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IndustryFinancial services
FounderAli Niknam
HeadquartersNaritaweg 131-133, 1043 BS, ,
Area served
Key people
  • Ali Niknam (CEO)
  • Idzard van Eeghen (CFO/CRO)
  • Djoeri Timessen (CPO)
ProductsPersonal and business current accounts
Number of employees
82 FTE (2018)

bunq is a Dutch, internationally active neobank, headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The company was founded in 2015 by Ali Niknam, original founder of the IT company TransIP.[1]

bunq offers personal and business accounts and focuses on ease of use transaction accounts.


bunq offers a range of online financial services, primarily through its own mobile app. The company's app enables customers to open one free transaction account, or up to 25 accounts for a monthly fee.[2] Additionally, customers can request money from friends, split bills, and make payments in real time.[3] Businesses can also open a bunq account.[4]

bunq focuses heavily on online ease of use. The account opening process can be completed by top-up or video chat and takes about 5 minutes. After setting up an account, the user can send payments to IBANs, contacts' phone numbers and e-mail addresses. A user can also request money from contacts, or create group accounts.[5] All payments within the app and to other contacts are transferred immediately.

Within a standard subscription, customers can receive up to 3 cards, Maestro card, debit Mastercard and a Travel Card (a credit card without the risk of going into debt). The app also allows users to pay via QR code. By scanning a QR code, payments can be made in real time to users or retailers who also have an account with the bank.[6]

In February 2017, bunq made its API and SDK public, allowing users and developers to build apps related to financial services.[7]

A few of the more unusual and/or unique features of bunq, compared with other banks, are:

  • Dual PIN, two PIN codes on one card. Depending on which PIN you use, the payment is deducted from a different account;[8]
  • bunq Pack and bunq Joint, discount on the monthly fee for groups of users;
  • bunq.me, fundraising service by easily sharing your own custom URL link;
  • Freedom of Choice, you can decide where your money is invested. Sustainable practices are set as default;
  • MassInterest, 9x higher interest rate than other banks;
  • Multiple bank accounts, for easy budgeting and joint sub-accounts that can be opened in seconds.

Company Profile[edit]

bunq, a European Fintech firm, started out in payments, but expanded to deposit accounts.[9] In 2015, the company received its official banking license with the Dutch Central Bank (DNB).[1] This enabled the company to execute transactions with other banks and guarantee all account holders up to €100,000 in deposits - according to the Deposit Guarantee Scheme.[10] Through the banking license, customers can get an IBAN bank account number, deposit salaries and make payments to other banks.[11]


bunq's earliest stages began in 2012, after Niknam had already set up the web-hosting company TransIP in 2003. In September 2014, bunq obtained its official banking permit with DNB. At the end of 2015, the company had sixty employees, consisting mostly of young ITs, but also two bankers with a past at the Royal Bank of Scotland. The cooperation of experienced bankers was a prerequisite for obtaining the banking license.[1]

In September 2015, bunq raised €16.7 million in seed funds.[12] The first beta version of the app was launched on a limited scale, and in November 2015, the app was available to the public. Early on, bunq was recognized as the 'WhatsApp of banking' - being one of the first Fintech startups to remove the need for IBANs.[13] Following this in December 2015, it was discovered that the app stored unprotected photo IDs on Android, giving other apps access to the same device. The problem was repaired shortly after disclosure.[14]

In August 2017, bunq introduced a new pricing plan, which included the three cards and twenty-five accounts for a fixed fee per month. [15]

In December 2017, bunq started using 'Instant Payments' (implementing SCT Inst) which is a system that enables users to transfer money to other bank accounts and banks in Europe, within seconds.[16] Bunq is also an ambigram.

Financial data[edit]

Year Employees in FTE Total assets Net result
2013[17][failed verification] 12 € 621.389,-
2014[17] 25 € 14.652.880,- € -1.680.167,-
2015[17] 39 € 11.654.623,- € -3.501.800,-
2016[18] 55 € 29.090.907,- € -5.273.065,-
2017[19] 78 € 126.510.243,- € -9.007.583,-
2018[20] 82 € 230.546.719,- € -11.117.288,-

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Huizinga, Siebe (2017). Break Through Banking. Kompas. ISBN 978 94 9210 707 7.
  2. ^ "bunq Pricing Consumers & Businesses" (PDF). Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  3. ^ "bunq BV: Private Company Information - Bloomberg". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  4. ^ "bunq Business". Retrieved 2018-02-06.
  5. ^ "'Banken zijn bang, start-ups maken de killer-apps' - Tech - Voor nieuws, achtergronden en columns". De Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  6. ^ "Bunq laat gebruikers nu onderling betalen met QR-code". Androidworld. Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  7. ^ "bunq's open API and SDK for developers - bunq". bunq. Retrieved 2018-01-08.
  8. ^ "Online bank bunq lanceert Dual PIN en groepslidmaatschappen - Emerce". Emerce (in Dutch). Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  9. ^ "Klarna, a Swedish fintech unicorn, gets a full banking licence". The Economist. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  10. ^ "Financiële start-ups krijgen meer kansen - Tech - Voor nieuws, achtergronden en columns". De Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  11. ^ "Bunq: 'WhatsApp voor banken'". NRC (in Dutch). Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  12. ^ "bunq | Crunchbase". Crunchbase. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  13. ^ "Bunq: 'WhatsApp voor banken'". NRC (in Dutch). Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  14. ^ "Bank-app sloeg foto's identiteitsbewijzen onbeveiligd op" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  15. ^ bunq (2017-10-10), bunq Update #5, retrieved 2018-05-02
  16. ^ "Instant Payments tussen ABN AMRO en bunq nu mogelijk". www.banken.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  17. ^ a b c Financial data 2013 - 2015 kvk.nl
  18. ^ Financial statement 2016
  19. ^ Financial statement 2017
  20. ^ Financial statement 2018