Revolut vs Monzo vs Starling: Comparing the killer fintechs ruling UK in 2021

Challenger Bank Image credits: Ascannio/Shutterstock

The financial industry has been going through significant changes over the last decade. Various fintechs and challenger banks have embraced the digital world, offering an alternative to traditional financial infrastructures. The digital bank, a.k.a, challenger banks gained traction by redefining the consumer banking experience like deploying mobile apps, numerous software integrations, APIs, and more. As a result, many challenger banks raised millions of dollars from VCs to take on bank incumbents. 

According to a latest news report, the London-based digital bank Revolut witnessed more app downloads in 2020 than Monzo and Starling Bank combined, as competition between the UK’s fintechs intensifies. As per the data from Sensor Tower, Revolut’s app was downloaded 5.8 million times last year compared to Monzo’s 2.4 million times and Starling Bank’s 1.3 million downloads. The data also adds that Revolut’s high download number attributes to its steady global expansion efforts

As the sector continues to gain momentum in the UK, it is important to understand which are the best challenger banks in 2021. To make your job easier, we’ve compared the most notable challenger bank – Revolut, Monzo, and Starling Bank. Check out which one is gonna rule the UK in 2021!


Founder/s: Nikolay Storonsky, Vlad Yatsenko

Total funding: £755M

Launched in 2015, Revolut is one of the hottest players in the digital banking sector. Available in 36 countries, the London-based company currently serves around 2 million customers. It is the first platform to allow customers to exchange money into cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, it also allows the user to earn cashback with any purchase made on their metal card. It supports both Google Pay and Apple Pay as well. 


  • Offers three types of current accounts
  • Save money with Vaults
  • Free transactions abroad as standard
  • Split the bill feature


  • Low cash withdrawal limits
  • Does not offers savings accounts for overdrafts
  • Transfers can take 3-5 working days unless you have a Premium or Metal account.

Who is Revolut best for?

The core theme of Revolut is to make access to money easier no matter which part of the world you are in. Revolut is best suitable for travelers and business person, who are always on the go.


Founder/s: Gary Dolman, Jason Bates, Jonas Huckestein, Paul Rippon, Tom Blomfield

Total funding: £507M

Monzo is for people who live their lives on their smartphones and for those who want to get things done in a click. The platform which serves 2 million people is popular among the younger crowd due to its intuitive interface and convenience for money managing. The company recently launched Monzo Plus, a premium account option with a monthly fee of £3. It also supports Google Pay and Apple Pay.


  • Offers 4 types of accounts
  • ‘Pots’ option available to save money and earn up to 1.5% AER interest
  • Free transactions abroad as standard
  • Split the bill feature


  • Cash withdrawals over £200 per month will have a 3% fee added
  • Daily cash withdrawal limit of £400 & monthly limit of £5,500

Who is Monzo best for?

Monzo is best suited for the younger crowd, thanks to its intuitive interface and options to easily save, budget, and manage money. If you have any specific financial goals, ‘Pots’ is a very helpful feature to fulfil them. 

Starling Bank

Founder/s: Anne Boden

Total funding: £363M

Starling Bank provides a mobile banking application and a debit card that enable users to manage their finances. Its application allows users to send money to their friends, save together for trips, and have total control at their fingertips. They have developed Marketplace, which makes the customer access financial products from partner companies. Starling has a more traditional touch to it and offers services like business accounts, loans, deposits, withdrawals, etc. It also supports Google Pay and Apple Pay. 


  • Offers a Personal or Joint current account
  • No transfer fees
  • Use Goals to save money easily
  • Overdraft facility available
  • Earn interest of up to 0.5% from your balance
  • Split the bill feature


  • Low withdrawal limits
  • High loan rate
  • Can only open if you are UK resident

Who is Starling best for?

If you are looking for something hybrid (traditional bank + mobile-only access), then Starling is a perfect option. It offers basic types of bank accounts with no fees and other services as well. 

Which one you should choose boils down to your personal needs. What do you say? Do let us know your comments below.