Number26, the mobile-first bank partnered by German firm Wirecard, increased its European footprint and said the additional markets were chosen because of the “bad user experience and overpriced retail products” on offer.
The new additions are France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Slovakia and Spain. The firm launched in Austria and Germany earlier this year.
Number26 is one of a number of firms around Europe trying to disrupt the traditional banking model for its own gain. Among its ideas are ‘free’ banking (no one-off charges for opening an account or ongoing subscription), including no fee for using its payments card internationally.
Furthermore, users receive an instant push notification following a transaction and can send money to friends and family via text and email. Sign-up for the service is straightforward too – online via a video chat where the user shows their passport to a Number26 representative.
The firm sees a major opportunity, not least because it believes traditional banks ill-serve customers. “The markets we chose to enter now are perfect examples of a bad user experience and overpriced retail banking products,” said Maximilian Tayenthal, CFO and founder.
Number26’s partner is Germany’s Wirecard Bank, which is the issuer of a MasterCard payments card that comes with the bank account.
The German firm separately last week launched an NFC-based point-of-sale payment service called boon.
Wirecard told Mobile World Live that Number26 and boon “were two different products and cannot be combined”.
There have been a spate of other mobile-first banks launched recently, including Atom Bank and Tandem Bank in the UK. Unlike many rivals, Number26 is looking to build a European wide business.