NeoBanks vs Traditional Banks – What’s the Difference?

Have you noticed new companies popping out of nowhere, offering great credit cards, bank accounts, and other financial services? Companies with a massive digital footprint, but almost zero physical footprints.

Welcome to the world of digital banking. Digital banking or Neo-Banking is the next natural step that the financial industry will take, at least according to some industry experts.

Every now and then there’s someone who asks what are digital banks, how they operate, and how are Neobanks different from Traditional banks.

The word Neo comes from a Greek word that basically translates to “new.” So, Neobanks is a clever way of saying that this is the new age of banking. Similar to traditional banks, they offer savings accounts, current accounts, loans, money transfers, credit cards, and more.

So what’s the actual difference between the two? That’s what we’ll help you figure out.

Difference Between Neobanks and Traditional Banks

There’s a huge list of similarities between Neobanks and traditional banks, but they’re still fundamentally different. Let’s go over the list of differences between Neobanks and traditional banks.

1. Neobanks have no physical presence

Unlike traditional banks that have branches all over a location, neobanks have no physical locations you can visit. The entire infrastructure is online, and you can handle every setting of your account with an app.

This online-only model helps in saving thousands of dollars on operations costs, and costs that come along with running physical locations.

Traditional banks historically have had a physical presence, and in recent years they’ve started to get into digital banking more deeply. Compared to digital banking services offered by traditional banks, Neobanks’ services are more user-friendly and easy to use.

2. Neobanks are not regulated

While they’re called banks, neobanks are actually financial institutions. The difference between neobanks and traditional banks is that traditional banks need to have banking licenses. Neobanks are not recognized as an official entities by regulatory bodies, and thus they don’t have to follow regulations.

They utilize this saved money to provide better services at a lower cost to customers.

Some neobanks may have partial, full range, or a special banking license. A banking license allows neobanks to offer all kinds of banking services. 

3. Neobanks are more affordable

As neobanks have no physical operations to run, they can save more money, which allows them to be more affordable. They have no opening fees, low maintenance costs, no minimum requirements, no hidden fees, and they offer higher saving interest rates.

Neobanks also tend to be more transparent with their fees upfront. Traditional banks tend to have a lot of hidden charges that consumers may not understand at first.

4. Neobanks offer more flexibility

Compared to traditional banks, every single activity in neobanks is easier to do. Opening up a new account and signing up is far easier than traditional banks. It is also easier to borrow money from a neobank compared to a traditional bank.

Signing up for a credit card, or applying for a loan at a traditional bank means you’ll have to pass a range of checks. 

5. Traditional banks have more services

The biggest difference between a neobank and a traditional bank is the number of services offered. While Neobanks are faster more, user-friendly, and flexible, they often have one or 2 main services. 

Comparatively, traditional banks have a wider reach all thanks to their physical locations. People who don’t yet trust online banking, or haven’t had exposure to online banking services still prefer traditional banking over newer methods. 

6. Traditional banks are more accessible

The popularity of Neobanks has grown tremendously over the years. This is because of those who want the convenience of online banking. At the same time, traditional banks use their old-age methods of maintaining quality relations with their customers.

Neobanks are going through a great phase throughout the world. Millions of customers rely on their services, and industry experts are waiting for the future. Currently, the situation is that more users prefer traditional banks over neobanks as they’re more easily available and more reliable. 

Customers can actually go to a physical office or talk to a representative when they have a grievance. The same can’t be said for a neobank.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which bank is better? Neobank or traditional bank?

The better bank depends on your needs. Based on your service requirements, the better bank for you can differ greatly. Neobanks have lower fees, they’re easier to sign up with, and they’re great for tech-savvy people. 

Traditional banks are more reliable, have physical accessibility, and they’re regulated. But they’re more expensive, offer lower interest rates, and more.

2. What are the services of a traditional bank?

The most common traditional banking services include:

  • Providing a savings account
  • Providing a checking account
  • Issuing debit cards
  • Issuing credit cards
  • Wealth management
  • Giving out loans
  • Insurance

3. Which bank is safer, Neobank or a Traditional bank?

It comes down to the level of due diligence an institution has employed. Being more tech-friendly, neobanks generally offer better security. They have simpler onboarding, yet they do ID verification, and KYC checks. 

However, traditional banks have huge infrastructure and years of experience under their belts. Moreover, they have to follow regulations set by regulatory bodies. 

In the end, it comes down to the level of customer due diligence an institution employs.

4. Do Neobanks have banking licenses?

No, most neobanks don’t have a banking license. Although, there are chances that some neobanks may have a partial, full, or special banking license. With these licenses, neobanks can offer services that a traditional bank can, with more focus on user experience, and affordability.


Identity Identification vs Identity Verification

Fraudsters love to come up with new methods to commit fraud, launder money, or steal money. A growing number of fraudsters also impersonate real customers for getting access to their accounts.

As more and more transactions happen online today, businesses are facing a number of threats such as card fraud, phishing attacks, and electronic transfer fraud. This constant wave of fraud impacts business growth, and impacts the level of trust customers have in businesses.

To fight against fraud, Identity verification and identity identification services need to be implemented. Moreover, these services help businesses comply with regulatory guidelines. But, there are some key differences between identity verification and identity identification.

In this blog, we’ll cover identity verification vs identity identification. Let’s go over them and what they mean for businesses.

What is Identity Identification?

Identity identification is the process of checking if the person actually is who they claim to be. It’s the act of identifying individuals by checking their photographs, and personal information in ID documents.

This can be as simple and quick as showing an ID badge when visiting a government office, or showing identity documents when buying something age-restricted.

In online environments, the identity identification process is a bit different. Customers are asked to prove their identity by entering personal information alongside their payment details. All this information helps organizations verify if the information presented is correct or not.

For low-value transactions or organizations that are comfortable with a higher level of risk, this is enough due diligence. But, with the level of ID theft fraud growing every year, normal identification methods aren’t enough. More sophisticated methods of verifying identity should be in place to deter fraudsters. 

To ensure a higher level of security and to comply with ID regulations, it’s not enough to make decisions using user-submitted information. In simple words, it means that the information provided by customers needs to be verified against another source. This will help organizations understand if a real person is submitting the information, or if a fraudster trying to trick the organization.

What is Identity Verification?

Digital identity verification services help organizations to verify identity information available in the ID documents that are submitted by customers. This data is compared from an issuing source, like the DMV. Comparing information available from a third party, or verified data sets can reduce the risk of identity theft taking place.

In this increasingly digital environment, organizations may need to verify a customer’s identity almost every day. Especially when it comes to onboarding new customers. Verifying a customer’s identity is crucial when they want to open a new account, make a high-value transaction, or access age restricted-services. Identity verification is often used by organizations that have stricter security standards. Banking and financial industries have higher security standards. 

With more than 1.2 billion personally identifiable information records available on the dark web, it’s a major risk to allow customers to onboard without verifying their information. Onboarding people without verifying their identities can lead to huge losses for banks, can put other customers at risk of exposure, and break the existing trust value of an organization.

To minimize the risk of ID fraud and money laundering, most identity verification solutions require users to verify their ID documents in additional ways.

In doing so, the level of security increases in line with the number of checks performed. Every security check needs to be done with a particular target in mind. This is one of the best ways to reduce the risks of fraud and build a certain level of trust in the industry.

Customer ID identification and ID verification methods should have the perfect balance between stringent, and easy-to-follow. Ensuring perfect fraud prevention and customer experience.


Mobile Fraud – How Does it Work, How to Prevent it?

Chances are that you’re reading this blog on your smartphone. That’s because over 60% of all online traffic comes from smartphones. We use our mobile phones for a lot of things, online accounting, social media, emails, and so much more. We carry it with us all the time and use it for every small thing. Smartphones have become an integral part of our personal and professional lives. So, it makes sense that fraudsters would want to gain access to your smartphone.

Mobile fraud has become a major concern in recent years. Just by accessing a single device, fraudsters can take over every single thing they need to. The threat to personal finance and security is very real.

In this guide, we’ll cover the five biggest mobile fraud threats and the best fraud prevention best practices.

Techniques Fraudsters Use for Mobile Fraud

Fraudsters keep coming up with new and interesting ways to conduct fraudulent activities. Although, there are some tried and tested techniques that work in their favor. So here are the top 5 mobile fraud threats that fraudsters love to try:

1. SIM Cloning & SIM Swapping

A common mobile fraud technique that fraudsters use is to take over an individual’s online accounts. This helps them ‘socially engineer’ access to their bank account and other personal and financial data.

This is done by collecting personal data from multiple sources, including messaging and social media sources. Then they use this data to try and persuade the mobile operator to issue a new SIM that a fraudster uses to get all the one-time passwords (OTPs) to access your accounts.

If this method isn’t successful, fraudsters use smart card copying software or use remote hacking to clone a SIM Card.

Cloning a SIM card provides access to all the data, and account details. Through this, they can conduct all kinds of fraudulent activities.

2. Device Cloning

Device cloning is another commonly used mobile fraud technique fraudsters use. Our smartphones contain all the apps and personal data that you need to access services like online banking, online stores, etc.

Fraudsters can transfer data and services from one mobile device to another one, making a clone of the original device. Fraudsters can make calls and conduct transactions from cloned devices without specific checks.

3. Caller ID Spoofing

Your Caller ID is the number visible to the people you’re calling. This helps others to identify who the call is from. Fraudsters can create false caller IDs from a local service provider/company that the victim knows. When the victim picks up the call, the caller tries to obtain personal information under false pretenses.

Calls and messages are sent from this fake ID to trick the victims into divulging personal/confidential information. Once the call or message is answered, the fraudsters will use social engineering methods to persuade victims to provide confidential information.

4. Recycling Phone Numbers

When a mobile user’s account is closed, the mobile operator will release the phone number again after a short period of closing the account. Now the number can be reassigned to someone else and can be used by some other user.

Today, it has become a common practice that mobile numbers are associated with personal accounts. Allowing for the transfer of funds using mobile numbers. A lot of fraudsters activate old mobile numbers with the aim of finding a number that has been recently recycled.

This number can then be used to access accounts linked with the number.

5. Call Forwarding

Call Forwarding is another mobile fraud technique used by fraudsters. In some online transactions, customers are asked to prove whether they have the mobile in their possession or not. This is done by sending a one-time password to the customer.

Sometimes, fraudsters call or text an intended victim, asking them to forward their call on to someone else. This can be done for any fake reason. Once the victim forwards inbound calls and texts to a fraudster’s device, the fraudster will be able to access all the one-time passwords needed to access personal accounts.

Fraudsters can now access accounts, make payments, and conduct other frauds without the victim ever knowing.

Use of Real-Time Data for Preventing Mobile Fraud

Mobile phones have become an undeniable part of our lives. Without smartphones, there are hundreds of things we won’t be able to accomplish on regular basis.

Mobile phones provide unique data in that it is the only source of ‘dynamic’ data on what’s happening in ‘real-time’. This dynamic data can be used to immediately figure out if a device has been lost or stolen, or if a SIM card has been recently swapped. It can even help in figuring out if the inbound calls or texts have been forwarded.

By using mobile data, you can keep fraudsters out, and it’s also helpful in identifying good guys. Companies can do mobile data checks behind the scenes to access online services securely, quickly, and easily, and ensure that customers won’t fall prey to mobile fraud.


Know Your Customer’s Customer

KYCC is a great way to protect your business’s reputation and protect itself against financial crimes.

KYC (Know Your Customer) protocols are too common and are known by almost every regulated business. But, have you thought about the level of risks your customers’ customer present to your business? The type of products and services your customers provide will decide the type of customers they have. Based on the number of customers, you may face unique risks.

When you comply with the Know Your Customer’s Customer (KYCC) process, you can protect your business from potential threats that come up.

What is Know Your Customer’s Customer (KYCC)?

KYCC is an additional compliance method that businesses can employ. KYCC goes a step beyond ordinary KYC or KYB methods. It is the most similar to the Know Your Business (KYB), process. It involves you doing a close analysis of our business’s customers.

With KYCC, you have to evaluate your business clients. You have to go past your business’s clients and see who they work with. Based on your customer’s customer base, your business could be exposed to new and unique threats.

The primary goal of KYCC is to:

  • Confirm that businesses that are your customers are actually who they claim to be. By verifying their accounts, you can be a bit more confident that you’re dealing with an actual business, not some fraudster.
  • KYCC allows you to identify if any of your customers are offering their services to shell companies, or high-risk companies.

Importance of KYCC

KYCC measures can protect your business, customers, and the economy against tax evasion, terrorist financing, money laundering, etc. Without proper regulations, these crimes can grow at an alarming pace. 

KYCC procedures are not widely regulated across the globe currently. But, these regulations are becoming a standard. The 5th and 6th Directives in the EU and FinCEN have indicated a deepening interest in KYC, risk, and compliance. 

As new regulatory bodies continue to understand the importance of KYCC, it’s expected new regulations will soon be announced. If customers discover your businesses have facilitated illegal activity, it’s going to hurt your reputation. When you implement KYCC protocols, you’ll be able to identify these issues and reduce the level of risk associated. 

KYCC is more crucial for high-risk industries, such as finance. That said, any business can benefit from the reputational benefits of KYCC.

What Does KYCC Look Like?

KYCC looks a lot like KYC. The only big difference is that you have to verify your customers’ customers. Similar to KYC, there are some basic steps in KYCC:

  • Identification – In this step, businesses have to identify and verify the identity of each of your customers’ customers.
  • Due Diligence – This step involves checking sanctions lists, account history, and other information to make sure your customer’s customers aren’t involved in illegal activities.
  • Ongoing Monitoring – It is where you implement measures to find illegal activities. Businesses have to take action to handle the task accordingly.

How to Start Implementing KYCC?

To begin KYCC, you’ll first need to ask your customers to provide a list of their customers. If they’re not comfortable sharing this information or are hesitant to share it, you may have to teach your customers about the benefits of KYCC.

When you have the information, you’ll have to collect all the necessary information to do KYC checks on these individuals. To be able to perform KYC checks, you’ll need to collect information and data from multiple sources.

As your customers conduct business, they’ll add new clients to their list. It’s essential that KYCC becomes an ongoing process. This way, companies will be able to detect any suspicious activity as soon as possible.

Despite the efforts, a thorough KYCC process improves both your and your customer’s businesses. It helps businesses raise their reputational standards, establish improved compliance methods, and increase trust and safety. 

How to Protect Your Business with Proactive Implementation?

You can protect your business by implementing KYCC measures. But, you should only do this if other compliance methods are already fulfilled. While the measure is not too important currently, in the near future regulatory bodies may come up with new regulations.

By implementing KYCC in place today, you can proactively protect yourself from financial crimes such as money laundering. You’ll also be able to protect your business against reputational risks and avoid legal troubles that come along.


How Identity Proofing Prevents Fraud?

Building trust online requires proof in today’s time. After the pandemic, it has become harder for businesses operating in the growing digital world needs to ensure that a customer is a real person. This is also known as “identity verification or Know your Customer” for businesses in regulated industries.

There are several technologies that involve verifying name, date of birth and address information to reputable data sources such as credit references. But, all of these steps are worthless if identity proofing is not done beforehand.

What is Identity Proofing?

Identity proofing is the process of making sure that the person who’s signing up is actually real. This is one of the most important parts of an identity verification journey. If a business is unable to verify the identity of a customer, any verification step afterward is in vain.

Not having a proper due diligence process for vetting your customers can lead to financial and reputational losses.

Document Verification in Identity Proofing

During physical customer onboarding, businesses can rely on physical identity data to verify if a customer is real or not. In physical settings, companies can check for ID documents.

After Covid, we’ve moved to a digital onboarding process. Businesses have to go through a digital identity verification process. So, what is the approach businesses can take to verify the identities of customers?

Knowledge-Based Authentication

A lot of new technologies have come to the market to accommodate this. Knowledge-based authentication questions are one method of identity proofing. KBA is a set of questions that only a real person would know. Common questions include:

  • Amount of money spent on mortgage
  • Color of the first car
  • Name of the first pet
  • Your favorite teacher

There are legitimate questions, but a spouse can also answer them. Bad actors try to guess answers to these questions. In case there has been a major data breach, fraudsters tend to use this data to answer questions. But knowledge-based questions aren’t really a secure method of identity proofing.

Businesses need to use solutions that replicate face-to-face interactions. There need to be solutions that can be legitimate, and secure.

Step-by-Step Process to Digital Identity Proofing

1. Document Verification

To verify identity, a customer is asked to provide copies of their government-issued ID documents. Robust document verification solutions such as DIRO can verify the legitimacy of the document by cross-referencing information from the issuing sources.

2. Face Match

In the next step, businesses need to verify that the person presenting the documents is legit. The right way to do this is to match the face on the document with the person who presented the document.

Some companies ask the customer to verify themselves by submitting a selfie. Face-matching is an important part of identity proofing.

3. Liveness Check

The problem with face match is that a fraudster can submit the selfie of the original person that they can download online. So Liveness check is crucial to make sure it’s a legit person submitting the application, not a fake person. 

Liveness check is the process where a person has to record a video and say a code in the video. This prevents the use of any impersonation tools or the use of fake photos.

4. Digital Identity Data Layering

All the Identity verification experts that no one size fits all digital ID proofing works for all businesses. With any system, there are outliers and exceptions. Having a multi-layered approach to digital identity verification is wise.

Relying on trusted third-party data is a crucial part of the identity-proofing process. Taking a data-centric approach to ID verification makes it easier for businesses.

5. Secure and Smooth Customer Experience

A great customer onboarding experience is crucial for both businesses and customers. Customers who have a poor onboarding experience tend to never use the services.

For businesses to scale up, you need to provide a secure yet smooth customer onboarding experience. Fraudsters, tend to find the path of least resistance, and by avoiding detection and prevention steps between bad actors.