N26 (known as Number 26 until July 2016) is a German neobank, headquartered in BerlinGermany.

N26 offers its services throughout most of the Eurozone, UK, Switzerland and US. It is expected to start operating in Brazil soon.

Product overview

N26 provides a free basic current account and a Debit MasterCard card to all its customers, as well as a Maestro card for their customers in certain markets. Additionally, customers can request overdraft and investment products. N26 also offers premium accounts (N26 You and N26 Metal) which offer additional features for a monthly fee.

The account opening process can be completed via a video chat with N26’s identity verification partner, IDnow. 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.

Availability

N26 offers its services in 23 European countries, plus the United States. In Austria, Germany and the Netherlands customers can additionally request a Maestro card.

Some parts of the website and customer service are provided in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish regardless of the customer’s residency.

Mobile payments

N26 customers in several of its markets can use their smartphone for in-store purchases. N26 supports Google Pay in the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Slovakia, and Spain, while it supports Apple Pay in the United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, Greece, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, and Spain. Additional countries are added as both Google Pay and Apple Pay gradually expand throughout N26’s markets.

Fees

N26 has a basic account with no monthly fee and charges no fees for basic banking transactions or credit card payments in foreign currencies. In the Eurozone (except Austria and Italy) ATM withdrawals are limited to five per month for primary account holders and three per month for others. N26 charges a €2 fee for any additional withdrawal. In the UK, free ATM withdrawals are unlimited.

ATM withdrawals in foreign currencies are also subject to a 1.70% fee for basic account and are free for N26 You and Metal account holders.

German customers can also withdraw and deposit money at retail locations. While there is no fee for withdrawals up to €999, free deposits are limited to €100 and additional amounts are subject to a 1.5% fee.

Security

Customers can lock and unlock their MasterCard through the mobile app without having to contact N26 support. They can also enable and disable it for usage abroad or online usage and modify the daily limits for cash withdrawals and card payments.

Mobile transfers

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

History

In April 2015, N26 received €10 million in a series A round by Valar Ventures. Valar Ventures was co-founded by Peter ThielPayPal‘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 re-branded as N26 Bank, having received its own banking license from BaFin.

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.

In March 2018, N26 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.

In January 2019, N26 raised an additional $300 million in a series D round led by Insight Venture Partners with Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and a few existing investors also participating at a valuation of $2.7 billion. With its new valuation of $2.7 billion, N26 overtook Revolut as the most valuable mobile bank in Europe.

In July 2019 N26 became available to customers residing in the US, after initially hinting at a 2018 launch date. A week after announcing the launch of their service in the US to members of the waiting list in partnership with Axos Bank, N26 announced a new $170M addition of capital on top of the $300M Series D round of funding.

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