eToro launches its debit card for UK customers
Israeli trading and multi-asset brokerage company eToro has launched its eToro Money program for UK users, which includes the distribution of a VISA debit card to users.
The firm’s debit card will initially launch for select eToro members in the UK Club program without any additional or recurring monthly charges, before expanding to Europe. After this, the company plans to extend its debit offering to non-eToro users. eToro has well over 20 million registered users and expects take-up of the card to be strong.
The news is hardly big surprise as the Israeli firm revealed these plans in 2020 after it acquired UK-based e-money business, Marq Millions, which then rebranded as eToro Money. The company also acquired a Principal Membership with Visa and an electronic money institution (EMI) licence from the Financial Conduct Authority.
The context to this was that the social trading network was racing to build up its UK user base ahead of a potential launch by competitor Robinhood. The no-fee app, however, shelved plans to expand in the UK.
In its efforts to streamline operations, eToro card provides instant “cash-out and cash-in” functionality to customers, a feature that the company says their user-base has been requesting for a while. eToro expects the debit card will further provide its customers with a convenient way to withdraw and spend their funds.
Trading competition in the UK
“I’m proud and excited that eToro Money is now available to all of our UK users. We know from our beta testing that eToro Money greatly improves our user experience providing instant cash-in and cash-out. We look forward to adding more features to the eToro offering and to expanding the user base beyond the UK,” Doron Rosenblum, Vice President of Business Solutions at eToro, said in a statement.
eToro has been among the biggest beneficiaries of the retail investing COVID-19 boom. While eToro’s social investing product did most of the success since its inception 15 years ago, cryptocurrency trading on the platform took off. Trading commissions generated from digital asset trading accounted for nearly two thirds of the total commissions eToro earned in 2021.
But in the third quarter, crypto trading activity declined from record highs earlier in the year, leading to considerably fewer new funded accounts.
eToro added 1.6 million new clients in the second quarter, an 8 percent increase from the same period last year, but down from Q2’s 2.6 million new registered users. It had 24.8 million total users and 2.14 million funded accounts as of September 30, 2021. Assets under administration (AUA) now stands at $10.6 billion, up 13 percent compared with Q2’s $9.4 billion.