Ukraine’s Monobank launches in Poland. Beta testing registration for Stereo neobank is open

Oleg Gorokhovskyi, the co-founder of the most popular mobile-only bank in Ukraine monobank, announced the launch of its Polish product called stereo. It will have many similar features that monobank has, like free of any fees payments and opening banking accounts remotely. AIN.Capital shares the details about stereo project.

What is stereo?

stereo is a new mobile-only bank that in Poland will offer a pretty much similar banking experience as monobank for its users in Ukraine. As Gorokhovskyi told AIN.Capital’s Editor, stereo will offer the most popular options to clients as an MVP from the very beginning: cards and payments in a beautiful, pleasant interface. Over time, new features will be added.

One of the most competitive features of stereo, in comparison with traditional banks, is free of any fees and charges in payments and money transfers. Among other advantages are the option to open an account remotely in a matter of minutes, money transfers by phone number, virtual and physical card, features like shake-to-pay, etc.

Just as in Ukraine, where monobank operates on the basis of Universal Bank, Ukrainian fintech will cooperate in Poland with a local financial institution — a “daughter” of the Belgian Aion. Since 2018, the bank has been owned by the American private equity fund Warburg Pincus.

stereo is currently under development, but registration for access to the beta is already open for users. The full-fledged launch is planned for the end of the first quarter of 2023.

Investments and monetization

According to Gorohovskyi, the company invested in stereo “a lot”. He didn’t disclose the precise amount, but said that the budget for the first year is much higher than €10 million. The payback period depends on how much stereo will succeed.

The project is targeted firstly at Ukrainians who moved to Poland due to the full-scale war. According to different sources, currently, there are about 3 million Ukrainians in Poland, who can become the first and quite massive user base for stereo at the start. But the company hopes that Poles will also join, so stereo is available both in Ukrainian and Polish.

“We were preparing to enter the Polish market starting from July 2022. I mean, we weren’t going to do this before the war. We chose Poland precisely because the largest number of Ukrainians fled there. We hope that not only Ukrainians but also Poles will join stereo. But, of course, without all these potential customers, whom we understand and know what they need, we couldn’t dare to do this,”

Oleg Gorokhovskyi said in the comment.

Unlike monobank, stereo will have a paid subscription called stereo+ with additional features and lower fees in addition to the regular version.

“We do not issue loans yet, so we need to be able to earn. This subscription is primarily aimed at those who want to support the project, and secondly, there will be a little more opportunities for customers,”

Gorokhovskyi said.

stereo+ will cost 15 PLN per month and include free issuance of a physical card (25 PLN without a subscription), opening an account in euros, and other benefits. Ukrainian monobank does not have a subscription yet.

What’s next?

stereo may become the first step in monobank’s European expansion. If the product grows and all the financial indicators meet expectations, the company will go further. Germany and Portugal, where a lot of Ukrainians live, may be the next two markets for monobank to enter as well.