Number26 Procures German Bank License, Opening Up Disruptive Product Suite

The reception of key banking licenses has catapulted Number26 into a lead position in Europe.

Number26, a German fintech group and Berlin-based banking group, has made inroads today after procuring a full German banking license, which followed on the heels of an earlier approval bid by the European Central Bank (ECB). Armed with such accolades, the group appears to be building on its already strong momentum as it looks to disrupt the banking industry in Europe.

Number26 is an online bank that presently operates strictly in Europe, currently across eight countries. The Berlin-based start-up was originally launched in early 2015 and has fashioned itself as an online bank, eyeing its own financing product suite, such as savings accounts, investment products, credit offerings, and others.

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The garnering of an ECB and German banking license was a virtual coup in terms of its overall agenda and ambitions, given that the lack of a banking license meant that Number26 was relegated to providing improved user interfaces. This also includes the rollout and development of a host of new products that cater to the European banking industry.

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In a bid to help foster its banking business, Number26 has also relied on German banking software company, Wirecard. The group has announced it would be offering users savings, investment, credit, and insurance products directly via an app, with additional provisions leveraged through other fintech groups.

Number26 joins a very short list of other European fintech groups that presently have a full banking license – this is instrumental for allowing them to operate across the continent.

According to Number26’s co-founder and CEO Valentin Stalf in a recent statement on the licensing: “For our customers, it means that our product will become even more real time. We are already working on different features — one that will launch soon is expense sharing, which will enable customers to share expenses with a simple swipe between friends. It’s similar to splitting a fare in the Uber app.”

“We are launching an investment product within the next few weeks already and plan to launch products for savings, credit and insurance within the next 6 to 12 months. Some of them will be our own products directly out of our bank, most will be partnerships,” Stalf added.

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