Bunq Vs. N26: Which Is Better?

 

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Many new start-ups are vying for customer mindshare in the financial technology (fintech) space. Many of these challenger banks and 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. They want to attract individual and business customers who travel frequently, live abroad, freelance, and sell products globally.

How to Choose a Financial App

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

Figure out your needs first. Before evaluating financial companies, consider your requirements. For example, you plan to travel a lot and want insurance coverage. Perhaps you request payments often and want to use a 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, 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 in the hopes of converting users to premium accounts. Secondly, monthly plan/subscription fees can add up to over a hundred in 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 are only going to keep adding 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 banking apps, more or less, have these features in common:

  • 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.
  • Manage recurring payments.
  • Download and print account activity.
  • Connect to third-party apps, for example, Apple Pay and Google Pay.
  • Card lock/unlock at your discretion, for example, if it 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. 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. N26 offers mobile banking solutions to customers in the European Union and abroad. It provides international money transfer, investment, overdraft, and cash withdrawals, and deposits at stores.

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.
  • 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 (p/s differ depending on the 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):

  • Disable and enable payments abroad, directly in the app.
  • 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 your and their 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.
Pricing

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

Plan APlan BPlan C
BunqFree€ 7.99€ 9.99
N26Free€ 9.90€ 16.90
Comparison
BunqN26
Euro current accountYesYes
UK/US current accountsNoYes
Savings accountYesYes
Joint accountYesNo
Personal loansNoYes
OverdraftNoYes
Money transferYesYes
InsuranceNoYes
Investment accountNoNo
Crypto accountNoNo
Monthly feesFree to €9.99/mo.Free to €16.90/mo.
Final Word

In my comparison between Curve and Revolut, Revolut won easily. In this comparison, both companies are superb. N26 (and Revolut) get the lion’s share of attention regarding neobanks. However, Bunq should be talked about more because it belongs in the conversation. It offers some products and features that N26 doesn’t and vice versa. For instance, Bunq provides joint accounts, multiple cards, and voice commands, whereas N26 doesn’t. 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 U.S. 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 its services for years. (It’s free to transfer money with Revolut and TransferGo.)

Bunq and N26 are exciting mobile banking companies. Bunq’s 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, consultant, and publisher. He helps businesses and individuals achieve growth and financial success. Learn more at digitalfodder.com/about

 
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