Whatsuup, thanks for stepping by! ?
Let’s start with a question first: What can you do in 8 minutes? Doing a 8 minute workout? Wasting 8 minutes on Netflix? Investing 8 minutes of your time in order to save a bigger amount of money during the next years?
Well yeah, the last point is probably the most interesting one, at least for me. But how does that work?
Nowadays you basically can open a new bank account in just 8 minutes. Without even being there physically. Thanks to N26 – The Mobile Bank ?
I am using N26 now for a while and therefore I would love to share my experiences with you. About myself, N26 changed my financial behaviours in a positive way. The bank is giving me the freedom to travel any country without worrying about currencies and ATM fees. Therefore it is an excellent banking option for any international traveller and businessman.
What is N26?
N26 is a German based startup with a full bank license. These guys are equal to any other bank – with the only difference that N26 is an online bank. The advantage: Your N26 bank account can be fully controlled by your smart phone. Therefore N26 is simply said the first mobile bank in Europe ?
Imagine traveling a new country. Imagine traveling a new country with a different currency. That’s already the critical point:
With an old-school bank account you will be charged each time you do a payment in a foreign exchange, but you’re also charged with ATM withdrawal fees. And that can cost a you a ton of money if you’re traveling a lot.
Opening the bank account takes about 8 minutes. After that you will get your own IBAN and a debit Mastercard transferred to your address. Registration works easy and is explained well. In order to confirm your personality N26 asks you to do a video call with one of their employees, so keep in mind to have your passport close.
What is the difference to other banks?
Well, N26 is an online bank, therefore not physical. Having that said you’re not going to have a physical bank building to do your transaction (you’re having your smartphone for that). Having this also said you are not going to have your banks ATM – in fact you can now use any ATM to withdraw money – for free.
What about the security?
Without going deeper into technical cyber security topics. From my side I do trust in N26, they are offering a great product with a high security standard. One of their features points that out pretty well:
You will get a push notification on your smartphone for each transaction you’re doing. That means: Once you’re paying your lunch with the N26 card you will get immediately (around 0.5 seconds later) a push notification on your smartphone. With that feature you’re informed directly when something is going on. (Check out how that exactly works here.)
Another security bonus is the ability to use your own pin. You’re able to set your pin through your smartphone with having the ability to block and unblock your pin anytime.
Sounds awesome! How can I start with N26?
N26 does offer two types of bank accounts. The Basic Account and the N26 Black Account.
The N26 Basic Account is free and includes:
- No monthly fee
- Debit Credit Card included
- Free international transfers in 19 currency (Including USD, NZD, NOK, CHF, GBP and many more)
- Moneybeam, a service that permits to send/receive money from all the N26 user in real time and free
- Free withdrawals in all the ATM of Euro area
- Withdrawing foreign currencies with a 1.7% fee
- Transferwise (Transfers with no exchange rate markup)
The N26 Black Account includes:
- Black World Elite MasterCard
- Benefits when it comes to foreign currencies
- Free withdrawals in any currency without commissions
- Travel health insurance (In partnership with Allianz)
- Medical expenses while traveling are covered without limit
- Refund if your flight has more than 4 hours of delay
- Refund if your luggage will arrive with more than 6 hours of delay (up to 400€ refund)
- Travel cancellation insurance up to 5,000€ per trip
- Extended warranty of up to one additional year for qualified purchases
- Mobile phone theft coverage
- Cash theft coverage
- Cost: 5,90€ per month (72€ per year)
N26 Black is available in: Germany, Austria, Ireland, France, Italy and Spain.
Just some technical fact about Moneybeam: This feature allows you to send money to your friends by using their phone number or email (even works with Siri in iPhone). Imagine your friend is paying the cinema tickets and you’re just paying him your debt by Siri. ?
What are the advantages for travellers?
I would recommend the N26 Black Account to every traveller and digital nomad as you can withdrawal without commission. Especially if you’re living between many currencies N26 will actually save you lot’s of money. On top of that N26 works smartphone based, a huge bonus as you’re not bounded to specific ATMs and old-school banks anymore. And as a bonus you’ll get an extra layer of insurance while travelling.
For those ones who are mostly staying in Europe I would recommend the free option. First, it’s free, and second it also offers the key features like Moneybeam and Transferwise.
Banking was a huge problem for digital nomads in the earlier days. Especially with different currencies and payment fees, but also with the bureaucracy and the paper work. Thanks to N26 the whole banking process got really fast and in real time, without commission fees with other currencies.
From my side I do enjoy the service provided by N26. I’m currently using the N26 Black Account in order to deal with currencies while traveling around and don’t regret it being a N26 user 😊
Jordan from How I Travel wrote a fantastic review about N26 that goes more into detail. Make sure to check out his N26 review too.
Let me know your thoughts about N26 – The Mobile Bank in the comments! ?