Bunq Vs. N26: Which Is Better?

 

Updated

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Many start-ups are vying for customer mindshare in the financial technology (fintech) space. Challenger banks and newer money transfer providers seek to supplant legacy banks and corporations that have been around for decades. They attempt to do this by offering efficient, low-fee, and transparent mobile-first applications. Fintechs typically market to individual and business customers who travel frequently, live abroad, freelance, and sell products globally.

How to Choose a Financial App/Company

Choosing a financial app depends on three factors, including your needs, financial goals, and budget. Understanding those aspects will make it easier to select the right partner and company.

Assess your needs first. Before evaluating financial companies, consider your requirements. For example, you plan to travel a lot and want insurance coverage. Or, perhaps you request payments often and want to use a customizable link to make the process more efficient.

Understand your financial goals. For everyday financial transactions, mobile-first banks are excellent. However, suppose you want to start investing or seek a tax-exempt account. Most challenger banks don’t offer robust investing platforms. Moreover, tax-free accounts are rare. Thus, you might have to look around or stick with the status quo to achieve your goals.

Consider your budget. While free accounts/plans are standard with neobanks, users must pay to access more features and benefits. It’s the classic freemium model that thousands of tech companies use. They offer free plans with the goal of converting users to premium accounts. Secondly, monthly plan/subscription fees can add up to over a hundred euros, pounds, or dollars annually. However, for some people, paying monthly fees might not be financially prudent or practical for their budget/saving objectives or debt obligations.

Standard Features

Fintechs and neobanks will continue to add products, services, and features to compete with their rivals and traditional banks. What one company doesn’t have today, it will likely offer in a few months to a year. Therefore, you needn’t worry about missing out on the long term. Challenger mobile bank apps typically have these features:

  • Virtual and physical bank cards
  • Instant push notifications on all transactions
  • Multiple accounts for saving and budgeting goals
  • No foreign exchange fees when spending abroad
  • Free money transfers to other users
  • Make recurring payments
  • Download and print account activity
  • Connectivity to third-party apps, for example, Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • Card lock/unlock at your discretion, for example, if your card gets lost or stolen

Let’s review a couple of innovative fintechs and banking apps that regularly make headlines.

Bunq Overview

Founded in 2015, Bunq (stylized as “bunq”) is a fully licensed Dutch mobile bank operating across the European Union. It gives you the freedom to spend, save, move, transfer, and invest your money. It’s on a mission to break free from the status quo and create a bank with customers in mind.

Bunq values progress, transparency, and freedom of choice. It claims to be “the only bank in the world where you decide what happens with your money. What’s yours always stays yours. And we’ll never sell out your private information.”

Bunq has thousands of customers and an “average” rating on Trustpilot. It’s available on Apple and Google Play app stores. It also offers a web application.

N26 Overview

Founded in 2013, N26 is building the first mobile bank the world loves to use. It offers mobile banking solutions to customers in the European Union, the United States, and abroad. It provides international money transfer, investment, overdraft, cash withdrawals, and in-store deposits.

N26 focuses on making money management easy. It empowers customers to manage and control their banking details via a smartphone application. Furthermore, opening a standard N26 account is fast, paperless, and won’t cost you a thing. Products and services differ depending on the country.

N26 has millions of customers and a “great” rating on Trustpilot. It’s available on Apple and Google Play app stores. It also offers a web application.

Revenue Models

Bunq makes money through plan subscription fees. It shares revenues or collects fees through third-party product and service arrangements, for instance, a partnership with TransferWise to offer money transfer services. It makes money from card top-ups, deposits, withdrawals, additional accounts, safekeeping, and card issuance. It charges business customers various fees that may not apply to consumers. Click here for Bunq’s fees.

N26 makes money through plan subscription, cash management, overdraft, and loan fees. It shares revenues or collects fees through third-party product and service arrangements, for instance, a partnership with TransferWise to offer money transfer services. It makes money from card issuance and emergency card advances (ECA). It levies fees for payment reminders, investigation requests, select bank inquiries, and nonstandard accounts. It charges business customers various fees that may not apply to consumers. Click here for N26’s fees.

Products & Services

Bunq

Bunq’s products and services include:

  • Euro current account
  • Interest-bearing account
  • Joint account
  • Money transfer
  • Business account

Unique features (depending on the card/plan):

  • Get a one-month premium plan free trial.
  • Get up to three cards for the price of one, including a Mastercard, Maestro card, and travel card.
  • For every €100 that you spend with your Green metal card, Bunq will plant a tree.
  • Round up payments and save the difference automatically.
  • Automatically set aside VAT on a dedicated bank account.
  • Add notes to receipts and payments and categorize your spending.
  • Predict future balances to support purchase decisions.
  • Use a personal link to collect payments.
  • Track and split your group and social expenses automatically.
  • Use voice commands with Siri to manage your accounts.
  • Choose how Bunq will invest the funds sitting idle in your account.

N26

N26 products and services include (depending on the card/plan and country):

  • Euro current account (UK and US accounts for residents of those countries)
  • Interest-bearing account
  • Insurance
  • Money transfer
  • Overdraft
  • Personal loan/credit
  • Business account

Unique features (depending on the card/plan):

  • Get paid up to two days earlier with a direct deposit.
  • Get 10 “Spaces” sub-accounts (alongside your main account) to save for your goals.
  • Invite up to 10 participants to deposit/withdraw money between everyone’s Spaces accounts.
  • #tag your transactions and categorize your spending.
  • Gain access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide with LoungeKey.
  • Get exclusive partner perks.
  • Use your fingerprint to log in.
  • Disable and enable payments abroad, directly in the app.
Product Comparison
Bunq N26
Euro current account Yes Yes
UK/US current accounts No Yes
Money transfer Yes Yes
Insurance No Yes
Investing No No
Cryptocurrencies No No
Savings account Yes Yes
Joint account Yes No
Personal loans No Yes
Overdraft No Yes
Pricing

Bunq and N26 have three subscription plans, and costs may be reduced for annual payments made in advance.

Plan A Plan B Plan C
Bunq Free € 7.99 € 9.99
N26 Free € 9.90 € 16.90
Final Word

In my comparison between Curve and Revolut, Revolut won easily. In this comparison, Bunq and N26 are both superb. Although N26 and Revolut get the lion’s share of attention, Bunq should be talked about more because it belongs in the conversation. It offers some products and features that N26 doesn’t. For instance, Bunq provides joint accounts, multiple cards, and voice commands. By contrast, N26 offers personal loans, travel insurance, and many exclusive perks, while Bunq doesn’t. Also, N26 is available in the EU, the UK, and the US. Bunq currently supports the EU only.

One similarity between both companies is that they facilitate money transfers through TransferWise. TransferWise helps individuals, businesses, freelancers, and travelers to send, receive, hold, and spend money at real-time rates and low fees. I’ve used TransferWise for years.

Bunq and N26 are exciting mobile banking companies. Bunq’s account plans are slightly cheaper. However, N26 is available in multiple regions and has a broader product portfolio for a fuller banking experience. For that reason, I give it a slight edge.

 

Chad Tennant

Chad is an online marketer, publisher, and consultant. At Digital Fodder, he offers insights and strategies regarding affiliate and online marketing, ecommerce, YouTube, and more. At Partnercade, he helps companies grow their affiliate programs. Connect, follow, or start a conversation with Chad on LinkedIn.

 
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