Zopa has received a UK banking license, paving the way for the peer-to-peer lending pioneer to launch a brand-new suite of financial products built on proprietary technology.
Zopa will begin rolling out its new products across next year, including a fixed term savings product protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, a credit card platform including a state-of-the-art billing engine, and an Open Banking hub that will give customers a platform to control their finances.
All products are on a proprietary technology platform which has been built by a team of developers in London and Barcelona over the last two years and is "purposely different" from systems at traditional banks.
Zopa led the way in P2P lending, facilitating more than £3.7 billion in loans since its launch in 2005, achieving full year profitability in 2017.
Two years ago it decided to branch out into more traditional banking, joining the gaggle of digital challengers - including Starling, Monzo and Atom - to enter the UK market in recent years.
Having raised £60 million in funding, the firm argues that the reputation it has built up over the last decade puts it in a strong position to take advantage in a market where an FCA survey shows that only 40% of adults have confidence in the financial services industry.
Zopa’s own research reveals that over half of British adults don’t think their banks operate with customers’ best interests at heart, whilst nearly a third think their bank should provide a fairer service.
Jaidev Janardana, CEO, Zopa, says: "Acquiring our banking licence is the starting point for Zopa to become a major force in retail banking.
"When we pioneered the peer-to-peer lending model globally in 2005, we did so by listening to customers and creating a better product for them. We will bring the same focus to our banking products - drawing on tech innovation, our values of fairness and transparency, and better customer service to help even more people to feel-good about money."
Currently, Zopa has a bank licence with restrictions and will be granted a full licence once it meets the conditions set by the regulators during a mobilisation phase.