How to open a N26 Bank account—from anywhere*


(Thomas K. Running) #1

N26 has long been my favorite bank in Europe, and for good reason. Their user friendly app, low fees, useful integrations—like Transferwise—and their investment module puts them miles ahead of most of the competition.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://nomadgate.com/open-n26-account/

(dreaman) #2

Well I think N26 is really a great bank, but I wanted to fund with N26 my blockchain bitcoin account and I can’t, and I can’t buy Bitcoin inside N26. It’s really sad… And I dont know what to do if I want to buy bitcoin and invest I must do it through spectrocoin.com. It’s so long and not cheap operation. Well I am very sad about this. Cheers


(Yen) #3

I’m actually not so excited by N26 because they do product differentiation between European countries. I’m not really excited about that. By moving to a different country, certain products suddenly become inaccessible. Not really nomadic if you ask me.


(Josh Cutler) #4

Yeah, that’s true that they have different services in different countries. That kinda makes sense since they need to find local partners for stuff like insurance, etc. But I thought you got to keep the services of the country where you signed up when moving inside the EU, no? Have you had a different experience?


(Yen) #5

I will check this with the customer service.

For certain insurances it makes sense to offer differentiation based on the country or region. I can image there would be a difference in premium for an all-risk car insurance in Paris compared to Helsinki. I would think this is less of a problem for a general personal liability where factors such as children and pets contribute more to the risk. I have been in situations where I needed a specific insurance from a different country than that I was resident of.

But the reasoning of N26 that if you live in country X, you should definitely not have this feature because people in country Y only use this.

For N26, the first thing that comes in mind is the Maestro card. Only offered for residents of Austria, Germany and The Netherlands. I often visit Germany and Netherlands, in fact, as of the time of writing I’m less than 5 km away from the German border.


(Myriam Haar) #6

I’m with Yen. I’ve already lost my interest in N26 and I think I will start looking for a different solution.
2 reasons for this:

  1. I find them too limiting (Euro zone, Euro zone currency, need of a physical address within Europe)
  2. They get themselves in trouble with their restriction to Europe which is a real bummer. I’ll explain:

I live in the French West Indies, commonly known as the French Antilles, on the island of St Martin. French overseas territory, French laws, euro currency, French schools, groceries, what have you. YET…we’re not on mainland France and there you have it: N26 only has France on their list of countries, with a +33 prefix for a phone #. We have a different prefix and we’re not on their list of countries. I registered to open an account (took more than their advertised 10 minutes to bypass some of their hurdles); got a fairly quick msg back that they had encountered a ‘snag’ which I can very well imagine:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:. A day and a half later and I haven’t heard from them yet.
Digital banks SEEM to be the answer but are NOT really, as they still stick to similar requirements other regular banks have. I thought I had found the answer to my nomadic life but no cigar.
This is truly ridiculous in the 21st century when so many of us are so mobile.
I have not encountered a banking solution yet for those that have no fixed address. I wanted to open this account while I had one but I’m going to travel through SEA for the next few years, not knowing where I’ll end up in the future or IF I’ll ever settle down anywhere. It means that I will not have a fixed address for years to come and I feel that people like me should be able to have a bank that would recognize and accept nomadic activities, therefore offering a broad range of customized solutions (long-term travel insurances, easy money transfers, and accounts in various currencies).
I’m used to dual currency, the US$ and the Euro, on my island, accepted everywhere in the stores; the only exception is the utility bills and the rent that have to be paid in euros. I never have to worry about payments in one or the other currency and I have both as we live on the French side (euro zone) but get paid in US$ (Dutch side). The best of both worlds, except for the digital banks :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


(Thomas K. Running) #7

They are gradually expanding outside the Eurozone, launching in the UK soon, and probably the US as well. But if you really want an account, it’s both cheap and easy to get an address in Europe. You don’t need a phone number from the same country.

It’s cheap and easy to pay for a virtual address somewhere (according to your needs). Banks and other FIs can not accept “having no fixed address” due to KYC regulations—but most do not dig very deeply and will assume you live where you say as long as you can receive mail there and maybe show another bank statement with the same address. Don’t ask, don’t tell, it seems.

While I agree this would be awesome (and I think we are moving in that direction), we have to admit that us digital nomads are still a tiny market segment and I don’t blame banks for not customizing their services to us. Still, combining services like TransferWise, N26, and Revolut gets you pretty far. Regarding insurance, check out my upcoming article on the subject.


(tsing) #8

Could you recommend some forwarding services which will work with N26 ? :grinning:

Thank you very much.


(Josh Cutler) #9

@tsing I’ve heard that ClevverMail works, but haven’t verified it myself.

Pricing starts from 1,95 euros per month, with a three month free trial.

Why don’t you give it a shot and report back here? :face_with_monocle:


(Mikhail Ikpoma) #10

While registering for bank account, what country should i imput where it says ‘which country do you live?’. Can N26 card be mailed outside EU?


(Thomas K. Running) #11

No, it can only be mailed to the countries listed in the article (the eurozone countries, minus Cyprus & Malta), so you’ll have to select one of those and provide a mailing address there.


(Myriam Haar) #12

Yes we are moving in that direction. I read an article where it said that location independent, nomadic lifestyle now takes up 46% of the banking market, which seems a lot to me.
However, banks like N26 and Revolut are indeed working on less restrictive rules regarding addresses.

We’ll go for a combo TW and Revolut I think.
Thanks for all your great info on this subject.


(Mikhail Ikpoma) #13

I got through with the N26 video conference verification. Now which is my bank account number? The IBAN or BIC?


(Thomas K. Running) #14

IBAN is your account number, and the BIC is the bank identification code.


(Mikhail Ikpoma) #15

Thanks


(Arthur) #16

First of all, GREAT site ! Congrats !

About the N26 account opening process:

I’m brazilian, at the moment working in Qatar as an airline pilot.
Initiate the account opening process, and now have to verify ID in a Deustch Post. (Will be in Berlin next week).
I have an german address for mail. Do they request legal residency, or just an address is ok ?
Will the post verify my ID (Passport) ?

Many thanks for all the info !

Cheers


(Thomas K. Running) #17

Hi there @Pilot_Life!

From what I understand they might request proof that you’re a legal resident, as the PostIdent option is really only meant for residents. But you could always try to go there with just your passport, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up for it working.

I believe they will take a copy of your ID and probably verify its authenticity on the backend.

In any case it would be interesting for the community to know if it works or not, so if you try, it would be great if you report back here! The worst thing that can happen is that they refuse.


(G) #18

I went to Spain for a month last year, staying at an AirBnB and opened my N26 account using my Spanish address. I received the bank card and then left Spain. Very happy with N26 so far.


(Mario) #19

MailboxDe.com is my choice. N26 accepted them as my updated address for a replacement card delivery.


(Mario) #20

I’d agree with don’t ask, don’t tell bit.

As a Croatian citizen living in a non-EU country (even my Croatian ID says so), I’ve given my cousin’s address in one of the N26 supported countries and told that I’m there at the moment and that was enough to pass the verification.
However, if you want to change that legal address afterwards, you’d need a hard proof.