An app-only bank backed by Peter Thiel is launching in the UK — and it's targeting the US next - Finance

An app-only bank backed by Peter Thiel is launching in the UK — and it’s targeting the US next – Finance

  • On Thursday in the UK launches German bank N26 for applications.
  • The startup, which is supported by Valar Ventures by Peter Thiel, is already operating in 17 European countries and has 1.5 million customers.
  • N26 plans to start in the US early next year and wants to "build the world's first global bank, perhaps 100 million customers."

LONDON – a German bank for applications only N26 on Thursday announced plans to launch in the UK, as it continues to expand rapidly throughout Europe.

N26, which was first launched in Germany in 2015, said it plans to launch the beta test phase before moving on to its $ 50,000 waiting list in the coming weeks.

“I think we have a fair chance to make the UK one of our strongest markets,” said Valentin Stalf, CEO of N26, in a recent interview with Business Insider. “The experience we have gained in other markets [means] we are very confident. ”

N26 was founded in Berlin, Germany, but is currently operating in 17 markets across Europe. He has 1.5 million customers, and Stalf said that the bank signs between 5,000 and 6,000 new customers per day.

“The big things that we learned are that customer needs are largely independent of what country they are in,” Stalf said. “There is a hypothesis that banking is very local. I think this hypothesis is wrong. Needs, especially the digital generation, are the same across Europe, even throughout the world, I would say. ”

There are already several consumer-oriented digital banking startups in the UK, including Monzo, Revolut, Starling, Tandem and Atom. Stalf said he was not worried about the competition.

“If you look at the markets in which we are already located, most of the customers we have won, people do not come from other digital banks, but from traditional banks,” he said. “If you look at the UK, I think that 75% of the market belongs to four large banks. The main goal is to really give these people the best user experience, lack of pricing at break and greater transparency. ”

Stalf said that the N26, which has a full banking license from German regulators, will distinguish itself from others, such as Revolut and Tandem, positioning itself as a complete replacement of a bank account.

“We have our own banking licenses in Europe, we will offer all sorting codes and full account functionality,” he said.

The next goal of N26 is to launch in the USA in the first quarter of 2019.

“We have a desire to build the world's first global bank, perhaps 100 million customers,” said Stalf. “We believe that the time has come to create a global banking brand. You have Spotify and Netflix in movies or music, but in fact you don’t have it in finance. In finance, the main product is much more profitable than music or film. "

The launch attracted more than $ 200 million from supporters, including Tencent, Allianz, Valar Ventures from Peter Thiel and Horizons Ventures, Hong Kong billionaire venture capital billionaire Lee Ka-Shin. It already handles monthly transactions of more than 1 billion euros.

“Creating a bank that people like to use is our vision. This is for our generation, ”said Stalf, 33 years old. "It also matters to most traditional banks."

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