N26 is a type of bank of innovative, mobile, independent and without branches, which was born in Berlin in 2015 and which currently, just 3 years after its foundation, is present in 17 European countries, including our country. But how does this new type of bank work? And what are the peculiarities of N26 services? The complete guide in this article.
YOUR BANK WAS BORN FROM AN APP
If you are looking for a new checking account without expenses, with an impressive ease of opening and that you manage completely from your smartphone then the solution could be right from N26 .
N26 is a German bank, which is based in Germany, and which promises to let you open your new bank account in just 8 minutes , an approval working day and just 3 days to comfortably receive the MasterCard debit card at home ( as we will see, you can choose different types of cards, in addition to the Free one , with some more services). All N26 cards, however, can be used anywhere in the world without any exchange rate surcharge.
N26 allows the opening of your account in a really easy way . All you need to do is install the official app of the bank – it is located both on the Play Store of Android smartphones and on the App Store of iOS devices (iPhone and iPad) – and follow all the indications provided by a clean and extremely intuitive graphic .
In less than 10 minutes you will have finished and, if you have filled in each field well by entering your correct data, in one working day you will have your account perfectly activated . With your new account you will be able to send and receive SEPA transfers, withdraw at ATMs all over the world and send money in real time to other people.
N26 allows you to activate 4 different account types :
- Basic account without fixed costswith MasterCard debit card included. This combination allows completely free payments, transfers and MasterCard withdrawals , while there is a 1.7% commission for withdrawals in foreign currencies. This commission, however, is absent for purchases in foreign currencies . There is no time limit for an N26 base account.
- N26 Black, an account made especially for travelers. It has a fee of € 5.90 per month which includes a Black MasterCard debit card : in addition to payments, transfers and free MasterCard withdrawals (this time also in foreign currency), it will allow you to have travel insurance, insurance for theft of your smarpthone and against ATM theft . It lasts for at least a year.
- N26 Metal, the account created for digital natives. It has a fee of € 14.90 per month which includes the Metal MasterCard debit card : in addition to what is already allowed in the Black account, the Metal account offers Express shipping without card costs, exclusive partner offers, and specific customer support . It lasts for at least a year.
- N26 Business, a completely free account created for those who want to use it also for business purposes. N26 Business includes a Business MasterCard debit card , free payments on the MasterCard circuit and a cashback of 0.1% on expenses made with the card. Like the basic account, it allows withdrawals completely free of charge at ATMs, while there is a 1.7% commission on withdrawals in foreign currency.
By clicking here , however, you will have access to the detailed PDF with all the costs of N26 and all the information. Here , however, you will go directly to the page of the site that makes you choose which account to open .
OPEN AN N26 ACCOUNT
Before opening your account, make sure you have a valid ID with you, such as an ID card or passport.
As said, to open an N26 account you must start by downloading the official application available both on the Play Store (Android devices) and on the App Store (iPhone and iPad), going on the links that we have indicated a few paragraphs above .
In both cases, just type the name of the application in the search bar, the result is the first. To be sure, however, the icon has a green color with the bank logo. If you are an iPhone / iPad owner, remember to authenticate yourself with the Touch ID fingerprint, with Face ID face recognition or by entering the password of your Apple account .
Once the download is complete, start the application by tapping the icon that appeared on the home screen of your device (on Android devices you can also click on “Open” which is found in the installation notification ).
Tap on Create an account I’m a new user Open an account . After the last tap a new screen will open, and you will have to press on Start , starting to put your name in the text field, then clicking on the arrow to continue activating.
Same operation for your surname and for your date of birth. After inserting the latter, press Continue twice in succession to continue the procedure. N26 will now ask you for your email address and country of residence . After entering them, press the “usual” arrow to go ahead and enter the address where you will receive your debit card on the MasterCard circuit.
Specifically, you will be asked for Street, House Number, City, Postal Code, Country and mobile number , the latter essential for the association of your smartphone with the N26 account.
After filling in the field requesting your phone number, press Continue twice in succession: now it is time to set a password to access the N26 account (access will also be allowed by fingerprint or recognition of the iris / face , if your smartphones are equipped with these technologies).
Once the password is created, press again on the arrow to go ahead. It will ask you to enter a promotional code. If you have it, if not, press on Salta to ignore the request and move on.
N26 will now ask you to enter your gender, the municipality in which you were born, the country of citizenship and the one in which you pay taxes (obviously they can also be the same. The distinction is only useful if for example you are an Italian citizen but you live and you work in the UK, so you pay taxes there).
Before continuing, in fact, you will have to verify your e-mail address . Log in to your mail – obviously to the address you indicated when opening the account – and go to the message that the bank has sent you in the meantime. Click on Confirm e-mail address (a link in the e-mail): a screen will open, where you will have to click on Continue .
Now go back to the bank application and log in for the first time using the credentials you have chosen: e-mail address just confirmed and password chosen . He will ask you if you want to receive notifications: since it is a bank and not a social one, the advice is always to accept them.
You will find yourself in the My Status screen , which contains all the last steps necessary to complete the opening of your new N26 account:
- Introduce yourself(which you have already done).
- Confirm email(which you have already done).
- Choose your account.
- Verify your identity.
- Set PIN.
Pair your smartphone . ( this is useful in case of new device).
Press on Continue , and choose the type of account you want to open from those listed that we explained above. If you also open an account for business purposes, tick Yes and choose the Business Account . Otherwise, tick No and choose from the other 3 available which, remember, are the Base-free, the Black for € 5.90 per month and the Metal for € 14.90 per month.
When you have chosen, press Continue and indicate the sector of your work (including trade, catering, construction …) and confirm receipt of the card , selecting the card and then clicking on Continue .
YOU HAVE TO BE YOURSELF
You must therefore verify your identity using your identification document , be it your passport or identity card. Press on Continue and expand the drop-down menu that appears to choose the type of document you intend to provide. N26 distinguishes between an old type of identity card, called paper , and a new type, the electronic one that the app calls plasticized .
Go ahead and tick to accept the terms of privacy and company policies for data processing. Now press on Let’s start and on the item Open Camera : the application will activate the camera of your smartphone to allow you to take a photo of the document you have chosen to use.
Focus on a shot that includes the front of your ID card or passport, making sure that it is entirely included in the screen frame and that it is easy to read .
When you take the photo, check that everything is legible and then press on My photo is clearly visible . Do the same for the back side of your identification document and then press Continue . Enter information relating to your passport / identity card: Name, Surname, Expiry date and Issue date .
Finally take a photo-selfie to show that you are the ones in the photo in the document you sent. Your selfie must be well lit and frontal (therefore not from above, not from below or from strange poses) and if so, click on My photo is clearly visible . You can also choose to share your location, which is very useful for protecting your account from possible fraud and making the verification process much faster.
And then go ahead. It’s time to pair your smartphone with the new N26 account. Then confirm the mobile number indicated by the application , which corresponds to the one you provided during registration. Write the verification code that will be sent to you via SMS.
Click on Continue and then set the PIN you will need to confirm all the operations and payments carried out with N26. Type it twice in succession and then confirm with the tick that will appear in the center of the display .
Now that you have completed all the steps of creating your new N26 account, the app will show you all the coordinates , including IBAN and BIC code. You can mark them in a place you know how to be safe or send them to another app (like notes) by pressing on the specific item below. However, info is always present on the bank app.
Click on Next step: this new step will allow you to enter the N26 app with a fingerprint or face recognition, where present, or if instead you don’t feel like activating this function at the moment. However, access with the sensor remains active for a month and then to reactivate it, you will have to enter the access password (so mark it to not forget it!).
All this procedure, however, can also be done from PC, by going to of the official website of N26 .
All the features
As we said, the bill will be activated within one business day. Once activated, the application will notify you immediately and will therefore allow you to act freely, to transfer money or other operations to us.
Launch the N26 App and explore your new account for the first time. For example in Current Balance – which is the screen that will open each time – you will find the history of all the operations carried out in and out.
Of all of them you can see the details by simply clicking on them , also managing the tags to categorize it as you see fit (you need the categories to better browse the operations, in the Statitics section ).
On Savings you will be able to experience N26 Savings useful for managing savings and earning interest even at 1.6%. In the upper part there are the magnifying glass to search for an operation and the map indicator, to know which ATMs are closest .
In the lower part there are some useful tips such as the link to the activation of the card – soon we will get there. The app also has a toolbar for all the main operations allowed by N26 and which is located at the top left (Android), at the bottom (iOS). These functions are:
- Main menu.
- Graph icon to view statistics.
- Airplane icon to invite other users to N26 and receive a € 15 bonusafter they make their first purchase with N26.
- The gear sends you to app settings, card management, support and checking account settings.
At the bottom of the display there is a Plus (+) which allows you to request money or make a transfer. But let’s see in detail all the functions of the new independent bank N26.
TOP UP YOUR ACCOUNT
To top up your N26 account, you can make a transfer to the associated IBAN or use the request function included in the application . To find out what the IBAN is, go to the menu located at the top left (Android) or the gear icon at the bottom right (iOS).
If you want to request money from another user active on N26, press on the Plus (+) found at the bottom of the standard application screen, and click on Request from the drop- down window that opens.
Tap on Import contacts so that N26 can access your address book and find who among your contacts uses N26. Choose if you want to be traceable in turn, by clicking on Enable visibility . If you don’t want to, click on Skip for now .
Once you have finished scanning the list of contacts, select who you want to ask for money by typing what you want to request , and then go on . N26 will indicate you to write an accompanying message; then click on Request n € to make your application effective.
Another way to top up your account is, as mentioned above, to invite your friends to the N26 . In fact, for each user who signs up by responding to your invitation, you can receive a € 15 bonus on their first use of the MasterCard circuit debit card.
If you want to invite a friend of yours on N26, click on the airplane icon from the N26 menu and choose his contact from the screen that appears . Exactly as if you were to send an SMS or an e-mail!
THE MONEYBEAM FUNCTION
Another “gem” of N26 is sending money to other users in a very easy way: it is enough to take advantage of the MoneyBeam function , which sends money to your contacts without having to necessarily know the bank details, and even if they do not have an N26 account .
To do this, tap on + which is located in the main screen of the application and press the MoneyBeam icon from the menu that will open. Select the person to whom you want to send money, after consenting to access the app to your address book.
Once you have selected the person you want to send money to (who has an N26 account is marked with a blue “dot” ) write how much you want to send them and then click Next , choosing whether to write an accompanying message. Tap on Send and enter the PIN to complete the operation.
Remember: N26 users can send a maximum of € 1000, to non-customers no more than € 100 . If those who receive the money have an N26 account, they will receive the credit immediately as if it were a message with a notification on their smartphone.
If, on the other hand, you are not a customer, you will have an Offline MoneyBeam , or you will receive an SMS or an e-mail with a link where you will be asked to enter your bank details. In one or two working days you will receive the money, as long as you accept the MoneyBeam within one week of the notification via SMS / e-mail.
With N26, however, you can also send the classic bank transfers . Always click on + and then go to the Transfer icon from the menu that will open, choosing who will receive it. If you do not have beneficiaries in the address book, tap on Add new beneficiary .
Indicate the amount you want to send ( no more than € 10,000 ) go ahead, choose whether to attach a message to us and then confirm on Send and entering your PIN.
It’s very easy to manage your N26 MasterCard debit card with the bank application . In order to do this, however, you must first activate your card by going to the settings (gear icon) and pressing Activate .
Enter the ten digits on the card – just under your name – and the activation will already be done. With the “levers” you can decide whether or not to allow online payments, ATM withdrawals and payments abroad .
The Limits item , on the other hand, allows you to set the maximum withdrawal and payment limit per day. By clicking on Apple Pay (iPhone) you can add the card to Apple Wallet and take advantage of payments with the Apple Pay service . Similar if you click on the Google Pay item , if you have an Android smartphone.