German startup Number26 — which bills itself as a radical, mobile-first alternative to current retail banking — has begun accepting deposits from pre-invited customers in Germany and Austria.
Customers who respond to one of the bank’s invites are promised a sign-up process lasting only eight minutes (and verified by a video call).
Transactions are displayed on a user’s smartphone with notifications shown in real-time and it is possible to transfer funds via email and text. The same functionality is also available online.
An app is available for iOS and Android.
According to Finextra, the newcomer relies on a banking licence from strategic partner Wirecard Bank.
Despite its otherwise radical positioning, users still need a physical MasterCard from the bank. Neither account nor card carry a charge. And customers do not pay for money withdrawal internationally. The bank claims it makes significant savings from not operating a physical branch network, which it is passing onto customers.
In 2014, Number26 received €2 million from several investors including European VC backers Earlybird and Redalpine, together with Axel Springer Plug and Play.