German digital bank N26 has launched in the US, beginning a phased roll out of its app-based account and debit card.
Starting today, the firm is beginning to make its app available to 100,000 Americans who signed onto a waitlist. A full launch will follow later this summer.
Launched in Germany and Austria in January 2015, N26 began as a current account with a Mastercard. It now operates as a fully-featured bank, serving 3.5 million customers in 24 European markets.
In the US it will operate through a partnership with FDIC-insured Axos Bank and offer customers a Visa debit card.
In February the startup scored a $300 million capital injection, giving it a war chest to back its US assault, where it hopes to win over customers with the promise to help them take control of their finances through a slick, easy-to-use app.
“The US launch is a major milestone for N26 to change banking globally and reach more than 50 million customers in the coming years,” says Valentin Stalf, co-founder and CEO, N26.
“We know that millions of people around the world and particularly in the US are still paying hidden and exorbitant fees and are frustrated by poor banking experiences. N26 will radically change the way Americans bank as it has done for so many people throughout Europe.”
N26 is not the only European digital challenger making a move on the American market; London-based Monzo is also planning to start opening accounts this summer.