„Old banks ask for money for every shit…
because they can.”#nobullshit
„Old banks ask for money for every shit…
because they can.”#nobullshit
Most expats struggle to find a bank account that satisfies their needs. When traveling around the world, you need the services of a bank that is flexible, uncomplicated and multilingual. The prerequisites for being the best bank for international travel needs the bank to have multiple ATMs in the country, have great customer support service, be hassle-free and offer services in a number of languages. Unfortunately, most classic banks are not allowed to offer customer support in another language than the national one. Moreover, they charge fees for the account or credit card and for money withdrawal at different ATMs.
Fortunately, modern banks detected this gap in the market and have started to offer free bank accounts especially for people travelling internationally. We analysed all these banks in Europe and came to the conclusion that N26 bank in Germany has the smartest and most convenient solution.
The Number26 Bank has challenged the old banks and developed their own modern solution for banking. It is progressive and user-friendly, thus allowing you to manage the banking process smoothly. N26 does not have expansive banking stores and therefore they can fully concentrate on their customers and service provision, thereby, offering a software that makes it so simple to control your balance and payments. Most importantly, the transactional account and credit card (Mastercard) are for free.
N26 offers a free mastercard to make payments easier; especially when you pay online for hotel and flight bookings, credit cards are very useful as they are sometimes the only accepted payment method. The Mastercard has a high security standard. In case of credit abuse, you can lock it immediately via app or phone call and get the stolen money refunded. Optionally, you can also ask for a girocard (EC-Karte) which is a Maestro Card.
Note: The mastercard is actually a debit card.
With the mentioned credit card, you can pay for every transaction in the world without any fees, as long as the place accepts Mastercard. Also cash withdrawal in Euro at every ATM is free up to 5 times a month. Only in countries with non-Euro currencies you pay a small fee of 1.7% of the revenue. The N26 app also offers you a map to find the next ATM in your location.
In Germany you can additionally use the so-called Cash26 function. This includes money withdrawal or making a deposit without your cards but by using the app. This service is available in several stores including Rewe, Real and Penny supermarkets.
N26 has a partnership with TrasferWise, which is a FinTech company offering bank transfers to non-Euro countries for a price up to 5 times cheaper than usual banks or Paypal. If you want to transfer – let’s say 1.000€ to the US, the fees for that would be just 4.98€. This is substantially low as compared to other banks that make you pay around 30-45€.
With MoneyBeam, N26 offers P2P payments in real time. You can send money up to 1.000€ to a friend by using choosing his phone number or email address. If your contact also uses N26, he/she will receive the amount immediately; for contacts without N26, the bank will send a link to your friend to state his/her IBAN to receive the money on the external bank account. The same function also works when you wish to request money from a friend. Altogether, this idea is really useful for splitting bills with your friends after a night out.
N26’s offers customer support via chat, email or phone in more than five different languages, namely German, English, French, Spanish and Italian. The support is available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Urgent inquiries like locking credits cards etc. can be manually done in the banking app.
N26 offers a free account change service to inform old payment partners about the new bank account. For an easy and fast transaction, N26 has a partnership with FinReach. You just login with the account data of your old bank account so that all direct debit systems and money transfer orders as well as your balance are transferred to your new account. Optionally you can also use the service to quit the old bank account. The whole procedure usually takes less than a week.
N26 offers the VideoIdent process where in a matter of minutes you can confirm your identity at home by a video call on your mobile phone or computer. The staff will take a photo of you as well as of your ID and that’s it. When I opened my account at N26, it was 10 pm on Sunday night and it took just 8 minutes until the account was ready to use. In the following video you can see how the Video ID works.
N26’s Banking App is the crème de la crème the FinTech company has to offer. Besides usual function like checking your balance or doing bank transfers, the App has some more unique features:
N26 and other German banks follow the high standards of the German Financial Supervision (BaFin). Furthermore, all banks in the EU have to provide a deposit protection of at least 100.000€; thereby keeping your money safe in case of bankruptcy.
There used to be some criticism about N26 in when they started off. However, all security and support problems have been fixed in the past years. Moreover, unlike other mobile banks, N26 actually has an official bank license and is also supported by huge investors like Allianz, Axel Springer and Tencent.
N26 received one of the best feedbacks among all banks in Germany and most customers are satisfied with their services. In our review we’ve tested all the functions offered by the mobile bank and can confirm its reliability. We can assure you that customer support works fine via phone and chat. Our positive experience reflects several reviews in the internet: On Google N26 received over 2.800 ratings with an average of 4.6/5 stars; while on Trustpilot, the mobile bank showed that they are ahead of the game with a trust score of 8.8/10. Compared to that, the competitors like Sparkasse (1.2/10), DKB (2.7/10) and Comdirect (4.2/10) come off relatively badly. On Netzwelt.de N26 got 8.6/10 points with is the second best rating for a bank; especially because of the high transparency and innovation offered by the banking app. The only negative feedback received by N26 is based on the fact that the Mastercard is only a debit card and that withdrawal in foreign currencies is not free.
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