Opening a bank account in Germany can seem an intimidating process if you have no prior knowledge about the German banking system.
Plus, the number of banks located in Germany is the highest in Europe, which besides offering a lot of options to choose among can make it harder for you to make the best choice.
First, when opening a bank account in Germany you need to know what benefits a bank offers you and how those benefits fit your needs. Popularity should not be a decisive factor because it is common for popular and large banks to be more inconvenient and expensive.
To help you with that, here are a few services you must seek for when opening a German bank account:
- Usefulness of the services offered
- Maintenance charges and withdrawal fees
- Availability of branches and ATMs
- Online services
Taking into consideration this range of factors, we’d like to introduce you to N26 banking.
N26 was founded in 2013 with a goal to revolutionize the way banking services were delivered in the digital generation. Today, the company has offices in Berlin, New York, and Barcelona with more than 1.5 million customers banking in 22 European markets.
N26 banking: the benefits
Given that N26 is 100% app-based, there’s a number of advantages to smartphone banking over a traditional branch-based bank account.
Open an account, for free: Compared to some banks in Germany, N26 charges no fee to open a standard bank account.
No need to show your registration certificate (Meldebescheinigung): Most banks in Germany require you to submit a document of your registration certificate which is issued by the local authorities where you’re residing.
App-based banking: N26 offers you the opportunity to open and control your account directly from an app on your phone. You can check and manage almost everything related to your account and carry out everyday banking tasks anywhere and any time, all with just a few clicks.
Mobile App: Download the app for free and connect your smartphone to your N26 account.
No fees on card payments abroad: Make transactions with your card online or in stores, for free, anywhere in the world.
Categorize your transactions: Easily organize your transactions and keep track of your spending, by labelling purchases with tags.
Additional benefits: If you upgrade to N26 Black, your membership comes with insurance and other great features:
- Travel insurance
- Smartphone theft cover
- Unlimited free ATM withdrawals worldwide
- Purchase Protection (on eligible purchases)
- ATM theft cover
Your N26 account compared to a typical traditional German bank
The table below compares some of the benefits that N26 banking offers to save time and money.
|Type of Service||N26 (Standard account)||Traditional Banks|
|Opening an account free of charge||Yes||Sometimes|
|Withdrawal Fees||Up to 5 free withdrawals per month & unlimited free withdrawals using CASH26||Yes, sometimes up to 5€|
|Open an account online||Yes||Mostly in person|
|Support Service offered in English||Yes||No|
How to open your bank account in N26?
Opening an N26 account is easy. Just follow these simple steps:
- Download the N26 mobile app.
- Enter your details and choose the type of bank account you want to open.
- Verify your identity with a quick video call.
- N26 will post your Mastercard out to your address. Top up your account and you’re good to get started!
If you’re studying abroad in Germany, there are plenty of additional benefits you’ll enjoy using:
MoneyBeam is a feature which allows you to instantly transfer money to with just a mobile number or email.
Forget ATM withdrawal fees with CASH26
CASH26 is a service which allows you to withdraw cash for free at any one of the 9,000+ participating stores across Germany (such as Penny, Rewe and DM to name a few) using just a barcode code generated in the app. You can also deposits cash into your account (free up to 100€ per month).
Lock and unlock your card in the app
Security is one of the biggest concerns we all have, particularly when opening an account while living abroad. With N26, you’re in control. Log in to your account using fingerprint recognition. If you lose your card, you can lock (or unlock it again) right in the app.
Compare this to the process at traditional banks which usually require you to visit the bank in person and talk to an agent who may not speak your language.
Interested? Click the link above to read more about our plans and open your N26 account now.