Is eToro’s Foray into Debit Set to Challenge Robinhood’s?

After plans for the debit card were leaked last week, eToro has confirmed that a card is in the works.

Multi-asset social trading platform eToro has confirmed its plans to launch a debit card to cryptocurrency news platform CoinRivet. The confirmation followed the leakage of the plans late last week when an anonymous source within eToro sent a series of emails to a number of financial news outlets exposing details on how the card will look and operate. According to the emails, the card is expected to be launched by Q2 2020.

In a statement emailed to Finance Magnates, eToro PR and communications manager Katie Evans said that “regarding the debit card, we can confirm that this is something we are working on.”

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“However, it isn’t something we can provide any further detail at this point in time other than to say that as a business, eToro has always evolved its product line up to meet the needs of our 12 million registered users across 100+ countries,” Evans added.

The emails leaked last week also detail how eToro will allow users to spend eToro profits on recurring payments. Business Insider reported that the debit card would be eToro’s latest attempt to “[offer] users a more rounded set of services…eToro is moving to diversify its revenue — but it seems that, at least for now, it’s largely focusing on the trading industry.”

eToro could be “moving to diversify its revenue” to fend off competition

The card may also be an attempt by eToro to try and set itself apart from the increasingly-crowded commission-free trading space. Finance Magnates previously reported that eToro officially became commission-free in May of this year on stocks and ETF trading.

Indeed, platforms like Freetrade and Robinhood are becoming increasingly popular; Robinhood’s commission-free trading app is making its debut in the UK (the land of its namesake), according to an official blog post from the company posted on November 19.

eToro has headquarters in London, so Robinhood’s entry into the country may put a bit of extra pressure on eToro to offer a more diverse set of services.

A startup company called “Freetrade”  has also established itself in the UK, and offers access to US and UK stocks and has begun a waiting list for companies in several countries across Europe in preparation for an expansion.

Robinhood achieved a $7.6 billion valuation with the completion of a $323 million fundraising round in July. In 2018 (the last time period for which such data is valuable), eToro was valued at $800 million.

And, interestingly enough, Robinhood is also in the process of launching its own debit card, which it announced in October as part of its new Cash Management feature. According to the announcement, the card will offer users an annual percentage yield of 2.05% and will allow users to “spend directly from your brokerage account.” The new feature theoretically allows users to earn interest on money that they’re not currently investing with Robinhood.

eToro is building acquisitions, partnerships

eToro has also been building up acquisitions and partnerships, seemingly as a way to set itself apart from similar platforms.

For example, Business Insider pointed to eToro’s November acquisition of crypto portfolio tracker app Delta as an attempt to build out its product suite.

In October, eToro signed a six-month partnership deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). eToro is also  an official club partner to six UK-based Premier League football clubs.

”The source behind the leak is understood to be attempting to expose what they believe is blatant profiteering.”

According to CoinRivet, “the source behind the leak is understood to be attempting to expose what they believe is blatant profiteering, accusing the brokerage company of capitalizing on its customers.”

However, eToro responded by saying that it is proud to be a yield-led organization, and that profit is what its customers are after, too.

“When we started eToro our goal was to disrupt the world of trading. We wanted to change the way people think about trading and investing, ultimately reducing dependency on traditional financial institutions and make trading and investing more transparent and fun. This mission remains our guiding light and we will continue to evolve both organically and by acquisition in order to bring our customers the very best experience.”

“At a time when other fintechs state that they are not even targeting profitability, we are proud to be a well funded, profitable business that is growing both in terms of geographical coverage but also product range. This solid base and 12 years of experience allows us to continue to add to the services that we offer our clients and to continue to open up finance for all.”

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