In Europe, when thinking about popular digital banks, Revolut, Wise and N26 come to mind. One bank that has remained fairly out of the public eye but has the numbers to say otherwise is Toronto-headquartered Black Banx.
A Visionary Leader
Black Banx is a digital bank that aims to provide global financial services at the tap of a finger. With a user-friendly app and website to match, Black Banx is one of the hottest companies in the industry right now. Led by German billionaire Michael Gastauer, the fintech’s semi-annual report has impressed shareholders and prospective customers alike.
Explosive Growth: Black Banx’s 28 Million Strong Customer Base
Bringing in a total of 1.3 million customers a month with an onboarding rate of 33%, Black Banx’s user base, which previously sat at 20 million as of December 2022, has climbed to 28 million (July 2023).
Its rapid growth has particularly been noted in the Middle East and Africa region, where this could be due to the launch of a West African branch in Liberia. In January, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) stressed the need for banks in Liberia to “work together and develop a new strategy for a digital national payment system.” Since then, digital banking, with a focus on digital payments, has taken off in the region.
Black Banx’s Three Types of Accounts
Operating in 180 countries with the option to choose from 28 different currencies and two cryptocurrencies, Black Banx offers three types of accounts: Private, Business and Institutional.
Features for Private Clients
Private clients are able to: make use of a globally available Black Banx debit card, freely convert currencies between accounts for bank interchange rates, send and receive payments using instant fund crediting tools, manage and monitor cards and accounts in real time, connect a virtual card with their smartphone to pay contactless, and configure card and account limits.
Features for Business Clients
With a business account customers can: start banking without borders, get Black Banx debit cards in different currencies for different employees, track the status of incoming and outgoing transfers, assign multiple users to an account, connect via API or batch upload to process a large number of transactions, and send and receive payments worldwide.
Cross-Border Payment Solution for Financial Institutions
In addition, if you are a bank, fund or financial institution, Black Banx offers a cost effective cross-border payment solution. Gastauer’s company offers a network of local correspondent accounts in over 90 countries for incoming and outgoing payments. Integrating the Black Banx cross-border service into an institution’s payment system would allow the customer to send and receive payments faster than the norm.
From Inception to Global Success
As of December 2022, Black Banx reported having 1.5 million business customers using the platform. In their latest growth report, we can see that the number of small-medium enterprise (SME) clients increased by 16% overall, but notably by 28% in the Middle East Africa (MEA) region.
A Customer-Centric Approach
Founder and CEO Michael Gastauer started Black Banx in 2014 with the desire to provide a borderless banking system inclusive to all. Solely funded and launched only a year later, Black Banx gained 200,000 customers almost immediately.
By 2016, the neobank had expanded with offices in the United States, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. Services were being provided in 18 currencies to 1 million customers. Three years later, Black Banx found themselves with 5 million customers and newly erected offices in Singapore, Brazil, India, Russia and Canada. 2020 and 2021 saw a launch into Japan and China with customer numbers at 12 million by the end of 2021.
Since then, customer numbers are growing at an average of 8 million a year as the bank reports a revenue growth of 47% within the first six months of 2023. Group Chief Financial Officer, Alexander Johnson said: “Black Banx is well prepared to reach its annual revenue forecast for 2023 of US$1.9bn, and has a good chance to improve its profit margin even further.”
In relation to Black Banx’s progress over the years, Gastauer commented, “Although we’re seeing consistent growth, it’s important to keep in line with financial trends and understand our core demographics wants and needs. We’re a team of over 4,000 spread across the world with offices in major regions.
As a customer-centric company, I believe this is reflected in the services we provide as well as our onboarding numbers, and it’s not something we’re going to slow down on– customers are always going to be at the heart of the business.”