Mobile Bank Account Launches in Germany, Austria (Jan. 26, 2015)
Ditching high-overhead bank branches in favor of mobile-centric financial services is an idea that’s catching on across geographies. The latest entrant is Berlin-based startup Number26, which provides a mobile app and debit MasterCard, real-time transaction records, email or text-based P2P transfers and app-based card management, as well as foreign transactions—all at no cost.
Working with Wirecard, which is the licensed bank holding the deposits, Number26 is open to consumers in Germany and Austria, with more markets to come, according to TechCrunch. The company is touting its convenience compared with what can be an hours-long process to open a traditional bank account in Europe. Setting up a new account is done online or via smartphone, using an email address, password and some basic information. Number26 claims the process takes 8 minutes, compared to the traditional method of setting up an account in Europe, which requires customers to make an appointment and go to their bank’s local branch. For ID verification, Number26 applicants enter a video call where they show identification and answer a few questions.
Several mobile-centric banking services have launched in the U.S., including the Paybefore Award-winning Simple, a Portland, Ore.-based company that was acquired by Spanish bank BBVA last year, along with Moven and GoBank, a 2015 Consumer Champion.
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