By Oliver Smith on Tuesday 12 October 2021
But do people really want a current account linked to their SIM card?
Just when we thought we’d seen it all, the first hybrid mobile operator and digital banking app has launched.
The curiously named service, To The Moon, started life as a SIM-only mobile operator in 2020 (running on EE’s network) and today added a debit card and current account to its offering.
To The Moon’s current account offers low-cost international payments, handles GBP and EUR currencies, includes the ability to freeze and unfreeze your card and comes with no subscription or delivery fees to open an account (for existing users of the mobile network).
And because of that link with the mobile operator—meaning customers have already passed KYC checks—sign up and account opening is instant.
Beyond that, at the moment To The Moon’s financial service is fairly rudimentary—even support for Apple Pay and Google Pay isn’t expected until the end of November.
But the big question is, do people really want a current account linked to their SIM card?
To The Moon UK CEO Andy Hallam (a former director at LycaMobile) believes so, and says “we believe FinTel is the future.”
“Younger consumers are now accessing social media apps years before they can open an actual bank account, which means traditional financial institutions are lagging behind in how they want to operate—with everything at the touch of one button.”
“By consolidating the management of an ongoing monthly outgoing (like a mobile contract) with a banking system that sits within the same interface, users will be able to keep better track of their spending, whilst also being able to adjust their flexible mobile data and call plans each month according to their needs.”
Hallam also says To The Moon is unique compared to fintech rivals like Monzo and Revolut, because it puts mobile and banking in one place, letting users tweak their data packages directly from their finance app.
That is certainly unique, but with the looming open finance and smart data changes coming down the line, this may not remain novel for long.
Whether Hallam and his team can drive their customer numbers 'To The Moon' in the meantime, we’ll have to wait and see.