Number26, the Berlin-based startup that is aiming to be the bank of the future, has received a full banking license to operate in Europe.
On Thursday (July 21) Number26 announced it received the banking license with the European Central Bank and German regulators granting it just 18 months after Number26 launched in Germany.
“We just achieved official recognition as a licensed bank by the European Central Bank, with all the regulatory safety and competency that entails,” said the company in a blog post. “We’re reducing complexity one massive step so every action is only between you and us. That means more features like investment, savings, credit and insurance, but with far more personalization, innovation and speed. You’ll see our next innovations in action in the coming weeks, with much more to come.”
Ahead of Number26’s license, the company has been working behind the scenes to transform the banking industry. It partnered with Wirecard for the back end of its banking platform and so far has attracted 200,000 users. It’s raised tens of millions of dollars in backing as well. In June the mobile-only bank announced it raised $40 million in a Series B round of funding led by Horizons Veterans. The company said back then the new Series B funding will be used to help accelerate its growth, with the expansion of additional geographic markets and the introduction of new products, like savings, investment and credit to its FinTech platform. Yesterday's news brings those goals full circle.
Before being granted the license, the services Number26 could offer were limited. Now, the company claims that products will become more real time and the company is reportedly working on different features including expense sharing, which will let customers share expenses with a simple swipe, similar to how Uber makes it easy to hail a cab. The company is also gearing up to build its own banking products like savings accounts, investments and credit services.