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Number 26, the smartphone bank, enters Germany

21US-based banking start-up called Number26, which is a smartphone-only banking service, has entered Germany. The bank, owned by Spanish Bank BBVA, has begun taking deposits from pre-invited customers in Germany and Austria. Number26 relies on a banking license from Wirecard Bank, a German-based institution which will act as the startup’s strategic partner. The firm claims that account openings will take less than eight minutes and are completed entirley on a smartphone. The mobile app for iPhone and Android is now available. Valentin Stalf, CEO of Number 26, said the bank branch of the future is the smartphone and that is why Number26 has created a bank account the way it should be – transparent, mobile and secure. Once opened, all Number26 bank accounts come with an attached MasterCard. The account and associated MasterCard are offered without fees. The bank also offers worldwide money withdrawal, free of charge. Since there is no branch network, the associated costs are not passed on to the customer. Transactions are displayed on a smartphone app, which include statistics to help customers manage their finances. For every account movement or card transaction, the user receives a notification on his or her smartphone in real time. Money transfers can also be enabled via e-mail or text message. Account opening identity is verified via a video call, with no printed documents required.

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