 October 2019: This article was updated to clarify that Bunq was already available in Ireland, but the company is now expanding its services across European markets.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic