N26 (bank)

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N26 Bank GmbH
Industry Financial services
Headquarters Klosterstraße 62, 10179, Berlin, Germany
Area served
Germany (primary) and Eurozone
Owner N26 GmbH
Website n26.com
N26 Black

N26 (known as Number 26 until July 2016) is a German direct bank, headquartered in Berlin, Germany, that offers its services throughout most of the Eurozone and is expanding to the UK in 2018 and the US in early 2019. [1][2][3]

Product overview[edit]

N26 provides a free basic current account and a Debit MasterCard card for their customers.[4][5] Additionally customers can request overdraft protection, investment products, and premium current accounts.[6][7] The premium MasterCard product, referred to as N26 Black, is currently available in Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Spain.[8]

The account opening process can be completed via a video chat with N26's identity verification partner, IDnow,[9] which according to its website takes about 8 minutes. Only holders of certain passports and ID cards can verify their identity online; others will have to visit a German post office if it is supported by Postident.[9][10]

Availability[edit]

N26 accepts customers with residency addresses in all Eurozone countries except Cyprus and Malta, for its basic current account and Debit Mastercard products[11]:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain

In Germany, Austria and the Netherlands customers can additionally request a Maestro card.[12]

The website, the app and the customer service are provided in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish regardless of the customer's residency.[citation needed] As a result, it is one of the few German banks that offer their interface in other languages for non-German speakers living in Germany.[13]

Fees[edit]

N26 charges no fees for basic banking transactions, but has introduced a Fair Use policy for most countries [14]. This limits free ATM withdrawals to 3 or 5 per month depending on country and profile, after which, there is a 2 euro fee. For its German customers N26 offers CASH26, an alternative method of withdrawing cash for free up to 999 euro per day at various retail locations.[15] With CASH26 cash can be deposited on a credit card up to 100 euro per month without fees, and additional amounts at a 1.5% fee.[15] Customers can lock and unlock their MasterCard through the app without having to contact N26 support. They can similarly enable and disable it for usage abroad or online usage, or modify the daily limits for cash withdrawals and card payments.

The N26 app can scan the users' contacts in their smartphone and identify other N26 account holders.[16] Using a service called Moneybeam a N26 customer can send funds to these contacts without having to fill in their IBAN.[17] Moneybeam transfers are executed instantaneously.[18]

History[edit]

In April 2016, N26 received €10 million in a series A round by Valar Ventures.[19] Valar Ventures was co-founded by Peter Thiel, PayPal's co-founder.

Initially Number 26 started operations without holding a banking license; instead it was merely an interface while the back end was provided by Wirecard. In July 2016 it rebranded as N26 Bank, having received its own banking license from BaFin.[20]

In July 2016 N26 also announced its Fair Use Policy for customers residing in Germany. This created a backlash on social media by unhappy customers.

In November 2016 customers were asked to transfer their accounts to N26 Bank's infrastructure. As a result, they would have to get a new account IBAN number, while the previous accounts held by Wirecard would be terminated.

In December 2016 N26 announced that its basic current account would become available to 17 Eurozone countries.[21]

In March 2018, N26 has raised $160 million in a series C round by Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings and Allianz X (Allianz). On the same date, N26 claimed a customer base of 850,000, with the goal of having 5,000,000 customers by 2020.[22][23]

Controversy[edit]

In June 2016 N26 notified several customers that their accounts were going to be terminated. The company cited as main reasons that some customers were making too many ATM withdrawals, while others were suspected of money laundering.[24] The unpopular introduction of the Fair Use Policy in July 2016 came as an aftermath of these terminations.[original research?]

During the transfer of its customer base to its own banking infrastructure, N26 customers took to social media to report various problems.[25]

In December 2016 Vincent Haupert, a research fellow in computer science from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, demonstrated how he could take advantage of security vulnerabilities in order to get access to N26 users' accounts.[26] Haupert had already notified N26 of the vulnerabilities back in September 2016.[27] N26 acknowledged the issues and claimed that they had been fixed before they became public, adding that no user account had actually been compromised.[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://nomadgate.com/n26-us/
  2. ^ https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/06/n26-expands-its-bank-of-the-future-to-17-european-countries/?guccounter=1
  3. ^ Editorial, Reuters. "German mobile bank N26 to launch in Britain, U.S. in 2018, CEO says". U.K. Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  4. ^ https://n26.com/bank-account/
  5. ^ https://n26.com/mastercard/
  6. ^ https://n26.com/n26-invest/
  7. ^ https://n26.com/overdraft/
  8. ^ https://n26.com/black/
  9. ^ a b Running, Thomas K. (2017-04-04). "How to open a N26 Bank account—from anywhere". Nomad Gate. Retrieved 2017-05-09.
  10. ^ Bouliane, Nicolas. "An honest review of N26". All About Berlin.
  11. ^ https://support.n26.com/read/000001280?locale=en
  12. ^ https://support.n26.com/read/000001266?locale=en
  13. ^ Bouliane, Nicolas (2017-09-18). "Which German bank should you choose for your first account?". All About Berlin.
  14. ^ "Charges: What you should know when withdrawing money from an ATM". N26 Support Center. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  15. ^ a b https://support.n26.com/read/000001263?locale=en
  16. ^ https://support.n26.com/read/000001269?locale=en
  17. ^ http://howitravel.co/n26-review/
  18. ^ https://n26.com/moneybeam/
  19. ^ Dillet, Romain (2016-04-16). "Number26 Grabs $10.6 Million To Bring Its Bank Of The Future To Everyone". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  20. ^ Dillet, Romain (2016-07-21). "Number26 is now a true bank as it now has a full banking license". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  21. ^ "N26 goes Europe" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  22. ^ https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/03/20/1442423/0/en/N26-raises-160m-co-led-by-Allianz-X-and-Tencent.html
  23. ^ https://n26.com/160-million-series-c-funding-round-and-850k-customers//
  24. ^ "Number26 closed accounts because customers made too many ATM withdrawals". Finextra. 2016-06-06. Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  25. ^ Wirminghaus, Niklas (2016-12-21). "Der Shitstorm zieht nicht ab". Gruender Szene (in German). Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  26. ^ Ghosh, Agamoni (2016-12-29). "Smartphone bank N26 is not safe and exposes users to hacking, says researcher". International Business Times. Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  27. ^ Wirminghaus, Niklas (2016-12-14). "Massive Sicherheitslücken bei N26 aufgedeckt". Gruender Szene (in German). Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  28. ^ "HOW N26 BANK PROVIDES SECURITY OF YOUR BANK ACCOUNT". N26. Retrieved 2017-01-31.

External links[edit]