In this N26 review we go through all aspects and find out whether this digital bank is a good choice as your digital bank.
N26 review contents
N26 review snapshot score
What is N26?
N26 is one of the trailblazers in the ‘Digital banking’ or ‘Mobile banking’ categories. They were founded back in 2013 by two Austrians, Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tayenthal both from Vienna. The bank is now based in Berlin and call themselves the ‘the first mobile bank you’ll love’, which in our experience isn’t an exaggeration.
This digital bank brings all the features of a world class physical bank and some super nice extras to your mobile phone. The real joy in using the app/bank card package is the fact you can do absolutely everything from anywhere you have mobile internet access.
As they have no physical branches they provide a cheap (free on their basic plan) banking offering that we think you will enjoy whilst at home or travelling around the world. It was a pleasure to conduct this N26 review as it’s really an excellent product.
They have a very nicely designed apps for iOS, android and browsers that will make your banking a rather pleasant experience. It’s very clean and minimal and is very intuitive. During the n26 review process we tested both the android and iOS applications as well as their web interface.
You can use N26 for your day to day banking, to take you salary, manage your finances, pay your bills, while you are travelling abroad and to send cross border payments if necessary. It’s a solid choice for travelling as they don’t charge you any foreign transaction fees. Currently they have a deal with TransferWise which will allow you to exchange and send currency into 19 currencies.
N26 in the UK/EU
N26 is currently available to citizens of the following countries:-
Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, United Kingdom. You can find out more about this here.
N26 in the US
At the time of this N26 review, it is currently available in the US albeit not as comprehensive a package as in the UK/EU but it’s still worthwhile. Any EU/UK N26 user travelling to the US can of course enjoy the full functionality there.
N26 business offering is something we cover in this n26 review here.
N26 for Travel
If you are staying in the EU/UK this bank is going to work excellent for you. However, if you’re going further afield we have heard several horror stories about N26 not working, accounts being locked and support being unhelpful. So if you’re doing some proper travelling outside the UK/EU, we would suggest looking at Revolut. Another thing to consider is you can only store two currencies on your account EUR & GBP, but the rates you get when purchasing things will be the mid-market rate and you don’t get charged any exchange fees, so that’s not bad at all.
How does N26 work?
Think of N26 as a bank on your smartphone, with a Debit MasterCard, Apple & Google Pay attached. It’s an online bank that doesn’t have any branches and has banking licenses in the UK, EU and the US.
It’ll provide you with all the usual features of a bank plus some nice extras, like push notifications when you make a transaction, spending analytics, spaces (virtual sub accounts), cross border payments (via TransferWise), insurance options and extra security.
You can of course do the usual things you would do with a traditional bank like block your card, make payments etc all from the comfort of their mobile or web apps.
With a N26 account you will be able to:-
- Pay with a Debit MasterCard
- Remotely lock the card if lost or stolen
- Request money
- Send money instantly in a few clicks
- Secure login, including fingerprint authorization (“Touch ID”)
- Apple & Google Pay
- Spaces – virtual sub accounts to track your spending and savings
- Spending analytics with automatic categorization
- Set/modify your daily payment and withdrawal limits within the App
- Real-time notifications
- Web and Mobile apps
What does N26 cost?
How do I signup?
Signing up for an account is very easy and can be done anywhere you have a smartphone and a stable internet connection. You’ll need your ID (Passport/ EU ID etc) and everything is done via the app. The process takes about 5-10 minutes so it’s a cinch compared to the traditional old school banks.
We have contacted their customer support via the mobile app and via e-mail and both times the responses were timely, but could be faster. When they did reply we were treated to very friendly and helpful service that resolved out issues promptly. They don’t have voice support, but their chat support will get the job done nicely, but it needs to be better.
Safety and security
Safety and security of clients is of utmost importance and they have a team dedicated to ensuring that your account will be safe at all times. Should you happen to loose your Debit MasterCard you can easily lock the card and request a new one.
We had a look through the trusty TrustPilot to see what other folks thought of this digital bank and it’s pretty clear it’s a popular choice, with a rating as follows, but they do have some issues they need to work on as 20% of the reviews were negative, we read them and 99% of them relate to using it outside of the EU/UK area, so if you avoid that it will work great for you. I think this problem is due to them not correctly setting their account security to work outside their area.
We are more than happy to recommend N26 as it’s not a very solid all round digital bank that comes packaged in a very easy to use application. It excels in daily banking within the EU/UK and is also suited for digital nomads, but if you are planning on doing a lot of travel outside the EU/UK you might want to try Revolut.
Starting off with their free account is a no risk proposition as you get to try the app totally free, with a card included. So why don’t you go ahead and give it a go.
We hope you have enjoyed this N26 review and found it useful.