An honest review of N26

An honest review of N26

An honest review of the N26 online bank after a year of use. Are the neat features worth dealing with a FinTech startup? Here is the verdict.

When I just landed in Berlin, I opened a bank account with Commerzbank, because there was a branch downstairs.

Commerzbank is an old-fashioned bank. You are assigned an advisor - a real human being - and you must go through that person for most major operations. Lost your credit card? Email your advisor. Need to open a brokerage account? Book an appointment with your advisor. Need to close your account? Advisor. They once confirmed an appointment by mailing me a letter. Commerzbank is a great bank... for another century.

The biggest problem, however, is that Commerzbank charges a nauseating number of fees for day-to-day operations: 7 euros a month for an account, 6 euros for using another bank's ATM, 40 euros a year for a basic credit card and so on. As a card-carrying penny pincher, that quickly got old, and I began looking for a new bank.

The new kid on the block

When I asked around, every colleague and friend of mine was raving about N26 (then Number26), the hip new online bank with the flashy app and neat transparent card. At face value, Number26 was a solid choice: no fees, free cash withdrawals from any ATM, free credit card and a neat app. That seemed like a good deal, so I gave it a try.

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A "straightforward" signup process

Opening an account with N26 is fairly straightforward. You install the app, start a video chat, show your ID and you are done. If all goes according to plan, you're done in 10 minutes. You don't even need an Anmeldung!

Things did not go according to plan.

N26's video identification partner, IDnow, does not support all ID documents. When I signed up, they would not allow Canadian passports (they do now). They support passports from more countries now, but not from all of them.

If you use video identification, you must use Postident. You must print a piece of paper and bring it to the post office. The person at the post office will verify your identity, and you will get your N26 card a few days later. Postident does not support all passports either1,2, 3. There are reports of Russian, Indian and Pakistani citizens who can't get Deutsche Post to accept their passport. This could have changed since I opened my account in 2016.

Nonetheless, once your account is all set up, everything should go smoothly, right?

Well... mostly.

In order to use N26, you must pair a phone with your account. Your phone is used to confirm transfers and other account operations. If you don't have a phone, you cannot use N26 account. If you don't have Android or iOS, you cannot use N26. If you don't have a phone number, you cannot pair a new phone, and you cannot use N26. No phone, no bank transfers.

When I changed jobs last summer, I had to return my company phone, so had no phone number for a few weeks. During that time, I was effectively locked out of my N26 account, and could not transfer money from it. Without my old Commerzbank account, I could not have paid the rent that month.

Moreover, I could not unpair the old phone, as I gave it back on my last day of work. It had to be unpaired manually by N26's customer service before I could pair a new device. It took a short phone call to solve the problem.

Some other significant issues have plagued N26 customers since the company's debut in 2016: accounts closed without warning, security issues, condition changes, new fees and so on. N26 does not have the best of track records. Things have improved a lot since then, but it's still worth knowing.

Free as in beer

Why am I still an N26 customer despite those setbacks? Because it saves me over a hundred euros a year.

Commerzbank charged me 7 euros a month to keep an account open, 40 euros a year for a basic credit card, and 5 euros for withdrawing cash from other ATMs. N26 never charged me a dime. Never at all. Using N26 has been 100% free since I opened my account.

The N26 app

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In addition to the unbeatable price, N26 offers a fantastic user experience. I am willing to deal with occasional issues if their service makes my life easier, and it does.

At the centre of this great user experience is the N26 app.

Everything can be done from your phone through this app. In fact, some features are only available through the app.

The N26 app seamlessly integrates with iOS. You use TouchID to login, force touch to see your account balance from the home screen, and widgets to keep an eye on your finances. Transaction notifications appear as regular iOS notifications. These little details matter.

Transaction notifications are by far my favourite feature. You get a notification on your phone when money goes in or out of your account. When I pay with my N26 card, my phone vibrates in my pocket before I even get the receipt from the cashier. It helps me notice unexpected transactions, and makes budgeting a breeze.

The expense tracking features are also quite nice. The app splits your expenses into categories and gives you an overview of your spending habits. I don't use it much myself, but it can be useful.

Another neat feature is the Cash Map, which shows you ATMs in the vicinity. On iOS, you can reach it from the home screen with force touch. It's easier than to type "atm" in Google Maps, and shows more or less the same results.

The app also lets you instantly transfer money to other N26 users using their email address or phone number, a faster alternative to IBAN transfers. I use this with a few of my friends.

You can also set recurring payments. This allows me to pay my rent on time every month without even thinking about it. I get an email and a notification that confirm the payment went through.

There are other services available through the app (insurance, investments, etc.), but I have not tried them.

The N26 website

The N26 website gives you another way to access your transactions and make transfers. It's very similar to the apps, but is missing some of the special features. However, it still lets you view your transactions and make transfers.

If you want to transfer using the website, you must confirm the transaction on your phone. It's a minor hassle, but it's much better than the stupid photoTAN system.

Technical support in English

N26 and Deutsche Bank are the only German banks to officially offer English technical support. My colleagues still receive some German paperwork from Deutsche Bank, but N26 correspondence is 100% in English. If you don't speak German, N26 is the best option.

Since N26 is an online bank, you can't meet face to face with an advisor. If you have questions about your finances, investments or loans, you might want to open an account with a traditional bank like Deutsche BankDeutsche Bank or Sparkasse. N26 is an online bank, so there are no branches you can go to. On the bright side, you will never have to go to a branch across the city to sign a document.

In general, I found the N26 customer service perfectly acceptable and responsive. The live chat is convenient if you are at work or just don't like making phone calls.

Verdict: it's worth it, but...

N26 is still in its early years, and it's hard to escape the perception that you are dealing with a startup. Their signup process has issues, their app has issues, and they don't account for situations like "having an Indian passport" or "not having a phone". The truth is that despite those setbacks, N26 is great for most people, most of the time.

It's hard to ignore the fees you would pay for the same perks at any other bank, and that N26 is the only German bank that officially offers English support. It's also one of the few banks that lets you create an account before you have done your Anmeldung.

Would I recommend N26? Absolutely. All of my day-to-day transactions go through N26, and I am overall very satisfied with the experience, despite some hiccups in the first few months. I closed my Commerzbank account and made N26 my only bank in February 2018. Go ahead, open an account. Tell them Nick sent you.

Visit the N26 website

If you deemed that N26 is not for you, take a look at DKB or ING DiBa, both of which are highly recommended by my colleagues and friends, or perhaps consider an established brick-and-mortar bank. Comdirect is another free online bank. We wrote a solid overview of other German banks here.

Updates

2017-09-25: Added corrections from commenters

2017-10-05: Added that Postident only supports a limited list of ID documents

2017-12-13: Corrected some facts, adjusted some parts to match my current opinion.

2018-08-01: Corrected section about supported countries. Added details about Anmeldung.

This article uses affiliate links. When you click these links and open an N26 account, we make a little money. We use that money to pay our hosting bill, expand the website and donate to charity. We don't sell recommendations or write reviews for money.

Comments

  • BritBanker

    My impression after a few months of using N26 metal is that it is great as a travel card used in conjunction with a full-service bank but is not suitable as a primary bank account. The app is good enough but lacks a lot of features I need.

    The whole point of N26 for me is being able to conduct foreign transactions without the exorbitant forex fees and poor rates offered by traditional banks. The metal subscription pays for itself every month I spend >GBP500 equivalent in foreign currencies (which is pretty much every month). All credit/debit cards available to HSBC UK Premier customers have non-sterling transaction fees and even the UK-issued Amex Platinum charge card has non-sterling fees.

    I also wouldn't feel comfortable doing all my banking with N26. I need statements to show my accountant from time to time. I need to know that transactions won't be declined randomly while the security algorithms are being perfected (random declines for security purposes still happen with HSBC Premier but I have a 24/7 direct line I can dial and speak with someone instantly if my card is declined at a hotel in Tblisi). Finally, I've heard enough bad stories of people having their accounts frozen/locked to put me off leaving more than a few thousand pounds in my N26 account at a time. They are still a startup after all and while deposits are covered I'm not convinced they've reached a point where I trust them with the entire cash balance of my UK account.

    Reply

    • Reply to BritBanker

  • Carlton

    I have to confess, I'm a little bit surprised to read the volume of negative comments on this thread. Having banked with DB for almost four years and N26 for two, I cannot compare the latter favourably enough to the former.

    While DB's technology struggles to enter the 21st century (PhotoTAN, anyone) and causes us unnecessary volumes of life admin, N26 is a near frictionless experience. I say "near" as the recent experience with re-verifying my account was a little annoying and could have been tightened up a little.

    DB continue to chop down trees sending me piles of letters all the time (despite my repeated requests not to) - with N26, I get push notifications when anything important happens.

    DB charge us each month for the "privilege" of banking with them - N26 do not. DB does not have contactless payment with their card - N26 offers contactless payments, as well as Google Pay, free ATM withdrawals from other banks, etc.

    I could go on but it is really night and day...

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    • Reply to Carlton

  • Karen

    I want to tell you about my terrible experience with the N26, I'm extremely disappointed and feeling misled by the company, or even bolder in the words "stolen" !!! I opened a metal account in Ireland, but I never received the card. When I returned to Italy, I decided to contact the company and request an Italian account, because I would not return to Ireland, I informed the support of my new address. , informing me that I should pay 45 € for a new card with updated address, but until then nobody informed me that there would be restrictions, as one of the fundamental things to deposit money on the card, when I went to ncash I was informed that I had no possibility to deposit from Italy, just by transfer or in Ireland, was very nervous because I paid 45 € plus monthly account maintenance fee 16.90, I contacted support again, they said there was no solution, nonsense I was not advised by they, they suggested that i pay € 190 every month annually so i could open an italian account, no way! I am very upset, angry with the company, mercenaries, lack of respect for the customer, just drove me to take my money! Friends who need a digital account are aware of this company, do not trust! They offer no solutions to repair the mistakes made, injuries to me and disappointment! I do not recommend !!! I want my money back! N26

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    • Reply to Karen

  • Mladen

    Very unpleasant experience with their unkind call agent during verification. And call agents should be far better in English.

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    • Reply to Mladen

  • Deepal Jayasekara

    We tried to withdraw some money from the ATM, We got a notification that the transaction was successfully authorized, and the amount was deducted from the account. But the ATM didn't give any cash. Later we found out an explanation on their website saying "It happens". Why don't they fix the issues they have, rather than writing articles to decorate the bug as a feature???

    Foreign transfer - I wanted to perform a foreign currency transfer. I tried two times, and both failed giving an "Unexpected Error Occurred" red banner and a forever spinning "Processing" banner. Then we contacted support to see what's wrong. And we got the most stupid and hilarious response ever. He said that they use Transferwise as a service to do foreign transfers which THEY HAVE NO CONTROL OF. Then they asked me to contact Transferwise DIRECTLY to get my problem sorted. I myself is a software engineer who has years of experience in the Payments industry, so I know how things work. N26, Why would you ask your customer to contact YOUR 3rd party service which the customer has ABSOLUTELY NO CONTRACT with????? That's the most stupid and ridiculous answer ever.

    Getting a bank statement - Getting a full bank statement for official purposes is a nightmare. Support told us they don't issue certified bank statement including the history of transactions. You can only get a statement verifying your current balance (which is ridiculous)

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    • Reply to Deepal Jayasekara

  • Erika Tang

    They got all my funds without notice or explanation! They had a second identification check up while I'm living abroad and their system cant support my foreign passport online unless I go back to Germany to present it "again" to the local post office. All my funds are frozen and my only option is to close the account and transfer all my funds to my bank account abroad, but their system also don't recognize my other bank. I'm trying to contact their customer support every day without response, explanation, update or estimate to have this problem solved. I have bills to pay and there's no landline to call, they are only an online bank and completely dismissive to all my attempts to resolve this situation! I feel helpless!!! My worse experience with a bank! Get your funds out of this bank ASAP!

    Reply

    • Reply to Erika Tang

    • Et

      I’m facing similar problem at the moment. They refused my Resident Permit which is expiring in December although I’m planning to renew it next month. Then after a long wait of 3 weeks involving many emails I received a PostIdent voucher and instruction to do it in a local post office which I did straight away. A few days after that my account was re-activated. However just this morning I received a notice that my account would be closed in 60 days because I failed the re-verification process!!
      They blocked by bank app access again and there is no landline to call nor any instruction on how to transfer the fund to another bank. I couldn’t access my statements which I would need to renew my Resident Permit either!

      Reply

      • Reply to Et

    • Desmond Molloy

      I would contact whoever it is that you owe the bills to. They may be able to recommend a debt collector. Failing that, try filing a report with the Federal Financial Authority--N26 is a German company, so this entity is responsible for regulating them (and could penalise them/cause problems for their licensing if they continue to act in this manner).
      https://www.bafin.de/EN/Verbraucher/BeschwerdenAnsprechpartner/BaFin-Verbrauchertelefon/bafin-verbrauchertelefon_node_en.html

      Reply

      • Reply to Desmond Molloy

    • Edward

      This is the worst bank all people must stay way I try to open account with this bank one week to check my id and nothing most times the don't open video call and when they open they close in few min saying the line is bad , I will not open anymore account with them I did give them some info of mine I just hope they don't use that , next time I am in Berlin I want to check that address they have if is tru or even that is fucking falls .

      Reply

      • Reply to Edward

  • Linn Langrekken

    Stay away from this bank! There are no other options in Germany for non-German speakers, but save yourself some time, effort and stress and don't sign up with N26.

    Every single step has been a hassle. I signed up two months ago and I've still not been able to use it. The startup video process took an hour, many assistants just hung up when I didn't speak German.

    I tried transferring money from my EU home country but it wasn't accepted. Upon trying to figure out why, they had no information to give me, and my bank of 15 years in my home country told me that this was N26's problem, not theirs. I've repeatedly tried to fix this, but they refuse to help me further.

    They've recently updated their login process to ask for phone verification, and they didn't tell me before implementing this. I've had trouble with sim cards here as well, and my phone number changes all the time. I tried changing this through the customer chat and they asked me if I could go to an ATM to make a transaction in order to verify myself. Just to change my phone number! Up until recently, all they've asked for a login has been an email and a password.

    The principle to have to go verify myself like that is just wrong. I've complained about that and they don't listen. I've asked for a different way of verifying myself (my bank in my country have many means of verification) and they asked me about my 5th transaction in my bank. I haven't even had 1 transaction! I answered that, and apparently the answer was wrong and the assistant closed the chat. I've asked the customer service 4 times now, having waited several hours on and on, and they just transfer me to other assistants or the internet connection is abrupted on their side.

    Highly unprofessional.

    Reply

    • Reply to Linn Langrekken

  • Erika

    This is the worst banking experience.

    They advertise as great bank for travelers but their system don't support foreigners passports unless you are present, in my case - Germany where I started with them, for a sudden second identification check-up that can only be done at the local Post Office.

    My account was frozen without notice because I couldn't complete this sudden identification process online. I'm currently living abroad and have bills to pay but can't until I go back to Germany.

    The only option I have from afar is to close my account and transfer my funds to another account in my name, but they don't accept or recognize any bank account in Asia where I'm living, so I have to request the transfer to my husband's local german account -which is fine - but I'm still waiting for so long without an update from their customer service that is unclear to give me any estimate of how long it will take. It's been two weeks without being able to access my funds.

    I could never imagine having such a worse nightmare with a bank in life. I'm emailing them everyday, no answers, the only way to speak to someone is through their long waiting web customer support, their advisers are evasive with answers not giving us any clear information about what's happen or what will happen.

    There's no physical n26 office to call as they are only an online bank. N26 is unnacountable to the consequences that this problem on their system is causing me, I have school to pay, rent and daily expenses and at the moment waiting on a limbo at the mercy of their weak, irresponsible nd inneffective way to deal with this serious issue in their system.

    Their marketing strategy "for travelers" is just but a fraud to get costumers. They can't support travelers and Im unfortunately finding it out now.

    Now all my money is frozen without any expected time to be released. They are holding what is not theirs and not taking ownership for something that is their fault and should be resolved asap as a form of respect to the customers that once trusted their false market.

    If you have any funds on this bank, move it away to a safe bank account you can trust ASAP.

    After my experience, I don't trust neither will recommend this bank to anyone.

    Reply

    • Reply to Erika

  • Alana

    So after reading a ton of bad reviews about N26 possibly you guys never read the Ts & Cs properly but i had no issue whatsoever with signing up very quick, am based in UK and received my Debit card within 5 days, transferred a small amount of cash to the account from my existing one no problem, so will be watching out for any issues as i am expecting to draw a private pension very soon so will see what happens.

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    • Reply to Alana

  • Luciana

    Simply stay away. All goes well, until it doesn't, until they randomly decide to block your account and access to your own funds.

    Since August 21, 2019 my account is unlawfully blocked. Numerous attempts to contact N26's customer service, gain further insight and solve this issue remained unsuccessful. I am meanwhile seven days without any access to my account. I have to assume that payments I initiated are not processed either. I urged them to take immediate steps and, yet, the only thing their customer agents on their chat are able to say is that my query is being handled, they have no visibility on anything else, and I shall receive an email soon (no ETA). Then, they close the chat.

    Summary:

    19.08.2019 – I received an email requesting to re-verify my identity as a routine procedure that all banks have to follow, which I did straight away. In this email it stated that during the re-verification process I would be able to use my N26 card to make purchases or withdrawals, receive money, just would not be able to access my N26 app.

    21.08.2019 – Whilst I was trying to pay for my taxi fare, my card was declined and a message on my screen appeared: “We couldn’t process your transaction because your account has been blocked. We’ll email you with details.” I contacted your support team via chat and I was told there was nothing that could be done, my “account was seized” and they couldn’t give me more information apart from the fact that I’d be contacted soon by email. Several agents closed the chat on me without giving me any further information and refusing to escalate this issue. My funds were seized and I didn’t have access to it nor did I have any estimation of when N26 would provide an explanation or transfer my funds to another account. I promptly provided another account number for my money to be transferred.

    23.08.2019 – I received an email stating that I haven’t followed the request to verify my identity, resulting in my N26 account being terminated. This is probably from an incorrect template, as I had re-verified my identity on the same date as I received the 1st email (which also stated that I had until the 09.09.2019 to do so. In the same email, there was a request to provide my new account details AGAIN (3rd time) for N26 to transfer my funds.

    Between 21.08 and 26.08, several direct debits have been declined and as I haven’t had access to my funds, I have been unable to settle them yet. As of now, I haven’t received my funds in the alternative account number I provided.

    I am elsewise forced to engage legal support and file for injunctive relieve – demanding coverage of any potential costs or damage that will be caused by the unjustified seizure of my account.

    It's now the 28th of August and this issue is still pending.

    Reply

    • Reply to Luciana

    • Joanna

      Hi Luciana,

      I have almost the same issue, my account is blocked without knowing and I tried numerous time to log in again but all failed. I have written many times to their customer support but I don't get any helpful solutions. I would also turn to legal support if my issue is not fixed.

      Cheers,
      Joanna

      Reply

      • Reply to Joanna

  • Ryann

    N26 is great until they aren't—then you are left with no bank, no money, and no recourse. Since April 2019, I have noticed a big increase in complaints about N26, in particular their habit of shutting you out of your own account without reason and restricting "support" only to email. You get a message like "we are working on it, try back in 22 days." It's too bad to watch an ok product fail, but that is clearly what is happening here. I'm pulling my money out.

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    • Reply to Ryann

  • R Busse

    These folks are dangerous. They are holding thousands of my Euros hostage. They deny me phone pairing, web transfer access, etc. Their customer support folks are creative liars. Telling stories like they cant send SMS because the phone companies have identified them as spammers, No, I received an SMS from them just minutes earlier. Not sending the SMS code for pairing is one of many tactics to keep the money unsuspecting customers have deposited there. BAFin complaint in the making. If they are to broke to pay out a few thousand Euro in deposit, I would risk another dime on this sinking ship.

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    • Reply to R Busse

  • Ekaterina

    Have been using N26 for a year, since my first days in Germany in January 2018. With a working visa in a Russian pass and my old Motorola 3G, I opened an account within few days (that were taken up by delivery of the card). It was the best thing amongst all this administrative stuff a newcomer has to do in the first days.
    I had no problems all along: getting paid by the University, receiving reimbursements, transferring money to landlords and colleagues and requesting bank statement. The customer support was expectedly good, always friendly. I really appreciate the withdrawal limit is set not as an amount of money but in the number of withdrawals (5 for youngsters, 3 for "grown-ups"). The only weird trouble I had was adding money to the account. Adding (!!) money to the account is (was??) not free after a certain limit.

    After I've recently changed my phone (to Nokia 6.1), I simply can not log in to my account in the app. That ultimately means that I CANNOT make ANY TRANSFER. And while the tech support "is working on my request", I have nothing to do but to switch to some other bank. And also recently, I started to get the first problems with the incompetence of the customer support.
    Hope, N26 will get better over time though. I really wish the guys all the best, but the product as it is nowadays is pathetic and not operable.

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    • Reply to Ekaterina

  • Pol

    Hi. Anyone knows how to get your money back once N26 cancels your account without reason? I am trying to contact them by live chat, email, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram but they dont have information available. Supposedly they can only be reached by email for those matters - but I have been 5 days without a reply so far.

    Did anyone get their money back after putting it in N26 and trying to make a wire transfer? Please let me know how you did it.

    Reply

    • Reply to Pol

    • Matija

      Similar experience, trying to reach them, mediocre and extremely slow communication, been waiting for a full month now for my funds transfer since they decided without any explanation but "serious violation or terms and conditions..." to shut down the account effective immediately. If anyone knows a way how to go about it besides that they transfer the funds to the same person's other account, I'd greatly appreciate that.

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      • Reply to Matija

  • K J

    09.05.2019. They are not accepting certain email accounts, example ending with ABC@gmx.de and they need some crap gmail account this is annoying .

    Reply

    • Reply to K J

    • Km

      15.05.2019 Very disappointing. I did read reviews that opening an account is straightforward and takes less than 10 minutes. I am in the process of opening an account since yesterday and can't go through because the N26 app can't geolocate me for some reason ( and yes I did check that my location services is on and the app has permission to access my location). I tried 4 times and each time I have to retake the photos of my ID (4 in total) plus photo of my face and then app can geolocate me so verification can't be done. I can't use the video chat of the app as the account is not yet open, there is no phone number to call and no email to contact N26. This is completely ridiculous. There must be another way to verify the identity without having to use the phone app! when I login to the WebApp, it says let's switch to the phone app for verification but phone app can't geolocate me....its a catch 24 situation

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      • Reply to Km

      • Tony Serio

        I used them and then closed after two weeks to go with what was my first choice, DB. N26 has Horrid customer service. Way better customer service and more features including the Intl. ATM usage and transfer fees are low.

        Reply

        • Reply to Tony Serio

        • Carlton

          I've lived in Berlin for almost four years now. I bank with DB and N26 and cannot disagree more with your comment. I think it is, perhaps, just bad luck. But the DB customer service, information flow and technology is WAY worse for us (DB is still our home/domestic account and N26 provide our business accounts).

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          • Reply to Carlton

  • Rupin

    They started accepting Indian passport if you hold a German resident permit.

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    • Reply to Rupin

  • Juan

    The worst customer service experience anyone can have. Agents close the chats without responding to your questions. They sport levels of incompetence only the worst companies in Europe have. They claim to be secure but they are rude, unhelpful and make banking with them a nightmare. I am looking for a more human alternative. They are not a bank, they are crooks offering an app and playing with money.

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    • Reply to Juan

    • Tony Serio

      100% agree. Atrocious is an understatement. DB blew them away in every regard.

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      • Reply to Tony Serio

    • Patrick

      I also just had a terrible customer "service" experience with N26. I set up the account yesterday, but as part of the activation process, they send you an SMS. It never arrived. I asked for it to be re-sent several times. It never arrived. I can't contact N26 via the app because my phone isn't paired, so I used the web app and ended up chatting with someone. I explained the problem, and he said that before he could do anything, he had to verify my identity with 3 pieces of information: 1. The number from the ID used to set up the account; 2. Last 4 of my IBAN, which appears on the website. So far, so good. 3. The number of the MasterCard. It has not arrived in the mail since I only set up the account yesterday. After explaining this to the customer "support" guy, he said I just have to wait for the card to arrive, then chat again. I said no way. Then he told me that SMS codes to +1 numbers are not working now, but they have their best people working on a solution. I asked to chat with a supervisor so we could solve this, but he told me that he had already provided a solution.

      Reply

      • Reply to Patrick

    • JéRôMe

      "I am looking for a more human alternative. "

      If you live inside the EEA, then bunq would be a good alternative.

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      • Reply to JéRôMe

  • Sera K

    I wanted to so badly for N26 to work out, like this article states, but I was so wrong....N26 has been the worst experience I have ever had with a bank. From there attrocious customer support, to their continuing 'server' issues, and lack of important and relevant information. First issue I had was I could not pair to a phone with my USA number (nowhere does it state that in the signup process). If you would like to pair with a USA phone you need to wait for your card, then activate, then go to the support chat (If it is acutally working, more times than not the server is down or everyone is busy). Then someone should call, though the first two times no one ever called, to give you the SMS pairing code. You have 30 seconds to enter the code so be ready and logged in, which no one tells you, so the code expires. Then when you ask for them to call again, they cannot because your phone is unable to pair for the next 24hrs. Oh, and if you want to make a transfer, don't bother, there is always an 'unexpected error' message until you either pair your phone. Once I finally got a Germany number, then more problems arose with basic transfers and transactions and customer support was useless. Needless to say, I am closing the account and using DKB with no problems at all :D
    Please, if you value your time, money, and sanity, stay away from this joke of a bank.

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    • Reply to Sera K

  • Jake Bloyer

    It all sounds good by the reviews but I myself like the interaction of people and going into a local bank. You get friendly with those people you can strive deals with loans even. And most of all if you have all that information out like that someone could unlock your phone and get all the details they want. Or even log in and hack N26 database like someone just commented on here. I'll stick to my actual bank!

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    • Reply to Jake Bloyer

  • Saurabh

    Doesnt accept Indian passport as valid document. Moved to DB as I got zero balance account with no monthly charges in case you are salaried.

    Reply

    • Reply to Saurabh

  • Domenico

    Salve, a me hanno chiuso il conto probabilmente per troppi prelievi mensili ATM.Dopo molte chat e raccomandate alla sede di Berlino, da circa un mese alcuna risposta da parte di N26.Potete consigliarmi un avvocato a Berlino che parla in Italiano per affrontare questo problema.Grazie e Saluti.

    Reply

    • Reply to Domenico

  • Gon88

    This comment is awaiting moderation.

  • Matthew

    Have used them for almost a year now. This is the way modern banks need to go. I have found them almost faultless. In most circumstances this is a great bank, but particularly if you move around a lot internationally since the lack of card charges and ATM withdrawals are streets ahead of others (I have 5 different accounts). Verdict 9 out of 10

    Reply

    • Reply to Matthew

  • Michael Anthony

    Security is a joke. My account was wiped out and even after contacting service and blocking my card, transactions - credit and debit are still continuing 10 days later. More than 100 fraudulent transactions and I have been told to fill sign and scan one form for each transaction. Meanwhile new fraudulent transactions continue. All this after I have been paying for N26Black services every month.

    Reply

    • Reply to Michael Anthony

  • Ralph

    Like many others have noted, their customer support is terrible. Yes, the live chat works, but these are just front of house staff. The ones actually doing the technical work are impossible to get hold of. They never reply to emails.
    It all looks lovely until you have a problem, then it all falls apart. I'd put your money elsewhere.

    Reply

    • Reply to Ralph

  • Gervin Williams

    I am trying to find out more information on this Bank the N26 . I am looking for a Bank that deals in English. I would like to open an Cheching Account in deposit a check for 1.6 Million USD . I would like to get Credit CARDS , ATM and Unlimited withdrawals. Can you please recommend a good Bank to do Business with ???? If so . Can you please send me an Application or the Address to the Bank..I await your reply ASAP. Thank You .

    Reply

    • Reply to Gervin Williams

    • Nicolas Bouliane

      Gervin, to open an account, just click the link in this article and follow the instructions on the N26 website. Deutsche Bank also offers English customer service. Other banks only work in German.

      Reply

      • Reply to Nicolas Bouliane

    • Jessica

      N26 doesn't accept cheques.

      Reply

      • Reply to Jessica

  • Svitlana

    The article seems interesting.
    But the last two days I have problems with contacting N26 support. The issue is that I had to buy a new phone (due to the fact that the old one was broken) and there I couldn't enter my password to N26 application as is was saved in the old phone. I tried to press the button "TO reset password' but for 2 days I am not receiving any further links to my mail box to actulally change my password. I mailed to Support email but they are not answering. I can't use the Life chat to talk to the support as it is avaliable only after I log into my account (which I can't do). I even left the message in N26 Facebook page about this issue, still no answer. So I guess that's it, there are no ways for me to receive the control over my accout anymore. Moreover I need to make an urgent payment and can't do that. It doesn't look like a professional way to do Banking Business.
    Are there any other ways to contact the N26 Bank (as I did'find them on the website of Google)?

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    • Reply to Svitlana

    • Juan

      No other way. Useless completely. Only if you are a premium user you get to talk to a human.

      Reply

      • Reply to Juan

  • Gabriel

    They are good if you need to open an account fast and without going through much bureaucracy. However, their customer service is terrible. I had a problem with an withdraw and they were unable to explain me how to take back the money that shouldn’t have been taken from my account in the first place and everytime I got in contact with them they would give me a different answer and not solve my problem.

    Reply

    • Reply to Gabriel

  • Dzvinka

    This November (2018) I used my Ukrainian passport at Postident and no problems occurred. Also, when I applied to get an account, my residence had not yet been registered at the local office. However, it also was not a problem as my account was still opened. Please, correct those mistakes in the article.

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    • Reply to Dzvinka

  • Nihad

    I had more than unpleasant experience with this bank. I have been waiting for more than a month for a card to arrive. In that time, I had no way of paying my rent, my bills, cash to spend every day. My advice is not to use online bank for a simple reason, when you have problem you cannot go physically in bank and resolve it on spot, you have to talk to their support, which cannot help you in any way except tell you what you already know. And the biggest problem is that you cannot go in bank and take money when you do not have a card or access to ATM.

    Reply

    • Reply to Nihad

    • Carl

      I don't get why you would need a card to pay your rent or your bills. And yes, you can take cash without your card using Cash26. You can also pay using your phone (google/ apple pay).

      Reply

      • Reply to Carl

  • Kai

    I will be moving to Germany soon and my plan was to get a cheap prepaid SIM at the airport and then get a plan later on. If I register N26 with my prepaid SIM, will I have issues later when trying to switch it to another SIM?

    Reply

    • Reply to Kai

    • Nicolas Bouliane

      This won't be a problem. I have a prepaid SIM, and my N26 account is paired to my phone. When you change phone numbers, you need to unpair your phone and pair it again with the new number. I have done it a month ago. It only takes 5-10 minutes if you have access to both phone numbers.

      Reply

      • Reply to Nicolas Bouliane

  • George

    The email you receive with PostIdent check, specifically instructs you to have your passport and Meldebescheinigung.

    Reply

    • Reply to George

    • Nicolas Bouliane

      This depends on your country of origin. If your passport is supported, you can use video ID. If it's not, you must use Postident. In that case, you are right, a Meldebescheinigung is needed.

      Reply

      • Reply to Nicolas Bouliane

  • Leo

    Hey there Nick, quick question, if you don't mind: I am asserting the possibility of shedding my Sparkasse account, due to their (unreasonable) fees, but, as you might suspect, am a bit skeptic about receiving my salary straight into N26. Care to share your opinion of this matter, since to my understanding, you are so doing at the current stage?

    Reply

    • Reply to Leo

    • Alex

      Has the same deposit guarantee as any Sparkasse. https://die-dk.de/en/deposit-protection/

      Reply

      • Reply to Alex

  • Filipe

    I've read N26's Privacy Policy, and is far worse than most conventional banks. Commerzbank's isn't great either, but N26, Revolut, and a few others need to up their game.

    Reply

    • Reply to Filipe

  • Gali

    I have an account with n26. A transfer I made over two months ago was failed, yet this money is still missing on my account. Meaning, the money went through but didn't arrive its' destination, but n26 are saying it's gone. Anyone has any idea how can I get them to refund me and send MY money back to my account?
    Conclusion- the moment you have a real problem, there is no phone line and the correspondence goes only by chat or emails and takes forever.
    Hope someone could help.....

    Reply

    • Reply to Gali

  • Jim Croke

    I spoke with their "customer care" team on Wednesday morning who advised me it would take 7hrs to transfer from Australia to my acc via 3rd party "transfer wise" it's now Friday 4pm and the response I'm getting is "we can't see incoming transfers" and sorry theres nothing we can do. Not a great start to n26 being left in limbo for 3 more days . 1* regardless of free stuff.

    Reply

    • Reply to Jim Croke

  • Hyun

    I tried N26 and ING-Diba at the same time and found ING-Diba is much better because of customer service. You can actually speak with a person with ING-DiBa. However, N26 only services you through their chat system who I suspect is not N26 staff but hired remote company customer support company. I have been trying to close my N26 account but they are keeping my money for already now over a month. They keep telling me N26 will contact me with closing status but as of now no progress. So beware.

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    • Reply to Hyun

    • Rebecca

      Nah, Customer service is their staff. They've just started doing business, they couldn't outsource at this stage. And I have seen them ;)

      Reply

      • Reply to Rebecca

    • Berlinwagelabourer

      The people are real, struggling workers trying to get by in the very tough call-center economy in Berlin, mostly young and all highly-skilled and at least bilingual (except for the English). The company pays these folks around €24,000 euros a year -- which is actually "really good" for a call center in Berlin, and they know this , so on your knees, proles! --- to listen to your complaints in real time for 40-odd hours a week (do the math on that), and plies its workforce with beer parties and other scale-uppy goodies. Don't blame the workers, the workers are busting their butts for this company. Whether or not you want to support the business model based on workforce exploitation is up to you.

      Reply

      • Reply to Berlinwagelabourer

  • Nicolas Bouliane

    You are right Matt. If your document is not supported by the Video ID process, you need to use PostIdent, which requires a Meldebestätigung (and an Anmeldung).

    This was the case when I opened my account, and it's still the case for some passports.

    Reply

    • Reply to Nicolas Bouliane

  • Matt

    Just a disclaimer here: the thing with the Anmeldung is not all true. If you're required to confirm identity through Postident, the post office employee needs your address and he might ask for a document to confirm. I guess it's not a completely strict requirement but it happens frequently (did to me just recently).

    Reply

    • Reply to Matt

    • Nicolas Bouliane

      We have several reports confirming that Postident does not require an Anmeldung anymore, but it seems to depend on the post office employee.

      Reply

      • Reply to Nicolas Bouliane

      • Anh Nhan

        A family member of mine with a foreign passport didn't need an Anmeldung; they wrote down the adress on the staying permit which suffices I guess.

        Reply

        • Reply to Anh Nhan

  • Jan

    Are the cash withdrawals 100% free? I read on their website that you have 5 withdrawals / month free then it’s 2€ / withdrawal ..

    Reply

    • Reply to Jan

    • Rubens

      There is a difference between ATM withdrawals and their so-called "CASH26" system withdrawals. That 5 limit (and the subsequent fees) are for ATMs only. All withdrawals done at any of the participant retail stores and supermarkets are free.

      Reply

      • Reply to Rubens

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