Berlin-based Number26 puts modern spin on banking

number26_coverWhereas your money may be socked away for free, it can frequently be irritating if you want to access your money while abroad (or even at home) and have to suffer fees to draw money from an ATM. Berlin-based Number26, founded by the duo of Valetin Stalf and Maximilian Tayenthal, argues that this is wholely unnecessary and has taken aim at the banking industry with a banking service that they argue has been updated for the 21st century.The company, which launched back in August 2013, tells me that they have attracted about 10,000 pre-subscribers thus far.

Number26 claims to offer one of the fastest setup processes, allowing users to create an account by entering their personal information, verifying it by video, and then simply going about their business. Unlike most other banking services, which started as physical or web-based financial institutions and then later adapted their product to mobile, Number26 is really attacking the mobile sphere from the start. Having signed up for the service, users receive push notifications whenever they make a purchase, can block/unblock cards instantly in the event of potential fraud, access graphs showing income and expenses, send money by email or text, and more.

Free is a pretty attractive price and the complete lack of fees for most users is where Number26 aims to pick up users. Banking is not typically very expensive for many people, but one of the nicer aspects of this service is that they do not charge any ATM fees. Thus, while the service has not yet gained significant global transcation, every ATM around the world becomes a cheap spot to withdraw funds. Rather than batter their individual customers with constant fees, the service intends to generate revenue by charging a small commission to merchants on every card transaction.

Earlier this year, the company picked up $2 million from Axel Springer Plug and Play, Earlybird VC, Redalpine VC, and various private angels.

Leave a Reply