Berlin-based mobile-only bank N26 is finally opening for business in the UK, beginning with the onboarding of friends and family of current staff followed by the 50,000 or so prospective customers to have joined a waiting list set up a year ago.
Launched in Germany and Austria in January 2015, N26 began as a current account with a Mastercard. It now operates as a fully-featured bank, reaching 1.5 million customers in 17 European countries.
In March the company closed a series-C funding round of €110M and set its sights on international expansion to the US and UK.
N26 is entering into a crowded UK market, with home-grown peers like Revolut, Monzo and Starling fighting to carve out a niche.
N26 views the competition as the sign of a healthy and deep market. As Alex Weber, head of international markets, notes: "The UK is one of the most advanced markets for online banking, but with 85pc of users with big banks."
Much like its local rivals, N26 offers the usual Mastercard debit cards and an array of value-added features, such as instant overdrafts, goal-based savings pots, fee-free currency conversion, and investment options.