Asma Ahmed
Asma Ahmed
Asma is a fintech writer at AskWallet

Bunq — does it stand out in the frantic race of neobanks?

Bunq is a mobile bank from the Netherlands and wants to make banking operations easy and accessible to everyone. It eliminates traditional banks’ various formalities, so its users can open a bank account quickly and manage it without worry.

8 min read 23.03.2021

What is Bunq?

You can open an account with bunq if you are of legal age (18 years and over) in a European Union member state in the SEPA zone. If you are under the age of majority, you can still open an account with bunq, but you need a legal representative for this to be possible. Individuals, self-employed workers or students can also open an account with bunq.

Bunq offers several bank cards, which may or may not be included in the accounts offered.

Travel card

It is the first credit card marketed by a neobank. In fact, neobanks generally only offer systematic authorisation cards, which can be refused by hotels, car rental companies, etc. This Travel Card is accepted everywhere.

Metal card

Bunq has committed to planting a tree each time the consumer has spent 100 Euros with the card. This card has a much longer life made of stainless steel than conventional cards.

Maestro card

This is the basic bunq card. This is a MasterCard with systematic authorisation.

Is Bunq Safe?

Yes, your funds are secure with this neobank as it holds a banking license issued by the Dutch National Bank. It means that all deposits up to 100,000 euros (for all accounts combined) are covered if Bunq goes bankrupt.

Let's talk about the security of your checking account. Users are always required to enter PIN code when logging into their accounts. Additionally, you can manage the settings to freeze/unfreeze your card in the event of loss or theft. The card can be unlocked again easily via the bunq app. 

 

Bunq Services

Bunq account for individuals

Bunq personal account offer is based on three formulas. The first is the standard easyMoney Personal account that allows you to have up to 3 cards and a set of 25 sub-accounts. The other two accounts are the easyTravel for travellers and the environment-oriented easyGreen Personal (that also includes 25 sub-accounts).

The easyMoney Personal account comes with monthly fees. In this offer, users benefit from three bank cards and ten free withdrawals per month. Then, the bunq easyGreen Personal is an account that offers users to digitise all invoices. With this account, you can connect the APIs and plug-ins of your choice. This will allow you to have direct access to third-party services from your bunq account. The easyTravel Personal account is designed to cater for the needs of travellers and offers credit card for international payments and ATM withdrawals all over the world. The MasterCard credit card can be used wherever MasterCard is accepted in general.

Easy Bank account

The Easy Bank account superseded the bunq Free / easyTravel account. While bunq Free customers used to have free accounts but were unable to obtain a bank card, there is now a new concept: there is no longer a free account, but each of the three different plans comes with a card.

Bunq's Easy Bank  accounts are focused solely on payment card usage, with no further frills. So, bunq Easy Bank Personal accounts are ideal for travelers, expats, businesses who require a credit card for international payments and ATM withdrawals across the world. The bunq MasterCard is accepted anywhere MasterCard is accepted. The monthly fee for this plan is €2.99. The easy bank account doesn’t come with the perks of the more expensive accounts such as virtual cards, free ATM withdrawals and others.

Bunq account for businesses

Bunq business accounts follow the same formulas of personal accounts; easyMoney Business and the environment-oriented easyGreen Business allow you to have 25 sub-accounts with the offers to have up to 3 cards. The bunq easyTravel business account costs less but offers limited features. 

With the bunq Business plan, users can take advantage of exciting features. Here are just a few:

  • Manage and scan invoices from your mobile
  • Receipt of Sofort or iDeal payments
  • API and plug-in accounting
  • Issuance of group transfers

For detailed information, I recommend checking bunq’s pricing document for consumers and businesses.

Pros & Cons

  • Multiple bank cards
  • 25 sub-accounts with their own IBANs
  • SEPA/SWIFT transfer
  • Competitive international fees
  • Bunq pack (three personal, and one business account) on fixed monthly fee
  • Paid but reasonable offers
  • A monthly fee is a bit high
  • No cash deposit, check, and credit deposit
  • The easy travel personal account does not come with sub-accounts, and the user has to pay when ordering a card

Conclusion

In my opinion, bunq offers some interesting features, but these are complex and difficult to understand for a novice user who is comparing several options. I, myself, was slow to understand how bunq works. It is something worthy of noticing about bunq. Another downside is the cost of bunq offers; users cannot pay less than € 7.99 per month. In contrast, other neobanks have appealing offers.

Then, the advantages are double-edged. What good would it be to have twenty-five sub-accounts and three bank cards, especially when the user probably has a main bank account elsewhere? I hope that bunq will consider offering payment cards with different account numbers and secret codes in the future so that users can share the cards with their family members. Only the Travel Card, which is a credit card, is of genuine interest. The bunq Green Card is too expensive to pay 16.99 Eur per month.

The bunq app is user-friendly, and the customer can easily manage his account and card. The creation of sub-accounts is easy, just like the distribution of savings.  The only concerns are the technical bugs and missing features such as banking aggregation or card limits management.

You may want to use bunq as a second account due to its many features, but it will be a slightly expensive account compared to other neobanks. For users wanting the taste of the banking of the future and can ignore the pricing part, bunq is highly recommended.  If you want to try out bunq, you can sign up for a free trial account for a month to get acquainted with the service and its features.  

Questions & answers

Asma Ahmed

What makes bunq a preferred payment solution for users? What is your unique selling proposition?

Beatrice Spadoni, works in bunq’s affiliate marketing team.

bunq is meant to make our customers’ lives easy. 
Here are a few features that help us do that:

  • The quickest sign-up process in the neobanks world: in only a few seconds, you can open an account at bunq!
  • Multiple IBAN availability: NL IBANs, DE IBANs, and FR IBANs (RIB).
  • No branches, no paperwork: just you and your phone from the comfort of your home!

Asma Ahmed

What is the idea behind bunq?

Beatrice Spadoni, works in bunq’s affiliate marketing team.

bunq is here to break free from the status quo, and create the bank with you in mind. Freedom is at our core. SInce day 1, our values have been focused on bringing our users a completely new way of banking - a way to break free from the status quo and experience true Freedom with money!

Asma Ahmed

What is bunq target audience? 

Beatrice Spadoni, works in bunq’s affiliate marketing team.

bunq welcomes all people, regardless of gender, age and background! Our service is available in all EEA countries. Our business users are freelancers, digital nomads, creatives and small startups. Our users’ interests are, among others, travelling, sustainability, human rights, mindfulness, and technology. Their main core values are independence, progressiveness, diversity, and sustainability.

Asma Ahmed

Are there any upcoming features or updates? 

Beatrice Spadoni, works in bunq’s affiliate marketing team.

We are currently working on the release of a new update, which will soon bring a bunch of new amazing features!

Asma Ahmed

Name top 3 killer features on bunq

Beatrice Spadoni, works in bunq’s affiliate marketing team.

Freedom to control your money: our users decide what happens with their money, if and how they want to invest it! At bunq we invest our customers’ money in what they believe in.

Freedom to do fun things with friends and family: our users can travel with all the safety and security they need, easily keep track of costs during activities with friends, and spend their travel budget without hidden fees.

Freedom to live more meaningfully: our users plant a tree with every €100 they spend, and choose how their money is invested.

Asma Ahmed

Is bunq safe? Please tell us How do you ensure security for your customers?   

Beatrice Spadoni, works in bunq’s affiliate marketing team.

Privacy is sacred, which is why we will never sell our users’ data.
Our customers’ money, up to €1000,000, is fully insured by the Deposit Guarantee Scheme (DGS) in the Netherlands.
In addition, to ensure that our users have a safe and carefree banking experience, we apply the latest technology (such as machine learning) to continuously monitor the use of our accounts, allowing us to act quickly in case of abuse.
Lastly, we don’t invest money in nasty businesses nor we gamble with our customers’ money: in fact, we’re the only bank in the world where you can decide if and how your money is invested!

3.93 How do we count the overall star...
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Asma Ahmed
Asma Ahmed
As a fintech researcher and writer, she enriches AskWallet website with new posts and articles. Asma is an MBA graduate from IoBM, Karachi and has been working in the financial services industry since 2013. She loves traveling, listening to music, and watching Netflix.