Is this an attack on DKB, Comdirect and other direct banks?

N26 – Revolution of Bank Accounts

N26 (former: Number26) should be a revolutionary bank account, which is currently tested by a selected group of people, before the launch will take place in early 2015.

The Berlin start-up itself names its product „Europe´s most modern current account“.

Europe's most modern bank acccount

The date of launch was not determined yet. However, you will be informed on our special portal right on time!

The biggest difference to the established directs banks in Germany is the banking only using the smartphoneConditions of Number26

Number26 bank card

Comfortable banking will be possible from anywhere …

  • free current account
  • free MasterCard
  • free cash withdrawals

Thus, the most common characteristics of a current account demanded by the German bank customers are met. Let’s have a look at the details:

  • Account on a credit basis

    The current account is (for now) only available on a credit basis. This way, Number26 saves the investigation effort of the creditworthiness of the customer and reduces the risk of being harmed through a „loan default”.

    At the same time, it has the advantage that this account will not be registered at the Schufa (credit investigation company). Since no credit check will be made, all people with problems with the Schufa have the best chances to get a modern bank account. The current account of Number26 can be described as „schufa-frei“.

  • Prepaid MasterCard

    Without a credit check, there is of course no credit line on the MasterCard. The card works very simple: just transfer money to your current account and spend it with the credit card.

  • Free cash withdrawals

    At this point, Number26 even attacks the established German flagship internet bank DKB (3 million customers): customers of Number26 can withdraw cash worldwide from ATMs with the MasterCard – without foreign withdraw fees or exchange fees!

    With these conditions, Number26 is ideal as a second account from globetrotters to Jane Smith, who withdraws every Monday from the Sparkassen-ATM since 25 years … even after a change to Number26 the cash supply remains free of charge.

Is Number26 safe?

This question is justified when a start-up appears on the market with a new current account and offers everything for free … and even pays the foreign withdrawing fees for the customer.

Legal deposit insurance: Euros 100,000

The account balance is legally ensured by the German deposit insurance to Euros 100,000 through the partner bank on which the Banking app of Number26 is set up. Which partner bank this is, will officially be announced by Number26 in the beginning of 2015.

Banks earn mainly through the loan business. This is not possible for Number26, because it is a pure credit balance account. And because no charges are born by the customer, the only source of income will be the interchange fee that is paid by the merchant when using the MasterCard.

This fee for card payments of the type MasterCard is on average 2.75% of the invoice amount. The payment service provider (card terminal), MasterCard and Number26 are paid with it.

So if somebody pays Euros 1,000 a month with the MasterCard – without cash withdrawals from ATMs – the payees (i.e. the merchants, never the customers!) pay about Euros 27.50 fees. What amout of these fees Number26 will obtain, is a secret of the card industry and Number26.

The business model of Number26 will pay off as soon as a large number of customers is obtained, who pay a lot cashless with the card and as rarely as possible draw cash from an ATM.

Of course, Number26 will also earn through the account balance, because as a customer, one must deposit money to the account in order to use the account and the card. Therefore – as usual in current accounts – no interest is credited. Currently, this does not have an effect, because the general interest level is very low.

What will happen next?

On the website one can enter the e-mail address to be notified when the account officially launches.

We will accompany Number26 on our special portal. Also, because everyone who is proficient of the German or English language, can open the account. The place of residence or the nationality of the customer does not matter. This is unofficially a difference to the established banks!

number26 - europe's fastest account opening

Number26 is not the first bank that offers an identification via WebCam, but it is still nice and convenient. Moreover, this procedure is cheaper than the PostIdent procedure.

“Start the account opening now”

… the most modern current account of Europe! (German)

If you belong to the group of pre-testers or if you have otherwise gained experience with Number26 … then please let us know using the comments box. We are really looking forward to the future development of Number26.
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21 Responses to “N26 – Revolution of Bank Accounts”

  1. Anatole Beams says:

    Firstly, I would like to know when it will be possible to open an account from the UK or if I have an address in Austria, is it possible to open an account there.

    Also, what is the maximum transaction amount for this account. If I transfer money to it, can I use it for large payments?

    Many thanks – Anatole

    • Redaktion says:

      Yes, it is possible to open an account as UK citizen with an address in Austria. The challenge is the identification over video chat. We know cases in which it worked. But this is not a guarantee. Number26 is more cautious … that is a totally free bank account with free MasterCard in Germany … a lot of people from outside Germany try to open this account!

      There is no limit for bank balance, but current it is not possible to transfer more than EUR 10.000 per day to a number26 account.

  2. tomasatron says:

    Can I open a bank account with Number 26 from Ireland?


    • Gregor says:

      Theoretically, yes. In practice, the MasterCard is only sent to addresses in Germany and Austria. However, this will change, so that the shipping can also take place to other countries.

  3. Gordon says:

    I am a US citizen. If I go to Germany can I open a Number 26 account on line?

  4. Jon says:

    Hi there,
    Is it now currently possible to open a bank account with an Irish address?
    If not, do you know is there plans to introduce this in the coming months?
    Many thank

  5. George says:

    I had opened a Number26 by using a German address without being a resident however Number26 have contacted me and asked for residency certificate! Since i dont have one they notified that they will close the account as per their terms and conditions…! Therefore it seems that their policy is becoming stricter.
    Very disappointing that Number 26 will not be available for people living abroad….. After the restrictions of DKB seems that only comdirect can be opened by foreigners however the German language does not help.
    Being a resident of a EU member without being able to open an account to a bank of an other EU member is a total failure of the Euro area. Total disappointing.

  6. Andressa says:


    I have a question. I’m from Brazil and i’m moving to Berlin in January. But I want to open an account before moving so i can start to transfer some money. Would it be possible with Number26 or only when i get in Germany?


    • Gregor says:

      It is a “gray zone” … actually, you were only allowed to make the account opening, if you really live in Germany (or Austria). This is stated in the current terms and conditions of the bank.

      However, as you will indeed live in Germany in a few weeks and it is often necessary to close a bank account in person abroad, it can make sense to open the Number26 account already.

      Idea (without any guarantee that it will work):

      – You apply for the online account and state your German address (however, you must make sure that your name is already stated at the mailbox, because the credit card will immediately be produced after you verify your e-mail address)

      – You try to make the identification through the video chat with your passport (now it depends on the passport – documents of the EU can almost be accepted in its total, because the employees are familiar with the security features of the documents &hellp; but not yet with all passports of the world. If your passport should not be accepted in the video chat, you will be invited to make the identification at the Deutsche Post. This is of course only possible, when you are here).

      Conclusion: You can try it, but it is not sure that it works.

      Here you can find another provider at which you can open the account from abroad and get the account number for the bank transfer immediately:

      The legitimating must be made through PostIdent. However, it is okay, if you do it months later. Until then, the account can receive money, but no transfers from the account are possible.

      Additional note: If you transfer from your Brazilian bank or other foreign bank to the account at Number26, your transfer must be in Euros. Currently, there are only Euro accounts at Number26. Payments in other currencies cannot be accepted. A cheap alternative is the transfer via TransferWise. Here, the amount will be converted into Euros anyway.

      Good luck!

      • Pedro says:

        Hello Andressa,

        Did you get your account at Number26? Was it possible to verify you Brazilian passport via video chat?


    • Sof says:

      Hi Andressa, I am in the exactly same situation! I am also curently in Brazil and moving to Germany in the next months. I wrote them an email this week to ask if it was possible as I do have an address in Germany (I lived there before). I have not received any answer yet, so please keep us posted if you manage to open the account or not. Thanks!
      ps: what is exactly a residence certificate in Germany? Is it an official document?

      • Pedro says:

        Hello Sof,

        I am in the same situation of you now. So, did you get your account? It was possible to verify you Brazilian Passport via video chat?


  7. Daniyal says:


    I have a simple question. Free cash withdrawals is possible via Mastercard. Unterstood, but how to deposit money in Number26 account? If someone has cash in hand how and at which bank it can be deposited?

  8. florent says:

    seems not compatible with winphone. When will it be possible to use a winphone to use this bank account?

  9. Kori says:

    If u own a see trough atm card, please do not insert it to any NCR badged ATM as those atms card reader works on break a light beam princip. So your card is not seen and will not be returned to you. Thanks.

    • Susanne says:

      This seems to be a challenge from only a few ATMS 😉 The cards have been tested and are officially approved by MasterCard. We have used NCR ATMs several times, and it worked without problems!

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