Smartphone-only banking service launches in Germany

By Nicole Miskelly | 27 January 2015

Number26, a US banking start-up which is owned by Spanish Bank BBVA, launched their mobile banking service in Germany and Austria yesterday.

After a successful beta launch at TechCrunch Disrupt London last year, Number26 offers a mobile bank account for both iPhone and smartphone users and claims to provide a solution to traditional European banking issues, such as reducing the twenty four hour transaction times currently provided by leading banks.

The start-up company relies on a banking license from German-based institution, Wirecard Bank, which will act as the start-up’s strategic partner and boasts that with their service it takes less than eight minutes to open an account using a smartphone, making them the fastest provider across Europe.

“The bank branch of the future is the smartphone. That’s why with Number26 we have created a bank account the way it should be – transparent, mobile and secure,” says Valentin Stalf, founder and CEO of Number26.

All accounts come with an attached MasterCard and both are offered without fees. Number26 also offers worldwide money withdrawal without a charge and claims that because it does not support a branch network, customers are not charged the usual associated costs.

Transactions are displayed on a smartphone app, which also offers various additional features such as notifications for real time card transactions, stats to manage finances, a breakdown of expenditure, the ability to block or unblock your card at a click and the ability to transfer money via text message or email.

Wirecard Bank director Alexander Von-Knoop said: “We are happy to support Number26 with its attractive mobile banking solution. This way, we are taking the next step towards a customer-friendly, transparent and safe mobile banking experience together.”

The bank account is currently only available in Germany and Austria, and due to a high number of re-signups is only accepting accounts on an invitation only basis. However, existing customers have the option to invite friends to sign up immediately. 


By Nicole Miskelly, bobsguide Lead Journalist

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