Number26, a German digital bank currently available in Germany and Austria has announced that after its initial success it is expanding into a number of new European markets including France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Slovakia, and Spain. The digital bank which has received notable investment from top venture capital firms, and features account opening in eight minutes via a video phone chat and the presentation of a passport. Customers of the bank also receive a MasterCard debit card and include individual security settings, PFM tools and transaction notifications.
Commenting on the expansion, CFO and founder Maximilian Tayenthal said, “The markets we chose to enter now are perfect examples of a bad user experience and overpriced retail banking products. It’s here we start to build the first true pan-European bank.
” CEO and founder Valentin Stalf also commented on the potential of the digital bank saying, “Our vision from the start has been to build Europe’s first bank account for the smartphone. We see traditional banks as having failed to adapt to the demands of the digital generation.”
Across Europe, there has been a number of digital bank launches as consumers increasingly use digital channels for banking services and these digital banks see opportunities to bring superior products and services at a lower cost. While Number26 claims they have opened 80,000 accounts since the start of 2015, these banks still face a significant uphill challenge in getting consumers to leave the traditional retail banks in large numbers.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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