Number26, the FinTech startup revolutionizing personal finance in Europe, has just announced that it will expand to six new countries. Starting immediately, Number26 will be available in France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Slovakia, and Spain. This is the first step toward offering a borderless banking experience across Europe. The expansion brings the total number of countries where Number26 is active to eight, following its initial launch in Germany and Austria earlier this year.
The Berlin-based FinTech company Number26 offers a mobile-first bank account for the digital age made for the smartphone. The account is linked with a MasterCard that can be used worldwide to make purchases or receive cash at ATMs without incurring fees. Easier still is signing up for an account, which takes place online via video chat in just eight minutes. You simply show your passport to the webcam and answer a couple of questions. A call is much less painful than having to go to your local post office to send copies of your passport. Thereafter the account is open and the debit card is a few days away. After every transaction the user receives an instant push notification to stay in full control of their money. Number26 technology is also smart and helps users to keep an eye on their personal finance. All funds are protected under the German Deposit Protection Fund. Number26 is also free – there are no regular account fees.
TechCrunch summarized the best features of the product an article published last year. For example, you can open the app and block your card with a simple button. But if you find your card a few minutes later, you can simply unblock it. You don’t need to wait and receive a new card. If you lend your card to a friend that you don’t really trust, you can also block ATM transactions for let’s say an hour. Whenever you get your card back, you can unblock ATM transactions in the app. Everything works in real time.
“The markets we chose to enter now are perfect examples of a bad user experience and overpriced retail banking products. It’s here where we start to build the first true pan-European bank,” said CFO and founder Maximilian Tayenthal. “The problems affecting banks in Europe, such as bureaucracy, outdated technology and inefficient structures, are well present in those markets. Thus the timing couldn‘t be better for a digital solution to banking.”
Founded in early 2013 by Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tayenthal, Number26 has become one of the most successful Berlin startups acquired more than 80,000 clients in only 10 months and is currently employing 70 people. This April, prominent PayPal founder Peter Thiel invested with his Valar Ventures. Since January 2015, Number26 has been available for Android, iOS, and desktop. In the long run, the company wants to integrate other fintech startups directly into the Number26 account. Number26 monetizes via taking a cut off the MasterCard fee that is charged to merchants, it also earns interest on credit deposits where customer funds are held at partner banks.