Number26, a Peter Thiel-backed German (Berlin based) challenger bank, has announced a major European expansion today, as it launches in six new markets including France, Spain, Ireland, Greece, Slovakia, and Italy.
How it works: The process of opening a bank account varies from country to country, but many Europeans are accustomed to a wait that may last days or weeks, depending on their circumstances. Through Number26, a new bank account takes about eight minutes to open, the company promises, which happens in-app with verification through online video chat. As with most modern banks, Number26 issues a bank card (MasterCard) which can be used to purchase items in-store or withdraw money from ATMs globally. Though the company offers a Web-based interface, accessible through your desktop computer, Number26 is all about its smartphone apps, which are available for Android and iOS. All transactions show up instantly, and there is a dedicated statistics section that provides a category-specific breakdown of your expenditures.