Asma Ahmed
Asma Ahmed
Asma is a fintech writer at AskWallet

Is N26 the gateway to a new banking world without constraints?

The N26 neobank is, like other banks in its category (Monese, Revolut, etc.), intended for people who want to manage their accounts completely online, benefiting from more advantageous fees than the traditional banks. It is particularly popular with young people, who appreciate its application and ease of use.

7 min read 31.03.2021

What is N26?


N26 is a powerful service that offers certain features of a regular bank but in a completely digital way. From cash withdrawals at ATMs to international money transfers at competitive exchange rates, they have a lot to offer. N26 users have the choice of opening various types of bank accounts, so do business users who can also open accounts for their activity.


Some neobanks such as Monese and Revolut work on the principle of “pre-paid”, that is to say, that a payment transaction can only be done if the account is sufficiently funded. N26’s overdraft facility is a great option and you can directly set up among other available financial products from your app. N26 users are eligible to receive an overdraft of up to 10,000 EUR. This service is currently available in Germany and Austria only. Please note that N26 applies an interest rate of 8.9% on your overdraft.


N26, being a German bank, offers bank accounts with a German IBAN. Since March 2020, it is offering Italian IBAN (applicable only to accounts opened March 26, 2020, and only for Italian residents).

 

N26 services


N26 You, Smart, Metal and Standard accounts


In fact, there are a total of 8 different offers; four for personal account holders and four for businesses users:
The “classic” N26 Standard offer which is free;


The “intermediate” offer is called N26 Smart, which gives more possibilities for managing the capital, with multiple sub-accounts as well as a rounding option (round-up your payment up to the nearest EUR and put aside the change in the savings).


The “premium” offer called N26 You, which provides all the functionalities available on a classic account, plus an insurance package (travel insurance cover, theft insurance, extended guarantees, etc.).


The “Metal” offer provides the same advantages as the premium N26 You offer, plus: a metal bank card and benefits from N26 partners (10%-30% reductions at Babbel, Urban Sports Club, Home 24).


Note that the four offers are also available in a “Business” version, a professional account dedicated to self-employed and freelancers. 


N26 bank card


The N26 bank card is a MasterCard, a prepaid debit card, attached to the account. It fulfils all the roles of a classic bank card, such as in-store payments, online transactions, fee-free ATM withdrawals, etc.
The N26 card is fully configurable from the mobile application, and users can modify the limits, change the security code, temporary block the card, etc. 


Features of an N26 bank account


Here are a few main features and benefits offered to N26 customers.

 

  1. Travel Insurance: N26 You, Business You, or an N26 Metal or Business Metal bank account holders can benefit from this feature and claim travel insurance if their trip was cancelled. The insurance also covers flight delays over 4 hours, and Luggage loss and delays. It also includes medical insurance allowing account holders to claim up to 1,000,000 EUR for themselves, their partners, and children. The travel insurance also covers dental emergencies. N26 also offers winter sport insurance covers accidents on the slopes as well as mobility insurance for vehicle rentals. For additional information, I recommend checking their official webpage.
  2. Instant notifications of expenses: Receive instant notifications after all payments, withdrawals and outgoing transfers. This feature allows you to be in control of the incoming and outgoing flows of your account and be informed in real-time.Another strong point of this feature is that if someone tries to make transactions with your account without your knowledge, you will be immediately informed. Thanks to the N26 security system, there is no need to monitor your history constantly.
  3. Expenses distribution: N26 allows you to categorise your expenses and help you analyse your expenses to manage your budget. Thus, users can be aware of their monthly expenses by category (rent, food, outing, etc.) to better plan and distribute the money.
  4. MoneyBeam: Besides the traditional transfer, the MoneyBeam service allows you to send money immediately to an SMS or email contact if the latter is already an N26 user.
  5. Native integration with Wise and compatibility with Apple Pay and Google Pay: N26 offers the possibility of sending funds abroad to a country that is not part of the Eurozone. It has partnered with Transferwise and allows you to send money in many currencies at a lower cost. All N26 bank accounts enable merchants to be paid using Apple Pay or Google Pay. You can pair your N26 card with your smartphone to make payments even more accessible and safer.
  6. Cash26:  N26 allows customers to deposit and withdraw cash directly at partner supermarkets without the need for ATMs and cards. Choose an amount from the app, generate a barcode and show it at the checkout in one of the affiliated supermarkets across Germany to deposit or withdraw cash. 
  7. Geolocate ATMs: Another interesting service in the N26 mobile application is that of geo-locate ATMs all over the world. It can be convenient when travelling.
  8. Savings: The spaces work like online piggy banks. N26 allows you to organise your finances by creating a space (that functions as a sub-account) with a savings objective. For example, put 100 EUR aside in a "computer" space.The space approach is advantageous because it allows us to set priorities, which is the first step towards healthy finances. In addition, you can also set up automatic transfers. Finally, premium users (N26 You and Metal) can set up shareable spaces with other N26 users, for example, to pay for a group outing.
  9. Partnerships: With the Metal N26 card, you can take advantage of partnerships by receiving discounts from companies like Hotels.com, WeWork and Babbel.

Is N26 Safe?


The German Financial Regulatory Authority regulates N26. Your money is protected by the German deposit protection system up to 100,000 EUR, in accordance with European Union directives.


N26 cares about security, and an N26 account can only be linked to one mobile phone at a time, ensuring that you are the only person accessing your account. Additionally, users are kept updated with all account activities via instant push notifications.

Pros & Cons

  • No commission on withdrawals in foreign currencies outside the Eurozone.
  • Apple Pay and Google Pay compatible.
  • Integrations with Wise for international transfers and Younited Credit for personal credits.
  • No monthly service fee.
  • Free transfers to SEPA accounts based in the Eurozone.
  • Transfer to contact without entering bank account details.
  • N26 You and Metal accounts: free withdrawals worldwide and comprehensive travel insurance.
  • 1.7% fee for cash withdrawals abroad with the primary account.
  • Overdraft (except for Germany and Austria) and cheque features unavailable.

Conclusion


If you compare it to traditional banks, N26 is competitive, especially for travel abroad. You can use your card anywhere at no cost, apply online quickly, and enjoy a high-performance banking app packed with features.


However, if this mobile bank is ideal for day-to-day operations, its banking offer is still very limited;


Bank N26 does not offer mortgage loans. Likewise, neither the life insurance nor the facility of investing in the financial markets; its strengths lie elsewhere. However, N26 offers conventional interest-bearing savings solutions and provides users to earn up to 1.15% per annum (depending on the choice of the savings plans or partner bank). It has also invented its own savings product: “Spaces”, which allow you to put money aside. You create "spaces" that correspond to projects that you wish to finance, for example, a present for a family winter, a ski trip this winter, a car, helping someone financially, making a reservation, etc.

FAQ

N26 how to verify identity?

The ID verification depends on the user’s country of residence, nationality, and ID type. Overall, users can verify their identity via video and photo along with supporting documents such as a national identity card, a passport, a driving license or a residence permit.

How to deposit money into an N26 account?

You can deposit funds to your N26 account from the “Add Money” option via the app. Other methods include direct deposit, debit card transfer, transfer from an external bank. If you are wondering how to pay cash into an N26 account, you have the option of Cash26, available at partner supermarkets in Germany.

How to close my N26 account?

If you are wondering how to delete N26 account, this process is simple. First, ensure that your account balance is zero EUR. Finally, you can simply log in to the app and follow instructions for account closure. For further information, please email the N26 support at closure@n26.com from your registered email id along with the account closure letter.

How long does an N26 card take to arrive?

To answer your question, how long does it take to see the card N26, is that you will receive it within 5-7 working days. Use your N26 app to track your card delivery.

N26 how to verify identity?

The ID verification depends on the user’s country of residence, nationality, and ID type. Overall, users can verify their identity via video and photo along with supporting documents such as a national identity card, a passport, a driving license or a residence permit.

How to close my N26 account?

If you are wondering how to delete N26 account, this process is simple. First, ensure that your account balance is zero EUR. Finally, you can simply log in to the app and follow instructions for account closure. For further information, please email the N26 support at closure@n26.com from your registered email id along with the account closure letter.

How to deposit money into an N26 account?

You can deposit funds to your N26 account from the “Add Money” option via the app. Other methods include direct deposit, debit card transfer, transfer from an external bank. If you are wondering how to pay cash into an N26 account, you have the option of Cash26, available at partner supermarkets in Germany.

How long does an N26 card take to arrive?

To answer your question, how long does it take to see the card N26, is that you will receive it within 5-7 working days. Use your N26 app to track your card delivery.

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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.