Alternative Finances

Banking Without Borders’ Expands In Europe

Number26

NUMBER26, the Berlin-based mobile-only banking system, announced yesterday (Dec. 3) that it will bring its banking without borders concept to six more European countries.

The startup bank that operates entirely on a smartphone launched earlier this year in Germany and Austria, with plans to expand to Spain, Italy, Ireland, Slovakia, Greece and France.

“There is a demand for better banking in Europe – we’ve already seen this in Germany and Austria, and we are sure to observe the same in the countries we are launching next,” the company said in a blog post.

Dubbed the “Simple for Europe,” an ode to Spanish bank BBVA’s mobile-only system, NUMBER26 uses strategic partner Wirecard Bank’s license and its backing to create a banking network that is not dependent on a branch system as other banks in the two nations are.

All transactions can be completed on smartphones in a “transparent, mobile, and secure” way, NUMBER26 founder and CEO Valentin Stalf said in a press release earlier this year.

Accounts with the bank take only eight minutes to open among those who pre-registered for an account.

The alternative finance mobile banking app recently introduced old-school overdraft protection to its otherwise modern banking solution.

With the deployment of its latest feature, its 70,000+ German and Austrian users will be able to avoid overdraft fees. Starting soon, the app will allow users to set overdraft levels and turn them on and off, thereby removing the element of surprise from their banking statement.

In April this year, the company raised about $10.7 million in its Series A funding from Peter Thiel’s VC fund, Valar Ventures, which also has an investment in TransferWise.

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