Germany is a world-known country for its automotive industry. But it’s also known for having one of the most secure banks in the world. And we are not talking about Deutsche Bank per se. We are talking about N26, the online (non-traditional) bank we all know and love.
N26 is not a newcomer when it comes to online banking. It’s been in business since 2016, and it’s steadily becoming a big player when it comes to the Fintech industry. It serves 22 countries in Europe, and it works in the USA too. Plus, we are expecting is a worldwide expansion so that everyone can use this incredible fintech company.
In this review, we will cover the most exciting facts about N26. We will also thoroughly discuss the features it offers and what you can do with your account.
N26 is a Fintech company that is operating from Berlin, Germany. As a worldwide company, it also has offices in the US, France, Spain, Austria, and Brazil. N26 shall arrive in Brazil as soon as the regulations are finished.
The company was founded by Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tayenthal back in 2013 as Number 26. Their whole idea was not to make a bank but to offer smooth online transactions for people. The target audience was freelancers and self-employed people who benefit from such services.
Their name derives from the 26-sided Rubik’s Cube, which is kind of cool, to be honest.
The brand mostly operates as a European company with countries that are in the European Union, besides the US. Plus, they are planning on opening branches in Brazil, as well. Since the UK is leaving the European Union, it will not operate in the UK starting from the 15th of April 2020.
They have 1500 employees, which is huge when you consider that they are only operating in certain countries. This number will increase as they start to enter new markets.
FCID-insured, 3D security on cards, Smartphone pairing, PIN-code.
Detailed FAQ and Live Chat (from 07:00 to 23:00, 7 days a week).
Getting Started and Opening an Account with N26
The registration process is quite easy to follow. All you need is your computer, laptop or your mobile phone. It depends on where you are opening the account, and it can be on your PC or your mobile phone.
If it’s on the PC, just open their official website and click the Open Bank account button. You will be asked for your personal information, like your name, surname, where do you live, birth date, email address, etc. Your official living address is needed to send you the N26 MasterCard to your doorstep.
Just to mention, your phone number is also needed to get most of the experience. It will ask for a password. Choose it wisely since it’s a bank account, and it’s a place where you will be receiving money. So, try to select the password carefully.
If you have a promo code use it, otherwise leave that field empty.
Legal stuff requires that you provide the essential details about you and to prove that you are the person you claim to be. Also, you need to fill in your tax info, so that you have your taxes connected to your profile.
Verify your identity with a selfie, and a picture of your ID. If you are a resident of Germany, you will have to make a video call with the employees of N26, too.
That’s it. You’re done. Your card will be sent in a couple of days, and the registration process takes around 10 minutes maximum if you’re doing it slowly. If you are a fast person, it can take you up to five minutes.
So, there are two types of plans for N26 users. The personal one with three types of plans and the business one with two types of plans. The Personal plans are featuring the basic account – N26 You and N26 Metal. The business account features N26 Business and N26 Business You. Depending on the plan, it might cost you a monthly fee.
They are all different regarding features and monthly prices.
So, the basic plan offers excellent features for a free program. It includes a FREE Mastercard debit card, free payments in many currencies, up to five free ATM withdrawals, and a 1.7% withdrawal fee in foreign currencies. You also get customer support in five languages, and two sub-accounts for easier saving.
First, this account costs €9.90 per month. It offers the same stuff as the basic account plus an additional five different colours to choose from.
You’d like to discover the other perks here? Well, let’s start with the ten sub-accounts for easier savings alongside the free ATM withdrawals worldwide. Also, you get to share your N26 account with up to 10 N26 users. Selected offers from partners like WeWork are included, too.
Want to know the other perks of this plan? Think of medical, flight and baggage delay, and winter sports and ski insurance. Add on top of all this car, bike, and scooter-sharing coverage.
The metal account costs €16.90 per month. It offers the same services as the You account plus some premium features. These include extended customer support and exclusive experiences with partners like WeWork, car rental insurance while travelling, and mobile phone theft and damage coverage.
The N26 business basic account is similar to the basic account for private individuals. Its main difference is the downloadable transaction list for faster tax returns. Additionally, it has a 0.1% cashback on all purchases.
N26 Business You
The Business You account is similar to the You personal account. It has the same advantages as the basic business account with additional upgrades like the personal You account.
There are three types of cards – standard, You model card, and Metal card. The standard card comes in one colour, and you get the offers mentioned above with it. The You card can be in five different colours – blue, orange, pink, green, and grey. The metal card is just like the name suggests – metal with black colour.
The same goes for the business edition, but they only offer the standard looking card and the You cards. All of these are powered by MasterCard. In the US, however, N26 is offering Visa.
Fortunately, all the cards support 3DS. That means two things: the user can be sure that payment goes securely and secondly, the card can be used on all e-shops online, including those that require 3DS mandatory.
Furthermore, all cards support mobile payments – Google Pay and Apple Pay. Just add the card to the app and pay without taking a card out of a wallet. Super simple.
N26 Banking on Mobile Devices
Using the mobile application is very simple and pleasant. You can create an N26 account through your application, and its interface is sleek and very UI friendly.
Having this in mind, the application can be used on both Android and Apple devices. The mobile service can also be reached through the web, but it’s simpler to use the app. The minimum requirement for using the application is to have an iPhone 5s or higher from Apple, which is iOS 11 or above. For the Android version, you need Android 6.0 or later.
A nice feature that the application has is the push notification. For example, it informs you about your current status, if you have any withdrawals, and if you have sent or received any money. We can tell you that it’s very safe to use the application, but only if downloaded from the official website. So, make sure you’re using the formal N26 application. Yes, there are some scams, so download it from the official website.
If your phone gets lost or stolen, immediately change your password to log you out of the application. That way, the app will require your new login credentials.
What you can do on your mobile application is to receive and send money. This is very cool and useful. Plus, it takes just a couple of seconds to process.
N26 can perform better than a bank in some aspects. For instance, the banks have many hidden fees applied to your transactions, and you have no idea about it. With N26, these fees are never an issue since they’re fully transparent.
Some other features include speedy processing of your money. If you and your friends have N26 accounts, they can easily send you money with just a tap of the button. The funds will be directly deposited in your account. It’s simple, it’s fast, and it’s convenient. Plus, you will look cool because you’re not using a traditional bank (joke intended).
You can send and receive funds directly to your account without people knowing your banking credentials. All of this is possible with Moneybeam. What you must do is just give a person your phone number. Directly from their mobile app, they can enter your number, and, within a second, the money is in your pocket. It’s that easy. You can send up to €1,000 within 24 hours. The users in the US have a limit of $3,000 per day.
The payment methods to send and receive money are different. You can send money through direct deposit, debit card transfer, bank to bank transfer, and Moneybeam. You can also receive money from third-party apps like Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, etc. The processing time depends on the service, but it takes somewhere to a couple of minutes to a couple of hours.
The currencies supported by N26 are the national ones of the supported. For instance, we have the Euro, Swiss Francs, etc. The exchange rates are different. With N26, you have up to five free ATM withdrawals of foreign currencies, and you can see the exchange rate in real life with your application. There are no hidden fees whatsoever regarding the currencies or the exchange rates the brand offers.
Furthermore, N26 processes its international transfers via TransferWise. It helps to reduce fees and make the transfer process as smooth as possible. At the same time, international money transfer does not take too long to arrive.
At the moment N26 supports Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the US.
|Transfers between N26 users||FREE|
|ATM withdrawals*||FREE - 1.7%|
|Money exchange||Depends on the currency|
*Some countries are restricted up to 5 free withdrawals. The UK, Austria and Italy have unlimited free withdrawals. While, Metal users get up to 8 free withdrawals.
Ooh, the perks of using N26 are big. Like really big! But the minimal drawback is that you will need to use the premium accounts to benefit from them.
The perks include selected offers from their partners, such as the co-working giant WeWork. We also want to mention the travel insurance and car insurance alongside 15% cashback deals from Booking.com. The list goes on with HeadSpace discounts for mindful meditations, cashback on every payment, and Babbel deals for learning a new language.
If you need new clothing, you can get a discount on your next three orders from YOOX. If you are into Broadway shows, get 10% off your next three purchases of 50$ or more.
Finally, N26 can be a good alternative using it for gambling (sports betting and online casinos). Its Terms and conditions allow that while many other banks and payment processors usually are pretty strict on that.
The support system of N26 is fantastic. Even though there are some drawbacks when it comes to customer care, we believe that it works fine.
To contact the support team, you need to contact them through the app or the website. There is also a help centre for the most common questions. If you have more complicated issues, don’t worry. The chat is working from 07:00 to 23:00 every day, even Sundays and bank holidays.
On the other hand, the chatbot is available 24/7 and it holds a lot of answers to common questions. Give it a shot!
There is always a queue, but there’s no need to panic. You will get the needed assistance for sure. Since N26 is serving millions of users, there is always someone with a question about something. Still, the support team tries to resolve anyone’s issue as fast as possible.
Metal users get VIP care at N26 so they can use special phone line that waits for the customers 7 days a week.
The obvious question arises, how safe N26 is? Well, to be honest with you, it’s a very safe and stable company. So, don’t worry about anything. Still, we will explain in detail how your money is safe with them.
The money that you have at N26 is FDIC-insured through their partner bank Axos.
To keep yourself secured, please use secure login. There is also the phone pairing option where you will be asked to pair the login procedure with your phone. It’s an extra layer of security, and you should go for it.
There is another microchip in the cards so that scammers can’t replicate your card and steal your identity. With the application, you can control how much you are spending and where you are spending. Plus, you get to allow and restrict online purchases, which is useful if your card goes missing.
With the push notification, you are instantly informed when you make a purchase somewhere. Plus, there is the option of a discrete model where sensitive information like account balance are blurred so no one can see your balance.
Finally, N26 supports Two-Factor Authentication. That provides an extra layer of security in many cases.
Money kept on N26 are protected by German Deposit Protection Scheme.
Drawbacks of N26
The only thing about N26 we personally dislike is that to use some cool features, you must pay a monthly fee. That kinda sucks, but it’s standard among similar companies. We totally understand that having everything for nothing is not possible. Still, it would have been cool if you could at least get 1-2 features of the premium account for free.
If nothing else, it would be nice to have a test period. Like for instance, to offer all the basic users free three months of the Headspace application. Then, later on, if you want to upgrade to the premium version to have 15% off the next purchase of the app.
Furthermore, N26 doesn’t offer virtual cards. It is not necessary, but it’s a great addition to online shopping and in some other cases.
Still, we want to highlight that this isn’t anything serious or tragic. These are just some things we would like to have, but they don’t affect the overall service of N26.
Other Cool N26 Features
What’s cool about N26 is that it offers a lot of excellent features. Some of them will be listed here, and some of them were listed above.
‘Spaces’ is something N26 is offering so that you can take control of your spending. Create a list of ‘Spaces’ like saving for a MacBook pro and frequently “donate” some cash there. With the feature, you will have that MacBook you have always wanted in no time. Also, there are shared ‘Spaces’ where you can add more people in the same bucket. These enable you to share expenses or achieve a mutual goal, like saving for a trip with your partner.
There is travel insurance offered for the premium members of the application. That also includes flight and luggage delay insurance coverage, winter sports and ski insurance cover. Meaning, you can travel abroad carefree.
To add, N26 offers other forms of insurance as well. Customers can acquire accident, household, mobile phone (including damage and theft), automotive and a few other types of insurance. Of course, free members are not eligible to get one, while the full selection of this feature appears for Metal users only.
In general, N26 offers insurance for a car, phone, and even insurance that covers you on your trip to the mountains. Not to mention the insurance for e-scooters and e-bikes that you have rented. Check the image below to better understand insurance options N26 provides.
There are also selected offers from their partners like WeWork, Booking, Hotels.com, GetYourGuide, etc.
However, it doesn’t work for Standard users. At least You level account is necessary to enable this feature.
We know there are many services out there that are offering online banking. Still, N26 is definitely a winner in the game since it has so much to offer, and its benefits are enormous.
The best part is that N26 provides everything with a digital nomad needs. Maybe the service isn’t for everyone, but hey, their main idea is to meet the needs of a specific target audience. And they achieve this goal perfectly.
We strongly believe that if you are a freelancer, traveller, or self-employed, N26 is the perfect fit for your lifestyle. Just register via their mobile app or join through the website following a few simple steps.
We know you will love it!