Number 26 - Disrupting The Banks

FREE MONEY!! - Well not quite, but Number 26 is about to disrupt the masses by bringing free banking to us all!

In recent years we have watched the bright, the curious, the courageous and even the maddest amongst us challenge some of the most embedded parts of our daily lives. These ‘disruptors’ have taken even the most traditional industries and have made them seem obsolete overnight.  We have seen it with Airbnb, Uber,  heck even with Tinder! In a world where entrepreneurs want to challenge thinking no industry is safe.

The FinTech revolution has set its eyes on the banking sector.  However, to date, most of the successful FinTech startup have targeted services provided by the banks, not the banks themselves.  Enter Number 26.

Number 26, a startup out of Berlin has placed crosshairs on one of the most traditional institutions on this earth, the banks, and it is ready to pull the trigger. Promising to cut the frills associated with the banking sector, Number26 aims to deliver borderless banking across Europe. This no-frills approach along with a clever partnership with MasterCard allows Number 26 to offer a full suite of current account services without any fees. Yes, there are NO FEES! Number 26 account holders can make transactions and withdraw cash anywhere around the world without ever being charged for the service. Instead, this disruptive startup charges MasterCard a small fee for each transaction. Banking 2.0 has arrived.

On top of this, Number 26 have finally made banking mobile, and I mean really mobile. A beautifully designed app is your new local bank branch. Your entire banking needs are catered for through the app, even setting up of your account, something which is a painful process in any regular bank around the world. Your account is setup via a video call from your phone during which you will be asked to present identification for scanning.  Start to finish the whole process takes less than 8 minutes. You will have your new (beautiful) Number 26 MasterCard within a few days. It really is that simple.

The app also allows full monitoring of your account. One of my favourite features is the real time balance display (no pending charges) and the instant pop up notifications anytime the card is used. From the app you can even turn card functions on and off such as atm withdrawals and online shopping. This has all sorts of benefits from the obvious fraud prevention to being able to lend your card to someone and control what it can be used for temporarily. There is a host of other features that I will let you discover for yourself including fast money transfers to anyone in your phonebook.

For those of you worried about all  that hard earned cash sitting in the hands of a startup, don’t! Number 26 holds a full German banking licence through its partner Wirecard Bank and your account is covered up to €200,000.

I have been using Number 26 as my day to day account for about 2 months now. I can safely say that my old bank is essentially dead to me. The reason I know number 26 will be a success is that it is a pleasure to use. When was the last time you enjoyed going to the bank? To date over 90,00 people have signed up.

Number 26 will soon be adding new features outside of Germany such as an overdraft account of up to €2000. There is also talk around savings accounts and other services for the near future. I think what might be most exciting however is that Number 26 could well place themselves in the centre of the FinTech revolution leaving the door open for all kinds of partnership. I myself would love to see an integration with transferwise or similar, but really the possibilities are endless.

Banking 2.0 is truly here, be a part of it. Curious? Check it out here