Telefonica Deutschland claims first with mobile-only bank - Mobile World Live

Telefonica Deutschland claims first with mobile-only bank

28 JUL 2016

Telefonica Deutschland is attempting to woo users to a new mobile-only bank account by offering them up to 500 MB of free data each month.

The app for O2 Banking is now available for iOS and Android devices. Features include transactions via mobile phone number and small instant loans, and the operator also talks up the security features of the new app.

Telefonica Deutschland bills the service as “the first mobile-only bank account by a mobile provider”.

Depending on the level of O2 Banking use, customers can receive additional data ranging from 100 MB to 500 MB per month – and temporarily up to 1 GB with an offer that runs until the end of this year.

In addition, early adopters also benefit from a one-off bonus of 1GB for opening an account, as well as making the first transaction with the MasterCard debit card.

O2 Banking was first announced in mid-May. Since then, Telefonica Deutschland has been analysing feedback from trial users and developed the app ahead of this week’s launch.

Markus Haas, Telefónica Deutschland’s COO, said the new service was setting a new standard. “This is not only thanks to our concept of ‘Megabytes not meagre interest’. We also offer unique features, optimal usability as well as full transparency of services and fees.”

Higher tier users can make unlimited cash withdrawals from ATMs using their MasterCard cards, but other users of the service can only make three or one free withdrawal each month, again depending on usage level.

Registration and authentication are carried out via a video call on the customer’s smartphone. All steps are explained via screenshots in the app as well as on the O2 Banking website.

The account will be activated immediately after authentication has been successful, and within a few days the customer will receive the MasterCard debit card.

The service was developed in partnership with Germany’s Fidor Bank.

In regards to the claim of being the first mobile-only bank launched by an operator, there are others already in the market who can make a similar claim. It is unclear how Telefonica is in advance of initiatives by Orange in France and in a number of African countries, or Telenor’s Easypaisa mobile bank in Pakistan, or Safaricom’s M-Pesa service.


Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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