Safe and secure banking in minutes with N26

The European digital bank uses Stripe for seamless account top-ups.

N26 is not an ordinary bank. There are no tellers, no bank branches. You never have to wait in line. Instead, in eight minutes on the N26 mobile app, you can open an account with a full range of functionality: checking, savings, transfers, direct debits.

But customers are notoriously hesitant to change banks. And even people who are curious about more modern, convenient forms of banking are still easily discouraged the moment they run into sign-up challenges. Recognizing this, N26 knew it had to find a way to onboard new customers smoothly while staying compliant with local regulations. To do that, it turned to Stripe to help simplify a crucial part of the process: account top-ups, by which customers add funds to their accounts.

With this important piece of its banking interface in place, over the last nine years N26 has built a simple, accessible, fully-licensed digital bank that is now used in 24 countries around the world.

“Stripe is an essential part of our product experience. It helps power a critical step in the onboarding experience, allowing us to bring on new customers easily and quickly,” said Amaury Hellebuyck, business operations associate at N26.

Transforming the banking experience

In 2013, longtime friends Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tayenthal founded N26 based on a vision of building a bank that the world loves to use. The company’s name refers to the 26 smaller cubes in a complete Rubik’s Cube, a name they chose because if you know the correct sequence of moves, you can solve a Rubik’s Cube quickly and elegantly—reminiscent of the simplicity they hoped to bring to the complex world of banking.

An essential part of any banking experience is adding funds to your account. The traditional way of topping up an account is a SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) transfer, which requires both the sender’s bank and the receiver’s bank to be registered as SEPA members. N26 wanted to offer another option, one that was quick, easy, and flexible enough to work with a wide range of funding methods.

Stripe provided it. In just six weeks of development, N26 was able to offer multiple payment methods to its customers, including credit cards, debit cards, and digital wallet top-ups, all built directly into the bank’s app. Offering multiple options means users can easily move money with just a few taps on the screen, and without having to sign in to multiple apps.

With Stripe’s checkout-flow optimizations in place, new N26 users began topping up their accounts much faster than they had before. The ease and speed translated directly into more long-term customers: N26’s customer base has jumped from one million in 2018 to over seven million today.

Growing globally

With the right infrastructure in place, N26 plans to expand its products into new sectors and focus on delivering exceptional service to its growing customer base. It has accelerated its growth in Europe while remaining adaptive to emerging trends and customer needs.

“We chose Stripe because it has a technology-first mindset that is closely aligned to ours. This is important as we build N26 to fit the changing banking landscape. With a shared commitment to innovation, we look forward to bringing even more people effortlessly online,” said Hellebuyck.