The founders behind Ukrainian digital banking startup Monobank are looking to launch a new fintech business, named Koto, which will offer a credit card and associated app to UK customers.
Monobank was founded in November 2017 and since then has amassed 600,000 users in Ukraine, according to the company. Its core product is a credit card, differentiating itself from many of its digital bank rivals, which offer Mastercard debit cards. Koto plans to do much the same, offering a credit card to customers in the UK; accordingly, it has applied for an e-money license with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), as well as a consumer credit license.
Koto, a new company founded especially for the UK market by Monobank's founders plus others not involved in Monobank, will face stiff competition in the growing sector of consumer fintech products. Credit card usage is down among UK millennials, with the FCA saying only 2% of 18- to 24-year-olds have credit cards, and UK consumers are 58% more likely to own a debit card rather than a credit card.
That said, credit card spending is on a general upward trajectory, as you'd expect, over the last 20 years, so there is obviously appetite in the UK for credit card products. And the digital bank revolution, started by companies such as Monzo, Starling and Revolut, shows customers want more up-to-date ways to manage their money.
Monobank's product has captured attention in Ukraine, and the company is now eyinhg up the UK market to launch its new product, Koto. (Image: Monobank)
Dima Dubilet, Koto co-founder, told TechX365 that London was an "obvious choice" to launch its new fintech business, for "a number of reasons, predominantly its global reputation, market maturity and transparent business practices." Dubilet went on to say that the UK's FCA is, in their view, "is the most progressive regulator in Europe", making it "easy to get started." The company already has an office in the UK, located near London's Silicon Roundabout, Old Street, -- where else? -- and is building its team in anticipation for a 2019 launch.
Whether it be payments, insurance, investment, or loans and credit, Ant Financial's focus isn't on how to support and continue an existing set of technologies, but on how to bring financial services to those who lack them.