The Germany-based start-up bank Number26 has received a full banking license from the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority and the European Central Bank. As a result, it has changed its name to N26
One and a half years after launch, the digital-only N26 now has regulatory approval to conduct banking operations across Europe. It plans to launch real-time credit, increased security through artificial intelligence and expense sharing over the next twelve months.
Currently holding 200,000 customers across eight European countries, its different features include CASH26 (cash withdrawals at retailers) and MoneyBeam (money transfers via SMS or email in seconds).
Whether this encourages more customers to sign up or not remains to be seen. N26 received some negative press this year for cancelling several hundred bank accounts with no notice. This was attributed to ‘strong deviation to customer behaviour’ due to excessive ATM withdrawls.
Currently, N26 customers can make three free withdrawals a month, five for primary customers, with a €2 ($2.20) charge for withdrawals outside this limit.
Valentin Staff, founder and CEO of N26, said: “This banking license is an important additional step for us to sustainably change the value chain in retail banking. This will allow us to significantly enhance the diversity of our product portfolio. For our customers, that means access to the best financial products, right on the app.”