Bunq Vs. N26: Which Is Better?

 

Updated

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Many start-ups are vying for new customers in the financial technology (fintech) space. Challenger banks and money transfer companies 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 individuals and business customers who travel frequently, live abroad, sell products globally, or freelance.

How to Choose a Mobile Banking App/Company

Choosing the best mobile banking 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 apps, consider your requirements. For example, you want flight insurance because you travel a lot. Or, 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 bank apps typically have these features:

  • Virtual and physical bank cards
  • Instant push notifications on all transactions
  • Analytics and categorization of expenses
  • Multiple accounts for saving and budgeting goals (not the same as an interest-bearing savings account)
  • 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 EU and UK. 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.” Also, they’ll never sell out your private information.”

Bunq is available on Apple and Google Play app stores and offers a web app. It has an “average” rating on Trustpilot.

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 EU, the US, 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. It’s products and services differ depending on the country.

N26 is available on Apple and Google Play app stores and offers a web app. It has a “great” rating on Trustpilot.

Revenue Models

Bunq makes money through plan subscription fees. It shares revenues or collects fees through third-party product and service arrangements, for instance, its 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 individuals. 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:

  • EUR and GBP current accounts
  • Interest-bearing account
  • Joint account
  • Money transfer
  • Business account

Unique features (depending on the card/plan):

  • 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):

  • EUR and USD current accounts
  • 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
GBP account Yes No
EUR account Yes Yes
USD account No Yes
Savings account Yes No
Borrowing No Yes
Overdraft No Yes
Money transfer Yes Yes
Insurance No Yes
Investing No No
Cryptos No No
Joint account Yes No
Teen account No No
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 €16.99
N26 Free €9.90 €16.90
Recommendation

Bunq and N26 are both superb. Although N26 gets the lion’s share of attention, Bunq should be talked about more. It offers some products and features that N26 doesn’t. For instance, Bunq provides multiple cards and enables voice commands. By contrast, N26 offers personal loans, travel insurance, and many exclusive perks, while Bunq doesn’t. N26 is available in the EU and the US, whereas Bunq is available in the EU and the UK.

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. However, N26 has a broader product portfolio for a fuller banking experience and is more innovative. For those reasons, I give N26 the edge.

OPEN AN N26 ACCOUNT

 

Chad Tennant

Chad is a digital marketer, consultant, and publisher. At Digital Fodder, he offers insights and strategies concerning online marketing, ecommerce, working online, YouTube, and more. At Partnercade, he helps companies grow their affiliate program revenues and partnerships. Connect or start a conversation with Chad on LinkedIn.

 
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