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N26 Business Review – The Key Benefits

What is N26?

Founded in 2013, N26 were one of the first Fintech challenger banks in Europe. They have now been fully operating, offering services to customers across the EU, since 2016. In 2019 they launched in the USA.

As a fully licensed German bank, all customer deposits with N26 are protected by the European Deposit Protection Scheme (EDIS), up to a maximum of 100,000 EUR per customer. N26 offers accounts to the residents of 22 countries within Europe, and in 2021 they state that they have over 7 million account holders.

Within this article we cover the European version of the N26 business account, as there are certain differences between this and the USA product, which we will cover in a separate article.

N26 are best known for their personal accounts, however, their business account was launched in 2017.

N26 business account for freelancers and professionals
iStock.com | Olga Naumova

Contents

What is the N26 Business Account?

N26 aim to bring simplicity and an improved customer experience to customers via their app focused digital banking product. In addition, they are looking to reduce the costs of banking, and to provide a higher level of transparency to European banking services, which can be expensive and complicated.

Whilst the account is called the Business account, it is not made for registered businesses. Rather, it is aimed at freelancers or the self-employed. Accounts can only be registered under the name of the user, rather than a business name.

The N26 app and account can be accessed via a smartphone, or via the N26 website on a computer.

How does the N26 Business Account work?

Notable Features

StatisticsN26 generate detailed statistics for all of the activity on your account, allowing you to simply see patterns of spending in different categories.
Spaces & Rules for SpacesOn the paid tiers, customers get up to 10 Spaces within their account, each with a separate IBAN. Specific rules can also be set up for these Spaces.
Invoice & Tax Reports Add hashtags to your transactions, then download your statements in CSV or PDF formats, to allow you to easily update your accounts.
Instant Push NotificationsCustomers are informed immediately about any activity on their account.
Multi-language Customer ServiceN26 have customer services in English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish.

N26 offer 4 tiers of account for business customers

N26 Business

Virtual Debit Card within the app

Get actual plastic debit card for 10 EUR

Mobile payments with your phone

Limited access to account statistics and tools

Free card payments worldwide

3 Free ATM withdrawals within your country of residence

0.1% cashback on all card purchases

N26 Smart

Debit Card, with contactless payments, plus optional extra card.

Mobile payments with your phone

Full access to account statistics and tools

Free card payments worldwide

5 Free ATM withdrawals within your country of residence

In-app chat and phone support

0.1% cashback on all card purchases

N26 You

Debit Card, with contactless payments, plus optional extra card.

Mobile payments with your phone

Full access to account statistics and tools

Free card payments worldwide

5 Free ATM withdrawals within your country of residence

Unlimited free withdrawals in other currencies

In-app chat and phone support

0.1% cashback on all card purchases

Travel Insurance

N26 Metal

Metal Debit Card, with contactless payments, plus optional extra card.

Mobile payments with your phone

Full access to account statistics and tools

Free card payments worldwide

8 Free ATM withdrawals within your country of residence

Unlimited free withdrawals in other currencies

Dedicated metal support number

0.5% cashback on all card purchases

Travel Insurance

Phone insurance

Who is the N26 Business Account for?

The N26 Business accounts are aimed at freelancers and self-employed individuals. N26 state:

“…accounts are reserved exclusively for freelancers enrolled in a professional register or order (such as architects, lawyers, pharmacists, and nurses), and other freelancers, i.e. the self-employed and individual entrepreneurs with a VAT number (such as designers, photographers, electricians, or owners of B&Bs and holiday homes with VAT numbers).

However, it is not possible to sign up for an N26 Business in the name of a partnership (e.g., GPs and LPs), capital company (e.g., LLCs and INCs), or another entity, including subjects with legal status and liability.”

N26 Business is available to users within Europe, in the following countries:

Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

UK based businesses looking for a digital bank should check out options such as Monzo and Starling Bank.

How to use the N26 Business Account

To sign up with the N26 business account, you need to follow 4 easy steps:

  1. Head to the N26 website, and register by entering your details and confirming your email address.
  2. Download the N26 app on to your smartphone.
  3. You will then need to connect your phone to the app, which is done by receiving an SMS with a code that you then enter into the app.
  4. You will then receive your debit card within a few days.

How much does the N26 Business Account cost?

The N26 business account comes in 4 tiers:

N26 BusinessFree
N26 Smart4.90 € per month
N26 You9.90 € per month
N26 Metal16.90 € per month

If customers exceed the amount of ATM withdrawals they have within their plan, they are charged 2 EUR for each withdrawal.

Is the N26 Business Account safe?

N26 are a fully licensed German bank, and as such customer deposits are protected under the European Deposit Protection Scheme (EDIS), up to a maximum of 100,000 EUR per customer. As a relatively new bank, N26 are still not profitable, reporting losses of around 110 million euros in 2020. However, these losses were largely driven by their expansion into new markets such as the USA. Overall the business seems stable, with increasing revenues, a large customer base, and multiple large investment partners.

N26 Business Account Reviews – what are people saying?

N26 have a rating of 3.8 out of 5 on Trustpilot. Their Trustpilot page covers all of their products, not just the business account. 64% of the reviews rated N26 as 5 out of 5 – Excellent, whilst 20% rated them at 1 out of 5 – Bad.

From sampling the reviews, the positive reports highlight the ease of use of the app, and how useful it is for people who travel. The negative reports seem to highlight difficulties with the customer services, and that it can take time for issues with accounts to be resolved.

N26 Business Account Alternatives

N26 Business Account Pros & Cons

Pros

N26 is far easier to use than the traditional banks in Europe.

The costs of basic banking functions are much lower than with the old school banks.

Users across Europe can use N26.

Cons

N26 is not for incorporated companies, but rather freelancers and the self-employed.

If you already have a personal account with N26, then you cannot also have a business account as an individual can only have one N26 account.

N26 is no longer available to UK residents.

Functionality is limited on the free account so you will need to pay for a monthly plan to get many of the features.

Conclusions

For freelancers and the self-employed, N26 can be a great option for banking. The system is built upon their consumer banking offering, rather than being a fully business focused product. However, as it is aimed at individuals rather than larger businesses, this makes sense, as it combines the ease of use of the consumer product, with more business focused elements. This makes it perfect for those who wish to have a simple and effective solution for people in this situation. The product would probably be more accurately named ‘N26 Freelance’ than ‘N26 Business’ however, as it is not usable for registered businesses!