Banking made convenient via mobile app
The older one becomes, the more we are inclined to question things that were seemingly sensible or the “right thing to do” in the past. We all recall the euphoric we felt when we opened our first transactional (non-savings) bank account – and yes, for many of us it was only until our early twenties that this happened.
That feeling of being able to own, manage and move funds was however short-lived, and soon plagued with costs such as service fees, transfer charges, inconvenient waiting queues, withdrawal charges and even sometimes a deposit charge in some extreme cases! As you will see from other posts, we are not entirely fans of the banking system, and to be honest, that is why the new blockchain technology fascinates us. We are secretly hoping it will not crash or end up being a fad.
We did, however, stumble across a (mobile) bank that ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to security, charges but more so, on the convenient side of things. We have since the discovery, opened an account (which took minutes from the comfort of a dining room table) at the N26 Bank.
There was no need to stand in a line at a bank for money, and also no need to be worried about if the ATM close-by will charge one to withdraw cash because it was a different institution and best of all – grocery shopping experience! It is a breeze with full smartcard functionality!
With a quick touch of your card to the teller machine, the need to remember a code, punch it in, or sign for purchases are a thing of the past.
Granted, many retail banking institutions also offer mobile-banking services, this bank however, adds that extra bit of practicality by incorporating credit card-like facilitates.
So, you can now easily order and pay for items online; make bookings for travelling, your favourite game, shows and events – and even easily purchase Cryptocurrency if you are into that as well. All the same way you do so with a credit card but have the statements and benefits of using a debit card.
Online banks are at the forefront to benefit from digital currency trading via the convenience they provide
There are many more benefits to using this bank and as an advocate for practicality, we are only mentioning the ones that help us directly. One can also open savings and investment portfolios within the app (and control the type of investments based on risk), and apply directly for instant credit or loans based on your monthly transactions (which is available to you constantly at no additional cost).
The tracking of revenue versus expenses – which is presented beautifully in an easy-to-understand format on the app.
Running your budget via the service also makes the qualification processes for external funding even faster provided you meet some standard criteria.
This inadvertently also saves you more in money and time it would have taken to print out bank statements, book appointments (taking time off work) or as most do, use a lunch-break to drive and wait in traffic to get to your local branch. The whole concept of branches is also very restrictive and outdated.
I personally was once not allowed to deposit cash into my own account from the same retail bank ATM (with outlets nationwide) just because I was out of jurisdiction – in a neighbouring city 35 km from my branch!
Banks will be banks – there will naturally be costs involved at some point (no such thing as a free lunch). When a bank, however, minimises costs (without frills) and adds convenience with the advent of Fintech – we lean towards it.
They are currently just European-based (though transfers are border-less if sent in US Dollars via partner TransferWise) so that is pretty much the only ‘drawback’ along with the territory-based credit, loan and savings facilities.
Other benefits include:
- In-app security features – setting limits quickly and easily from the app to help you curb spending sprees.
- Instant money sending – with MoneyBeam you can send, receive or request money from your friends instantly.
- Instant push notifications – get notified on all account activity.
- Log in using your fingerprint – for phones that have the feature, you have this extra and secure way other than the use codes, and pattern logins.
- Export your transactions – to CSV to import elsewhere for deeper analysis (useful for preparing business financial statements).
- Quick in-app support – chat with an agent via the inbuilt messaging system about an issue you are facing and they will quickly respond.
As a progressive youth-mindful bank (with an equally millennial-oriented advertising campaign). We are pretty certain the bottle-necks are being worked on quickly. They are backed by reputable institutions so they can only grow and expand offers further abroad – with the UK and the USA in their immediate cross-hair scope.
Anyone can open a N26 Bank account, as long as you are resident in the EU or EEA. In order to open an account, you would still need a mailing address in one of the countries where N26 operates for them to send you your Mastercard.
These are the ID documents for various nationalities that are supported through the N26 app:
- Algeria (Passport only)
- Angola (Passport only)
- Argentina (Passport only)
- Australia (Passport only)
- Austria (Passport & ID card)
- Belgium (Passport & ID card)
- Bosnia Herzegovina (Passport only)
- Brazil (Passport only)
- Bulgaria (Passport only)
- Canada (Passport only)
- China (Passport only)
- China – Hong Kong (Passport only)
- China – Macao (Passport only)
- Colombia (Passport only)
- Croatia (Passport & ID card)
- Cyprus (Passport only)
- Czech Republic (Passport & ID card)
- Denmark (Passport only)
- Egypt (Passport only)
- Estonia (Passport only)
- Finland (Passport & ID card)
- France (Passport & ID card)
- Germany (Passport & ID card)
- Ghana (Passport only)
- Greece (Passport & ID card)
- Hungary (Passport & ID card)
- Iceland (Passport only)
- India (Passport only)
- Ireland (Passport & ID card)
- Italy (Passport & ID card)
- Japan (Passport only)
- Kazakhstan (Passport only)
- Latvia (Passport & ID card)
- Liechtenstein (ID card only)
- Lithuania (ID card only)
- Luxembourg (Passport & ID card)
- Malaysia (Passport only)
- Malawi (Passport only)
- Malta (Passport & ID card)
- Mexico (Passport only)
- Morocco (Passport only)
- Netherlands (Passport & ID card)
- New Zealand (Passport only)
- Nigeria (Passport only)
- Norway (Passport only)
- Peru (Passport only)
- Philippines (Passport only)
- Poland (Passport & ID card)
- Portugal (Passport & ID card)
- Romania (Passport only)
- Russia (Passport only)
- Serbia (Passport only)
- Singapore (Passport only)
- Slovakia (Passport & ID card)
- Slovenia (Passport & ID card)
- South Africa (Passport only)
- South Korea (Passport only)
- Spain (Passport & ID card)
- Sweden (Passport & ID card)
- Switzerland (Passport & ID card)
- Thailand (Passport only)
- Turkey (Passport only)
- Ukraine (Passport only)
- United Kingdom (Passport only)
- USA (Passport only)
We await more of such developments and expansion into other countries -continents but for the time being, it fully serves our local needs.
Opening an account in N26 bank is easily done in three steps:
1. Filling out an online registration form;
2. Completing an ID verification;
-If you live outside Germany: ID verification is carried out by taking a selfie and a photo of your ID through the app or;
-If you reside in Germany*: ID verification would be through an in-app video call.
3. Pairing a smartphone with your account and you are good to go in about 10mins!