N26 launches in the US

By Roger Baird on 12th July 2019

The Berlin-based digital bank said it will gradually sign up the 100,000 US customers on its waiting list over the summer.

N26 launches in the US
Image source: Company supplied

German digital bank N26 has launched in the US, as a range of leading European rivals focus on the world’s biggest consumer market.

The business, founded in 2013 with more than 3.5 million European customers, said its mobile banking services began operating in the US yesterday.  

N26 said it will launch its service together with Californian online bank Axos, offering a checking account and a Visa debit card. 

The Berlin-based bank added the application process takes as little as five minutes, its accounts have no maintenance fees, and travellers do not pay foreign transaction fees when buying goods abroad.

 

Premium account to come

British-based rivals Monzo, which has around 2 million customers, and Revolut, with around 4.5 million customers, both plan US launches later this year. N26 has also previously sketched out plans to launch in Brazil.

N26 said it has 100,000 customers on its US waiting list, and will sign them up to the service as part of its beta testing programme over the summer.

America has a population of 327 million, according to the latest United States Census Bureau data. All but 14.1 million have a bank account, according to 2018 data from the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

The digital bank, co-founded by Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tayentha, added that later in the year it will also allow customers to make two free withdrawals a month at American ATMs nationwide. 

It also plans to introduce its premium Metal account, which in the UK costs £14.90 a month, includes free ATM withdrawals worldwide, travel insurance and access to over 1,000 airport travel lounges.

 

‘Frustrated customers’

Stalf said: “The US launch is a major milestone for N26 to change banking globally and reach more than 50 million customers in the coming years. We know that millions of people around the world and particularly in the US are still paying hidden and exorbitant fees and are frustrated by poor banking experiences.”

N26 employs more than 1,300 people in Berlin, Barcelona, Vienna, New York and São Paulo.

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