German app-only bank N26 has launched in the United Kingdom. It is now considering another expansion to the US, tentatively during the first quarter of 2019.
The company, which is based in Berlin, is backed by Chinese tech company Tencent, German insurer Allianz, and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. It said that its services are now available in Britain, on a limited basis.
At first, a chosen number of “early adopters” will be granted access to the app in the UK. Over 50,000 people have already signed up and are included in a waiting list for the UK launch. They will be on-boarded on a phased basis. Next month, a broader launch can be expected.
N26 provides a mobile banking app as well as a Mastercard debit card. It will also run without a single brick-and-mortar branch and will not charge fees on transactions. On the flip side, it said a fee of 1.7 percent will be charged on cash machine withdrawals for UK users when travelling abroad with a standard account.
A number of products will be made available for users of its platform, though the features beyond the basic account will not be offered to UK users until after the launch, said N26.
The company has been in the field since 2013, placing it one of the oldest digital “challenger banks” aiming to take on bigger lenders.