European FinTech N26 Launches Banking Features in the U.S.
Believe it or not, FinTech isn’t just a Silicon Valley or even American phenomenon. In reality the world market is filled with startups looking to improve the financial lives of customers in their home countries and beyond. Now, as TechCrunch reports, one such overseas startup — Europe’s N26 — is opening its banking features up to those stateside.
In terms of what N26’s U.S. accounts will offer, they’re pretty much in line with other online and FinTech banking services. Users can open accounts via N26’s mobile app and also use the application to manage the debit card they’ll receive. The account also waives many of the fees that bigger banks charge such as minimum balance fees, monthly maintenance fees, and foreign transaction fees. Plus account holders are currently entitled to two free ATM withdrawals per month and can receive payroll direct deposits up to two days faster than with traditional banks.
Notably the U.S. version of N26 will bear a few differences from how the company operates in Europe. The biggest difference is that the FinTech actually has a Germany-based banking license to operate in its home continent. In the US, the company is partnering Axos Bank. Speaking to that relationship, N26 co-founder and CEO Valentin Stalf told TechCrunch, “We looked at 30 players, we did some due diligence and we’re happy to partner with Axos Bank. The deals that you get in the U.S. for white-label banks are much more favorable than in Europe.” He later added, “It’s a setup for the longer term. It’s good for a couple million customers.” Also interesting is that the U.S. debit cards will operate on the Visa network while their European counterparts use the Mastercard network.
Right now N26 is in the process of rolling out the U.S. product to a waitlist of 100,000. However, while that backlog will be worked through in the coming weeks and months, the company says they’re planning additional features for the future. This includes two premium account options: N26 Metal and then N26 Black. Additionally they plan to introduce a feature called Spaces that will act as sub-accounts, allowing users to save for specific goals. Moreover the company intends to allow for shared Spaces where groups of users can save and spend together.
With more 3.5 million customers in Europe and over half a billion in funding raised, it’s clear that N26 is hoping to make a splash in the U.S. FinTech market as well. Given their sizeable waiting list here already, it seems they’re well on their way toward success. It will definitely be interesting to not only see how this particular company performs in the American market but also see how many other international startups begin expanding beyond borders.