After a few months of living with what the creators call Europe’s most modern bank account, we bring you our Number26 review.
What is Number26?
In Ireland, we have a pretty turbulent history with banks. A lack of transparency and value has led many to despise the vast majority of processes that involves banking. Number26 is a banking reinvented for the modern day customer. They’ve just received $40 million in Series B funding and support from the likes of PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. We’ve already gone into more detail before so you can catch up here.
The Number26 Review: What was it like living with such a new bank?
Starting out, there was hesitation. The monthly wages go into my normal Bank of Ireland account where, for the past few years, they wait patiently for me to spend them. Admittedly, I am an early adopter for services, but transferring hard earned cash into a relatively unknown entity cause me to stop for a moment. I would take a more staggered approach, transferring €5 before trying a more sizeable sum.
After two days, the €5 was transferred into my account. As soon as this was complete, a notification popped up on my smartphone. This is the first big advantage of a modern bank. You’ll receive notifications for all account activity, including failed charge attempts. The app that accompanies the service is simply the best banking app on the market. Number26 have this down to a tee. It’s well designed, but also incredibly functional. From fingerprint access to organising your spend into categories, the app will improve your banking experience.
Given the time of year, I brought the card along for holidays to Germany. Germany is infamous for having shops that don’t accept major card but others are quickly adopting contactless payments: which the Number26 card supports. The big benefit in using Number26 internationally is the lack of stupid charges imposed by traditional banks. To protect this facility, the people behind Number26 were forced to cancel accounts as users were regularly withdrawing cash, costing the bank huge fees.
What does the future hold for Number26 in Ireland?
Currently, having a Number26 account feels more like having a prepaid credit card than another bank account. In Germany, customers can enjoy more features, like withdrawing cash in selected shops and overdraft authorising within a few minutes through the app. Hopefully such features will come to Ireland in the future and with the $40 million Series B investment, improvements should hurry along nicely.
Number26: The verdict
It’s early days for Number26, but between the app interface and the savings to the user because a modern bank has fewer overheads, Europe’s most modern bank is definitely worth joining. I’m personally using my traditional account for savings and transferring my spending money into Number26 as a form of management. It’s worth a pop for that alone. You can sign up for Number26 over on their website.