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N26 launches its challenger bank in the US





N26 launches its challenger bank in the US – TechCrunch




























European fintech startup N26 is now accepting customers in the U.S. The company is launching a bank account with a debit card that should provide a better experience compared to traditional retail banks.

If you’re familiar with N26, the product that is going live today won’t surprise you much. Customers in the U.S. can download a mobile app and create a bank account from their phone in just a few minutes. It’s a true bank account with ACH payments, routing and account numbers.

A few days later, you receive a debit card that you can control from the mobile app. Every time you make a transaction, you instantly receive a push notification telling you how much money you just paid. You can set up your PIN code, customize limits, turn on and off online payments, and make ATM withdrawals or payments abroad.

And that’s about all there is to know. But what about fees? Basic N26 accounts are free. There’s no monthly fee and no minimum balance. There’s no fee on transactions in a foreign currency and you get two free ATM withdrawals per month.

N26 US App and Card

N26 is going to progressively roll out signups over the summer as a sort of beta program. If you’ve signed up to the waitlist, you’ll get an invitation over the coming hours, days and weeks. There are currently 100,000 people on the waitlist. N26 will then open signups to everyone later this summer.

When N26 rolls out its final product in a couple of months, the company says that it plans to automatically find and reimburse fees the ATM operators are charging. N26 cards in the U.S. work on the Visa network instead of Mastercard.

Just like Chime, N26 will also try to let you get paid up to two days early if you get paid via direct deposit. Instead of waiting a couple of days to clear those transactions, N26 will go ahead and top up your account.

N26 US 2

White label

Behind the scenes, there are a few differences between N26 in Europe and N26 in the U.S. While N26 has a full-fledged banking license in Europe, the company has partnered with Axos Bank, which is acting as a white-label partner in the U.S.

Axos Bank essentially manages your money for you, and N26 acts as the interface between customers and their bank accounts. As a result, you get an FDIC-insured account.

N26 first partnered with a third-party company in Europe, as well. But it was a costly deal that wasn’t meant to stick around. The startup got a banking license in Germany that was good for Europe at large. In the U.S., it’s a different story, as the market is not as unified as in Europe — it’s complicated to get a license to operate in all 50 states.

“We looked at 30 players, we did some due diligence and we’re happy to partner with Axos Bank. The deals that you get in the U.S. for white-label banks are much more favorable than in Europe,” N26 co-founder and CEO Valentin Stalf told me. “It’s a setup for the longer term. It’s good for a couple million customers,” Stalf added later in the conversation.

Just a start

N26 is already planning more features for the U.S. The company plans to roll out two premium plans — N26 Metal and then N26 Black.

And it sounds like there will be some changes when it comes to perks for premium users. “We took that to a separate level,” Stalf said.

And shared Spaces are finally arriving in the coming months. Spaces are sub-accounts designed to put money aside. You can swipe money from one Space to another or you can set up automated rules.

Eventually, you’ll be able to share a Space with other people so that you can save money and spend money together. It’ll work “like a WhatsApp group,” Stalf said.

N26 currently has 3.5 million customers in Europe and has raised more than $500 million in total so far. There are now a thousand people working for N26 in Berlin, 60 employees in New York, 80 people in Barcelona and a small team of five to 10 people starting soon in Vienna.

“It went from being a small company to being an international company,” Stalf said.

N26 Spaces ENUS


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Enterprise”,”slug”:”tc-sessions-enterprise-2019″,”taxonomy”:”tc_event”,”rapidData”:”pt”:””,”pct”:””,”_links”:”self”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event/576658989″],”collection”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event”],”about”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/taxonomies/tc_event”],”up”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event/449559507″],”wp:post_type”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts?tc_event=576658989″,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_events?tc_event=576658989″,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_video?tc_event=576658989″],”curies”:[“name”:”wp”,”href”:”https://api.w.org/rel”,”templated”:true]]]}},{“id”:1854358,”date”:”2019-07-11T10:18:34″,”date_gmt”:”2019-07-11T17:18:34″,”guid”:”rendered”:”https://techcrunch.com/?p=1854358″,”modified”:”2019-07-11T23:31:42″,”modified_gmt”:”2019-07-12T06:31:42″,”slug”:”how-roblox-avoided-the-gaming-graveyard-and-grew-into-a-2-5b-company”,”status”:”publish”,”type”:”post”,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/2019/07/11/how-roblox-avoided-the-gaming-graveyard-and-grew-into-a-2-5b-company/”,”title”:”rendered”:”How Roblox avoided the gaming graveyard and grew into a $2.5B company”,”content”:{“rendered”:”

There are successful companies that grow fast and garner tons of press. Then thereu2019s Roblox, a company which took at least a decade to hit its stride and has, relative to its current level of success, barely gotten any recognition or attention.n

Why has Robloxu2019s story gone mostly untold? One reason is that it emerged from a whole generation of gaming portals and platforms. Some, like King.com, got lucky or pivoted their business. Others by and large failed.n

Once companies like Facebook, Apple and Google got to the gaming scene, it just looked like a bad idea to try to build your own platform u2014 and thus not worth talking about. Added to that, founder and CEO Dave Baszucki seems uninterested in press.n

But overall, the problem has been that Roblox just seemed like an insignificant story for many, many years. The company had millions of users, sure. So did any number of popular games. In its early days, Roblox even looked like Minecraft, a game that was released long after Roblox went live, but that grew much, much faster.n

Yet here we are today: Roblox now claims that half of all American children aged 9-12 are on its platform. It has jumped to 90 million monthly unique users and is poised to go international, potentially multiplying that number. And itu2019s unique. Essentially all other distribution services offering games through a portal have eventually fizzled, aside from some distant cousins like Steam.n

This is the story of how Roblox not only survived, but built a thriving platform.n

Seeds of an idean

"GettyImages

(Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch)n

Before Roblox, there was Knowledge Revolution, a company that made teaching software. While designed to allow students to simulate physics experiments, perhaps predictably, they also treated it like a game.n

u201cThe fun seemed to be in building your own experiment,u201d says Baszucki. u201cWhen people were playing it and we went into schools and labs, they were all making car crashes and buildings fall down, making really funny stuff.u201d Provided with a sandbox, kids didnu2019t just make dry experiments about mass or velocity u2014 they made games, or experiences they could show off to friends for a laugh.n

Knowledge Revolution was founded in 1989, by Dave Baszucki and his brother Greg (who didnu2019t later co-found Roblox, but is now on its board). Nearly a decade later, it was acquired for $20 million by MSC Software, which made professional simulation tools. Dave continued there for another four years before leaving to become an angel investor.n

Baszucki put money into Friendster, a company that pre-dated Facebook and MySpace in the social networking category. That investment seeded another piece of the idea for Roblox. Taken together, the legacy of Knowledge Revolution and Friendster were the two key components undergirding Roblox: a physics sandbox with strong creation tools, and a social graph.n

Baszucki himself is a third piece of the puzzle. Part of an older set of entrepreneurs, which might be called the Steve Jobs generation, Baszuckiu2019s archetype seems closer to Mr. Rogers than Jobs himself: unfailingly polite and enthusiastic, never claiming superior insight, and preferring to pass credit for his accomplishments on to others. In conversation, he shows interests both central and tangential to Roblox, like virtual environments, games, education, digital identity and the future of tech. Somewhere in this heady mix, the idea of Roblox came about.n

The first releasen



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