The opening of a bank account in Germany is now easier than ever thanks to N26, if you live in Germany or in one of the selected European countries.
What you will learn in this article:
- How to open the bank account
- What type of account you get
- Which cards you get to the account
- Which services you can use
- From which countries and in which languages the account opening is possible!
For action takers ► here the direct link to the bank https://next.n26.com.
Now let’s work through the important points in reverse order:
5. Countries and languages
When Number26 launched in January 2015, it was officially stated that one could only become a customer of the new bank, if one lived in Germany or Austria.
The account opening, including legitimating via video chat (see point 1), first deposit, card shipping and trying out to made the first payment or cash withdrawal with the new card, could be completed within 48 hours. This was a novelty in the financial sector!
One was able to quickly figure out that Number26 apparently verified the address of the customer by shipping the card per post, otherwise it was returned.
Technically, they have solved the issue by producing the card immediately after filling the brief online form to open an account, and then clicking on the confirmation link in the e-mail.
Card production starts already when confirming the e-mail address
Thus Number26 shortened the time of account opening considerably. The process of legitimating can be performed right after or in the next few days. Depending on the time availability of the customer. However, the card is already on its way.
Number26 does a great deal, so that its customers are delighted, as you can read in further articles on our special portal. This includes the extremely fast opening of the account.
Since passports usually do not state the residential address, you could virtually specify an address of your wish, where you want the card to be delivered.
As far as we can judge, this is legally perfectly fine, because it is defined in the legitimating law that the bank must identify the person beyond doubt.
A customer is identified when his/her name, date of birth and place of birth have been proven. The address is not among this, as it often changes in life – in contrast to the aforementioned data.
First bank account openings with international dimension emerged in “uncontrolled growth”
Some German speaking “first movers” – from mid-2015, when the second language version was introduced, also English speaking people – took advantage of this circumstance and opened their bank account at Number26 through addresses in Germany and Austria.
Only the card had to be delivered. Further mailings are not sent!
Number26 has responded to that! And not in a manner, as one might expect it from a conventional bank (“we will cancel your accounts”), but the other way around!
“If we already have people abroad, who make such efforts to open our account, then we should make it yet easier and work to implement solutions so that the account can be opened from abroad.”
It looks like this fits very well in the growth strategy of the bank with the most modern bank account in Europe.
Here you can see an overview of the countries, from where you can officially apply for the N26 account as well as the planning of languages.
|Country||Language||Link to the country’s page (account opening)|
|Germany||German / English||https://number26.de|
|Italy||English / Italian is still in development and will be offered in the future||https://number26.eu/it|
|France||English / French is still in development and will be offered in the future||https://number26.eu/fr|
|Austria||German / English||https://number26.de|
|Switzerland||German, is still in preparation and will first appear in the EUR variant; one is working on foreign currency accounts|
|Spain||English / Spanish is still in development and will be offered in the future||https://number26.eu/es|
|One can assume that the list of countries will expand in the coming months and years. However, this will happen probably faster in countries where the Euro is the legal currency.
We will report about this for our readers on this special portal, and also as soon as foreign currencies are possible for the first time!
Important to know: It still is a bank account in Germany – with German deposit insurance. Only the application process is now possible from other countries and in other languages.
Likewise, the MasterCard is sent to the countries mentioned in the list. This receives a bank account with a German IBAN starting with DE.
4. Services of Number26
Currently, most services are oriented to the German market. One needs to know that, when wanting to open a bank account in Germany.
However, the corporate directive of Number26 thinks in great measure European, so one can expect that the services that are going well in Germany will be applied little by little to other countries.
A first example would be for the fee-free deposit and withdrawal of cash at more than 6,000 supermarket checkouts. In Germany, this had a very good start, so one will probably also find cooperation partners in Spain, France, Italy or Greece, who are willing to work with Number26.
It starts in Germany and at success, it will be applied in other countries …
What is already available to each customer today are the free cash withdrawals at all MasterCard-enabled ATMs worldwide. You can withdraw cash from your account conveniently and free of charge in your home country or when traveling.
Deposits can be made by bank transfer in Euros. In many EU countries, you can even use Number26 as a salary account. However, this is not a condition for the free account management. There are no requirements for this. The account is always free of charge, no matter, if you use it frequently or not at all.
Overview of frequently used services
- Transfers in Euro
The setup of standing orders, so that payments are executed automatically and regularly, is possible.
- Card payments
With the MasterCard, you can pay cashless everywhere in the world, where credit cards are accepted. Big advantage of Number26: Unlike most banks, at payments in another currency, no surcharge applies (foreign transaction fee). Payments in other currencies are converted exactly using the MasterCard exchange rate.
- Cash withdrawals
You can withdraw cash free of charge at the worldwide more than 2 million ATMs that accept MasterCard.
- Cash deposits
Cash deposits are currently possible free of charge at more than 6,000 supermarket checkouts in Germany (Amounts between Euros 50 and 999 per procedure).
- Comprehensive statistics
Number26 shows you your account usage in detailed statistics. This is ideal for people, who keep a household book.
Not official, but reality:
This is no official service, but we know from experience that concerned people from some southern European countries do that: hold the account balances securely in Germany.
Although, there is no interest on the current account yet (no interest income-disclosure to the local tax office either), but it provides a sense of security for many people to have money in a bank account in Germany.
Can you remember the Cyprus crisis in 2013, where account holders have been expropriated on the deposit protection limit of Euros 100,000?
There were similar worries and they always come up again in Greece. Also the fact that one could temporarily not dispose freely of his own account balance.
Bank account in Germany as a backup strategy!
Is it not great having a bank account in Germany, which can be controlled via a Smartphone app or online banking? Additionally, a MasterCard, which offers further options at electronic payments, as well as withdrawing cash?
Note: By the way, there are also people from other European countries, who wish to open an account in Germany precisely for this reason. Why not? Prevention is better than cure. We in Germany know about that. 🙂
Further services will be added in the coming months and years and it is already readable for us observers that Number26 will expand its account with other useful features. We will report about this on our special portal!
3. The cards to the account
As you could read above, the MasterCard goes into production already during the process of account application. With an address in Germany, one usually gets the card within 2 banking days.
the comments feature (at the bottom of this page) after how many days you have received your new MasterCard in the mailbox. Thank you!
Card is partially transparent!
The MasterCard – which looks like a real credit card due to the embossing of the account number, name and expiration date – is a debit card. That means that only if you have balance in your account, you can use it. If the account is empty, the card is not working.
Number26 offers since the end of 2015 the possibility of equipping the account with a credit line. In the app, this is called “overdraft facility”. This converts the MasterCard into a true credit card. This is optional and subject to a few other conditions. An article about this is already in preparation. In the basic equipment, right after the account opening, the MasterCard is a debit card.
Likewise end of 2015, a MaestroCard was optionally introduced as an additional card, because MasterCards are not accepted everywhere in Germany. More about that in further articles.
Basic equipment: 1 MasterCard, free of charge!
2. Current account with brilliant Smartphone app
Number26 is a real current account with own German account number (IBAN with DE at the beginning).
With this account, one can conduct full payment transactions in the Euro area free of charge. For transfers in any other currency and in other non-Euro countries, the provider TransferWise is recommended.
So you can conveniently transfer money from and to Switzerland, UK, USA and many other countries.
The current account can be managed super easily via the app (Android or iPhone). The banking app of Number26 has already been awarded due to its ease of use and popularity.
Additionally, one can manage the account through online banking on the computer or tablet.
1. Opening of the Number26 bank account
The opening of the account is pretty easy. You can complete the procedure on the Smartphone as well as on the PC. Entering the data could be more convenient on the PC.
However, a Smartphone, in addition to the minimum age of 18 and being a resident in an already “accepted” country, is a requirement for a successful account opening.
Account can be opened on the PC or via a Smartphone.
a) Start the account opening
Go through this link directly to the page of the account opening ► https://number26.eu/en.
(or using the corresponding country link from the table)
Click on the button “Open account now“ and follow the process.
b) The next steps that follow
- Confirm your e-mail address (card goes into production)
- You immediately get your new German account number. Therefore, you can start the first transfer directly.
- The identification through video chat can be carried out immediately after that or at a later point of time. Please keep you ID-card or passport ready. Alternatively, one can be identified through the post in Germany (PostIdent procedure).
- The card is sent by post to your mailbox. You can activate it through the app and use it right away, if you have already transferred money to the account.
- Done, account and card are now completely opened and ready for use.
“Start the account opening now”
… the most modern current account in Europe!
Q&A: Frequently asked questions
What does the account cost?
Nothing! It is a totally free current account – there are also no charges for the cards. Account opening, use and possible cancelation of the account are free of charge.
How safe is the bank account?
a) The technique of the bank as well as of the app is always at the most recent German security level. Outgoing transfers are confirmed in the app by the account holder before the completion. The app is protected by a password. Other more vulnerable systems, like TAN lists or SMS sending of a TAN, do not exist at Number26.
b) The account balances in Germany are subject to the legal deposit insurance in the amount of EUR 100,000 per account. The customer money is always kept separate from the company’s capital of Number26. Should the bank go bankrupt, the account balance will be refunded in full (a maximum of Euros 100,000) within a few days. This is stated by the German Deposit Protection Act (Einlagensicherungsgesetz , EinSiG).
Can I open several accounts?
No. Only one account per person is allowed. The minimum age is 18 years (age of majority in Germany).
Can I use the bank account for business?
Yes, as long as these are self-employed persons and freelancers, whose business is run on their own name.
Please note that the daily transfer limit is Euro 25,000 per day, and that there are also daily limits for card payments and cash withdrawals (overview, German). We hope that the limits will be adjusted to higher amounts soon. However, for 99% of customers, the current limits are enough.
An account opening only on the company name, as in the case of legal persons, is not possible at Number26.
Can I open the bank account, although my language is not yet available?
Yes! However, you must be able to understand and speak English or German sufficiently, because you have to communicate yourself at the legitimating during the video chat. When communicating by e-mail with the bank, you can use Google Translate as a support.
As soon as your language is available, you can change the language of the banking app and online banking under “Einstellungen” or “Settings”. The customer service of Number26 is augmented with foreign language speakers.
And now, we wish you good luck at your account opening, if you did not do it already!
“Start the account opening now”
… the most modern current account in Europe!
Any further questions?
Questions about the account and its opening can be made through the comments box. You can also contribute to the development of this page by using this feature. Thank you 🙂
Thematically supplementary articles that are frequently read:
- Overview: Cash and Card from Germany biggest direct bank
- It is possible to open a current account with 2 minutes?
- Trick ► How to get a loan up to € 5,000 within 24 hours!