Almost three years after its launch, Vybe, which targets young people aged 13 to 18, has ceased trading. The neobank went into receivership on July 12. In a few weeks' time, its 40,000 users will no longer be able to access the service and will be invited to open an account with Lydia, a fintech specializing in mobile payments.
An insufficiently profitable business model
Created in September 2019, Vybe set out to appeal to Generation Z by offering a free payment card accessible from the age of 13. The offer included an account, access to the mobile app and a Mastercard, a parent portal to manage all expenses, the ability to make instant transfers between Vybe accounts, and an IBAN to make incoming and outgoing transfers.
Recently placed in receivership, the Paris-based neobank will close its doors within the next month. An outcome that would have been unthinkable a few months ago for the startup, which employs around thirty people. Interviewed by Les Echos newspaper, Vybe co-founder Canelle Chokron explains that during the fund-raising phase, the company's biggest investor withdrew at a time when the company was growing rapidly.
" The number of users was increasing by 30% a month, and retention was good," says Canelle.
This financing was essential for Vybe, whose business model was based mainly on interchange commissions and cashback. In contrast to competitors such as Pixpay, Kard and Xaalys, Vybe had created a free offer and therefore needed to achieve high volumes to be profitable. Despite the resources deployed by the neobank to attract young people via social networks, the company was unable to sell out the 260,000 cards pre-ordered in April 2021.
Shortly before its closure, the startup was planning to offer paid features to its customers, such as job-search assistance or a cryptocurrency offering from which it could have earned commissions. Its competitors, who are also looking to expand their revenue streams, retain customers by offering products through partnerships or a financial product comparison service.
Users invited to open a Lydia account
Within the next few weeks, Vybe customers will no longer have access to its services. Major users, who represent 40% of the total customer share, are invited to open a Lydia Bleu account.
The offer includes :
- a customizable Visa card and a French IBAN
- 5,000 euros of spending per month with no limit on the number of transactions
- credit and payment facilities
- a 0.7% interest-bearing savings solution.
It costs 4.90 euros a month or 49 euros a year (2 months free). Former Vybe customers can take advantage of a promotional code.
As for minors, in accordance with a decision handed down by the Commercial Court, they will be redirected to Kard, which has launched two packages dedicated to young people aged 10 and over: Basique at 2.99 euros per month and Confort at 4.99 euros per month.