No.26 Digital Bank

Thursday, March 19, 2020
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A trend in digital banking in recent years has shown some substantial challengers to the financial industry. With a streamlined offering, providing customers with an easy to use service that’s matched to their everyday needs, as well as lower fees, these banks have been able to carve a significant corner of the market for themselves. This article will discuss N0. 26.

What is No.26 ?

N26 is a fully licensed Berlin based digital bank, part of a wave of new challengers in the industry that are taking on the traditional institutions. It has no bricks and mortar branches and is 100% online.

It’s offering is aimed towards tech savvy individuals who want an alternative to banking institutions whose integrity has been called into question since the 2008 economic crash. With only a smartphone, people can connect directly to N26 and open an account in about five minutes.

Currently, the bank is operating in three locations, Europe, the UK, and the United States. However operations in the UK are being shut down because of the UK leaving the EU. Since the company’s creation, it has grown to have more than three and a half million customers in over 27 countries.

Because there are no overheads associated with physical locations and staffing, N26’s model allows it to pass these savings on cost structure onto the consumer. Alongside this, N26 offers a simple banking service, structured around deposits, ATM access and debit cards. Traditional institutions have a much wider product portfolio such as mortgages, auto loans, credit cards and insurance products. If you need access to these wider services, that’s great. But if you don’t need them, they create another layer of overheads that a bank charges for, that a customer doesn’t need.

How does it work?

When you have got your account approved and setup, you can login with face and fingerprint technology on your phone.

You will be issued with a Mastercard debit card, and your account can also be linked to Google Pay. Your card can be locked immediately if you lose it or it’s stolen. ATM withdrawals are free from within your home country, but incurs a 1.7% charge if you take your money from an ATM when abroad. If you need to make a payment abroad there are no fees from N26. The exchange rate will be set by Mastercard.

All of your account information and financial statements are digital. You can access all the information through the app, with barely any contact with a person. For some this is great, while for others it creates a distancing they don’t always enjoy.

There are a number of the unique features within the app. The first one is ‘Spaces’ this helps a customer manage their finances to save for a target such as a holiday or deposit. The second is setting a daily spend and withdraw limit on your card. The third is reports on spending and statistics, letting the customer automatically manage buys into different categories.

How do you sign up?

Because there are no physical branches, the sign up process has been streamlined and made as easy as possible. It can be broken down into three steps:

  1. Submit an online registration form on the N26 website. You’ll be asked to submit personal details and a mobile phone number.
  2. Prove your identity
  3. Link your N26 account with your smartphone.

Digital banks started to provide a service that older institutions either didn’t want to, or were too large to react quick enough to get ahead of the market. N26 offers a streamlined banking experience for the 21st century, catering for younger generations.


Can N26 be trusted?

N26 is a fully licensed German bank and as such, can be trusted as much as you would another high street establishment.

Is n26 really free?

The basic N26 account is free, but you can pay for accounts with additional functionality. You can view how much N26 costs in your specific country on this support page.

How long does n26 take to verify?

Once your verification has been accepted, N26 will issue your Mastercard, which can take 10 days to deliver.

The time it takes to verify varies slightly by location. The most common reason a verification can fail is because the picture is too low quality. Make sure you follow the guidelines carefully to not have your photo declined.

What bank is behind n26?

N26’s account is provided by Axos Bank