Number26, a German startup bank, has now gone live in France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Slovakia and Spain, offering free mobile-only banking services to its customers.
The app-based, branch-free bank has so far proven popular with the under-35s, representing two-thirds of its current 80,000-strong user base, as well as appealing to more men than women.
The company doesn’t currently charge people for its services, which include cash withdrawals using the Mastercard debit card it provides, an on-demand overdraft up to €2,000, and push notifications to keep you abreast of your spending habits.
It’s making its money thanks to this relationship with Mastercard, which pays Number26 a fee for each transaction made.
Number26 currently only operates in euros, with a spokesperson citing the complexity of offering multi-currency transactions as a key challenge it needs to overcome ahead of a wider launch in 2016.
Having initially opened its doors in Germany and Austria, the platform has not yet been translated outside of German and English.
Its partnership with Wirecardbank AG, which holds a German banking license, means funds are protected by the German deposit protection scheme up to €100,000.
Challenger banks like Number26 are aiming to cut the frills from the services offered by traditional banks, while offering innovation that’s not so simple for established players.
Although Number26 is not yet live in the UK, the company is offering an entirely free service, where Monese customers have to pay for some international banking features.
Additional paid-for services, like savings accounts, are on the way. Number26 eventually plans to be a hub for the growing range of disruptive banking services coming onto the market.
The company verifies your account in less than 10 minutes by looking at your passport on a videochat.
Although this sounds like it could be vulnerable to fraud, Number26 assures TNW that these checks are done according to guidelines published by German regulators.
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