„In less than 8 minutes, the account can be opened on your smartphone or online. Your identity is verified via a video call; no documents have to be printed”, according to the press release. NUMBER26 offers a bank account specifically for the smartphone. The app targets digital natives and is now available for iPhone and Android users in Austria and Germany. The strategic banking partner is Wirecard Bank AG, which holds a German banking license.
“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.
NUMBER26 offers a bank account, the most modern mobile app and online interface, all of which come with an attached MasterCard®. All expenditures are displayed instantly on your smartphone, and clever statistics help users to keep their finances under control. In addition, money transfers become very simple and can be sent to friends via e-mail or text message.
Traditional banks do offer online banking, but haven’t managed to come up with a good banking app yet. Number26 tries to get into that space and wants to improve banking by offering real time overview and actions over its app and website to make banking easier in general.
NUMBER26 focuses fully on mobile accessibility for the user, thus making the account paired with the smartphone even safer. For example, it is possible to block or unblock the card with just one click in the mobile app. For every account movement or card transaction, the user receives a notification on his smartphone in real time, so that the user can act immediately upon unfamiliar transactions.
“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,” says Wirecard Bank director Alexander von Knoop.
The account and associated MasterCard® are free without any additional or hidden fees. Moreover, customers can withdraw money worldwide free of charge; additional fees for the usage of the account do not accrue. The cost advantage of not having a network of branches is thus directly passed on to the customer.
Number26 claims to also categorize client’s spending. This idea is not entirely new, and with a lot of cafés and small shops only accepting cash in Germany, it won’t give customer a full overview, but it surely shows directions in where most of client’s spendings take place, according to venturevillage.eu.
While the plastic card, the bank account and the ATM usage is for free, the customer will not receive any interest. As these range between 0 – max. 1 % in Germany, it is compared to the basic charge of many banks a deal worth thinking about. Besides that, Number26 will earn a small percentage every time the card is used.
Starting from today, the bank account is available in Germany and Austria. Due to the high volume of pre-signups, an invitation to open the account is necessary. Everyone interested requesting an invitation only now has an expected waiting time of four to six weeks. Existing customers, however, have the opportunity to invite friends who can then sign up immediately and skip the waiting list.
The FinTech startup NUMBER26 was founded in February 2013 by two Austrians, Valentin Stalf (29) and Maximilian Tayenthal (34), and currently employs a team of 20 in the startup hub Berlin. In June 2014, two of the leading European Venture Capital Funds Earlybird VC and Redalpine VC together with Axel Springer Plug and Play as well as several finance experts invested 2 million euros. After an extensive beta phase, NUMBER26 is now available in Germany and Austria.
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