So far, it has not sought a banking licence, although it calls its consumer app a “Bitcoin banking” app. It does have an e-money licence for payments.
Mr Rowland has two decades of experience in the city, selling his investment company JellyWorks aged 24 amidst the dotcom boom, which surged to more than £300m in value, although it was later sold for £67m. In 2015, he co-founded challenger small business bank Redwood.
Mode is a minnow compared to Monzo and Revolut, but Mr Rowland said while more established challenger banks had acquired millions of customers and multi billion pound valuations they were failing to make any money. “I like Monzo,” he said. “But I don’t see them making money.”
He said: “There is no other fintech doing what we do. There is no listed retail cryptocurrency or banking disruptor.”
His own challenger is being pitched to investors as a so-called “superapp”, similar to China’s Alipay, which will have multiple functions in payments, money transfers and investments. Last month, it announced it had hired Ria Liu, Alipay’s former UK chief executive.