The immense popular N26 bank recently reached 1 million customers and they’re growing each day. According to the company itself, N26 bank gains about 2.500 new customers each day. Massive, I’d say. Being an awesome Revolut alternative, N26 is more of a real bank than Revolut. N26 has an application process and an identity check which might feel weird, but it really isn’t. The online application process for getting an N26 account is very straightforward and it’s way easier and convenient than getting in your car and drive to the bank for the identification process. We explain the step by step process to open an N26 account.
What is N26
The N26 bank is a European online banking system where most Europeans and soon other citizens of the world can open an online bank account. Owning an N26 account has a lot of advantages like real exchange rates and an awesome mobile platform. We completely fell in love with N26 and see it as the best alternative for the older and well established Revolut travel card. Where Revolut is more of a prepaid travel card, N26 is a full-fledged bank which requires an identification process and a Skype call where you’ll be asked to show your passport and other stuff to identify yourself. It’s not difficult to open an N26 account, but for me, it was the first time I had to identify myself in a video call. I thought it was rather easy to do even though I didn’t really look forward to the process to start with. That’s why I wrote a post about the process of applying to open an N26 account, just to show you how simple it actually is.
What do you need to open an N26 account
In order to get an N26 bank account, you’ll need a few things first. Don’t worry, it isn’t too much!
You have to be 18 years or older in order to open an N26 account. You will need a compatible smartphone to access your online account. Your permanent residence should be in one of the supported countries which you can find here. Not living in one of these countries? Don’t worry! N26 is expanding its territory and they plan on being global in no time. I must admit that when I found out about N26, my country was not on this list and I had to wait until they got to my country as well. So now they are and they will be worldwide quite soon.
The process to open an N26 account
To open an N26 account, you’ll have to go through a few steps in order to prove your identity before receiving the actual N26 bank card. They’re quite the same as with any other bank, but online.
The application is different for German residents as they can visit a post office to verify their identity. All other residents will have to video call with an N26 employee in order to identify them self.
2 - Sign up for an N26 account
Input your basic information like name, date of birth, home address, place of birth, nationality, mobile phone number. After agreeing to the terms and conditions and allowing N26 to carry out a credit assessment.
3 - Confirm your email address
After signing up, you’ll receive an email which is used to confirm your email and activate your account with N26.
4 - Identify yourself through a video call
This is the one I never did before opening an N26 account, so I was a little hesitant at first, but the online call went flawless and it was even fun to do. So here’s how it goes:
Unless you’re living in Germany, where you can go to the post office to confirm your identity, your identity needs to be verified. N26 uses a video call to do so. These are three ways to verify your identity:
- Take a selfie with your ID card in the N26 app
- Video chat with N26 straight from the N26 app (recommended)
- Visit a post office in Germany
The recommended way to verify your identity depends on your country of residence and the ID type you want to use to identify yourself. For me, it was the video call.
How did the video call work
In order to open an N26 account, I had to prove my identity online. Depending on my country of residence and identification type, the app pointed out that I should confirm my identity with a video call inside the N26 app. I had to keep my identification close by and talk to a super friendly N26 employee. I actually enjoyed the talk even though it was mostly funny because of the actions I had to do.
To begin with, I was asked to show my ID close to my face, in order to take a screenshot of me with my ID. I had to show the front and the back of my identification card, wave to the camera and move my hand in front of the camera. The call itself took only a few minutes and the guy I was talking to was friendly and helpful.
5 - Link your smartphone to your account
Your smartphone will be the main tool to check your balance, move money around and do everything related to your N26 account. You’ll need your phone to block your card or change security settings. That’s why you can only pair one phone to your account when you open an N26 account. If you ever change phones, you’ll need to unpair the old one online and pair the new phone.
6 - Wait for your N26 bank card to arrive with the mail
It only takes a few days for your N26 card to arrive. The package looks fancy and the card itself does too. You can start using your card immediately. I waited for my card to arrive before adding money to it, but you can start adding money as soon as your account is complete. For me, it takes less than 2 days for the money to reach my N26 account. From now on, you can pay in stores and restaurants with real exchange rates and without paying commission, which makes it the perfect travel card.
If you’re eager to know how the N26 card compares to other travel cards, read our post about the battle of the travel cards. This is how you can open an N26 bank account. It’s easy and straightforward.