Number26 – Free banking is here…..

So in an effort to get a tighter control on the money pot I decided to try the free banking offered from Germany called Number26

So the new year is here and like everyone else I am looking at a way to save money. Somehow despite my best efforts i always seem to spend more than intended during the month and its time to get this sorted.  I decided to take a different approach to banking, for years I have had the same bank account with the same bank and never really got anywhere. like everyone ( i think) when I got a pay rise my expenditure also seemed to go up so I am never getting that much ahead.

Now while I am saving like a nut to go to Australia I have noticed that when faced with an end date and hard goal I can save money, taking this positive I am now changing my banking habit and have just opened a new bank account with Number26 in Germany.

What is Number26?
In December 2015 I read about the future of banking,  If like me you are unhappy with your current bank fees and banks attitude in general or unhappy at the lack of e-banking options then the German startup might be an option you can move too. Number26 has been trying to reinvent the average banking experience in Germany and Austria &  it is now expanding to six new European countries — France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Slovakia and Spain.

Anyone living in any of the above countries can now open a bank account in around 8 mins. It is as simple as it could really get;

  1. Download the app on your smartphone
  2. Enter email address and set up a secure password
  3. Enter some basic details, name, address, DOB, etc..
  4. Then you need to verify the account via email
  5. Then have a facetime/skype talk with the ID team who will verify some information you set up with, take a screen grab of your face, then off the required ID (I used a passport)
  6. Thats it.

Once the above steps are complete you are advised that a prepay mastercard is en route in the post and you have access to your account via the mobile app and website. You are also presented with your bank account BIC and IBAN so you can carry out normal banking functions.

But why do you need another bank account? There are many features with Number26 that make the overall experience much better. You can set up push notifications for everything. For instance, every time you use your Number26 card, you can receive a push notification to make sure that the transaction was approved and there is no fraudulent use. Once I get my card I will be able to confirm just how good notifications will be but by all accounts while you card is in the ATM reader your phone will get a confirmation of the cards usage before the cash has been presented. That seems great as you will know immediately if the card is used without your permission. I like this as I have found it is all too easy to just make adhoc purchase and forget. At the end of the month I am left scratching my head as to why my money went. This will log every purchase and tell me via a notification and logged into the app

You also have the ability to block the cards usage for ATM and online purchases at will and unlock as needed.

OK now to the best part of the Number26 bank account, It does not make money on banking fees. Opening and maintaining an account is free — Number26 already makes money from MasterCard’s cut on every transaction. There is no foreign transaction fee. You can travel and pay everything with your Number26 card — you’ll pay the exact amount without any additional fee.

“We wanted to be present in the main European economies,” co-founder and CEO Valentin Stalf told me. “Furthermore, we had a look at the different banking products all over Europe and found out that they are the worst in France, Italy and Spain — besides being ridiculously expensive.”

Ireland is a good intermediate step before expanding to the U.K. “We will offer multi currency support later next year and then expand to more countries,” Stalf said. The company already has 80,000 clients after launching less than a year ago in Germany and Austria.

So how is this going to work for me? Well my plan is simple. Each month I will deposit $500 euro from my current bank account that I get paid into. The remainder of the monies will remain to pay all direct debits that have been set up. The over all goal is to use only $75 a month as play money, money that will purchase little tiny items like a lunch, oats for breakfast etc… The rest of the money in the Number26 account will remain untouched.

My current account will be used as a the main bills account and only money needed to pay bills will be here. The balance will then be moved monthly to Number26 over the next number of months if my calculations are right I should be on top of a nice little nest egg.  Maybe the end goal will be to migrate fully to Number26 and close my current account and save extra by not paying any further fees to my Irish account and avail of true free banking with a brilliant budgeting tool at Number26


As per the below comment Number26 have ammended some of the T&C’s with ref to customer whom reside in Rep of Ireland

Please note that customers residing in Ireland are liable for a stamp duty fee of 30 € per year for the MasterCard, charged by the Irish Revenue Service. This fee will be collected once a year.

I have looked at this over the past weekend and feel the Number26 should classify the card as a Debit Card as it is such and charge accordingly with ref to the Rep of Ireland customer whom have and will sign up.

As part of Budget 2016 it was announced that a new government charge of 12c for ATM withdrawals would be introduced in January 2016. The ATM  charge is 12c per transaction with a cap of €5 if used as both an ATM and a Point of Sale card. This will be charged annually by your bank  for the previous year.

Pop over to for more and to sign up

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The Working Dad

The Working Dad

The Working Dad is a regular guy called Darren, Working as a senior manager for a leading NGO I have two kids and happily married. This is my blog about the life and times of being a dad today..
The Working Dad

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