Transferwise vs N26 Features, Pros, and Cons Compared

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It is no longer possible to take the days of traditional walk in banks for granted. Why? Digital banking apps are now available that provide convenient, affordable, and easy-to use services. Transact at your convenience, whether you are at work or at home. Many have attractive features that make them difficult to beat by traditional banks.

We’ll be examining N26 and Wise digital banks.

There are many things to see, so let’s get started.

Wise and N26: Who’s Wise

This online banking platform based in London was established in 2011. It offers a variety of personal and business accounts as well as international money transfers.

Wise allows you to accept money from international banks accounts and track your transactions.

Wise, formerly TransferWise, describes its services as “the fast and cheap way to send money overseas,” and claims that they are eight times more affordable than the “leading UK household banks.”

Wise facilitates over 750 foreign currency exchanges used by more than 9 million people. Each month, Wise sends around $6 billion.

Wise and N26: Who is N26?

N26 was founded in 2013 in Berlin, Germany. It has over five million customers in 25 countries, and more than 1,500 employees. N26 is proud of its transparency in banking and allows customers to begin spending immediately after opening an account.

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N26 is primarily targeted at European citizens. However, US residents can still access N26’s services.

Wise and N26: Their Cons and Pros

A quick list of pros and cons is the best way to compare both platforms.

We highlight the best aspects and drawbacks of these services:

Wise Pros

  • Wise has been FCA-regulated
  • Register for free
  • Sending money overseas is easy
  • Wise has multiple language support offices in the world.
  • Your Wise card can be used with Apple Pay
  • With your card , you can make purchases in local currency
  • When you live overseas, you can get your salary and pension.

Wise Cons

  • Only one type of Personal Account
  • Only one type of Business Account

N26 Pros

  • An authorized overdraft can be arranged in minutes
  • N26 is a full-banking license
  • N26 offers free bank accounts
  • N26 offers a free card and free shipping
  • A desktop version is available
  • No fees for cash withdrawals

N26 Cons

  • N26 doesn’t offer credit cards
  • Your savings don’t earn interest
  • A 1.70% translation charge applies to overseas withdrawals
  • Limited service available in the US
  • It is not available in the UK

The Core Features They Offer Compared

The main difference between these services is N26, which is a mobile bank. Wise, on the other hand, focuses heavily on sending and receiving money abroad; that’s their key USP. Wise allows users to open multi-currency accounts for personal or business use, which is what we are focusing on in this review.

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Wise’s Core Functionality

We’ll start by mentioning Wise before we get into its multi-currency account features.

Transfer money from one currency into another in a matter of minutes. Money will reach the recipient within a few days. Wise has a currency calculator that will show you the fees. You can be sure that you know exactly what you will pay before you click “send .”

Once money has been sent, you can track it all the way to its destination.

Let’s now move on to Wise’s core banking services, which can be divided into two categories: Personal and Business Banking.

Personal Banking with Multi-Currency Account

You can create an account to:

  • Manage your money using 50+ currencies
  • Send money at live currency exchange rates
  • Use money that you have received with a Wise debit card

Wise accounts are free to set-up and are available to US customers. They offer lower rates than traditional banks, as well as no minimum balances or monthly fees. There is a charge for large amounts of money. We’ll discuss that fee in the lower part, as well as Wise’s other fees.

The following countries allow you to order and use a Transferwise Card:

  • In Europe: Austria.
  • In Asia: Singapore
  • In Oceania – Australia and New Zealand
  • North America: All across the USA (except Nevada, Hawaii).
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Spending Money

Wise’s debit cards allow you to make international purchases in local currencies in more than 200 countries. This includes purchases with Apple Pay and Google Pay. Wise’s technology converts your money automatically to local currency for low-cost fees. ATM withdrawal fees may apply if you prefer to pay cash. We’ll also cover these charges.

Adding and Receiving Money

When you receive funds or add money to your account, you can choose the currency that it automatically converts into. There are eight currencies to choose from: US dollars, UK pounds, Euro, New Zealand Dollar, Australian Dollar, Singaporedollar, Hungarian Forint, Turkish lira, New Zealand dollar and Australian dollar.

Convert to and Hold Currencies

Convert money between 55 currencies in seconds using real-time exchange rates.

Multi-currency Business Banking Account

Let’s now take a look at the Wise Business Account features.

You can use this free account to send and receive money in multiple currencies, using real-time exchange rate. Wise refers to it as “business without borders”. There are fees, but they will be covered lower than Wise’s Personal account.

This account targets three types of businesses:

  • Sole traders and Freelancers
  • Medium-sized to small businesses
  • Larger or enterprise-level organisations

These are the core features of

Pay Invoices and International Clients

You can make multiple or batch payments at once. This is helpful if you have recurring bills to pay or payroll. Wise technology ensures the use of real time exchange rates through its batch payment tools: Bolt Wolt Hubstaff, TimeDoctor, and Hubstaff.

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Get Money

Wise provides local bank information for your business. A small setup fee is required. It doesn’t require a local address. This allows you to withdraw or get paid from the platforms that you do business with, such as Amazon. You can choose to:

  • Save it for future invoice settlements
  • Take it to your bank
  • Transfer it into another business account

Automate with API

Business account holders can use Wise’s API to program

  • Automated payments
  • Manage their financial affairs
  • Automatic invoice payments and financial transactions such as standing orders, payroll and recurring money transfer

…just to name a few!

Customers receive an API token identifier which your app or website can use for accessing other companies’ APIs. This is useful if you or your developers need to create a custom integration.

Integrate your Accounting

You can automatically sync with Xero your business activities (over 40+ currencies). Integrating with Xero means that you don’t have to manually export or upload statements.

The Core Features of N26

N26, like Wise offers both personal and business accounts. Each one is broken down into subcategories. While some accounts are free, others require fees. This review will discuss the costs.

We’ll be focusing on N26’s contactless payments and bank cards as well as bank account features for both its Personal and Business accounts.

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Let’s begin with the N26 Personal account. There are four options: Smart, Standard, You, or Metal. The features you get will vary depending on the account that you choose.

Standard: This account comes with no fees. A transparent Mastercard debit card, which is accepted all over the world, is yours for free. You can also make contactless payments with it. Mobile payments can be made using Apple Pay or Google Pay.

You may also:

  • Set daily spending limits
  • Use the N26 app to lock or unlock your card (available for Android devices and iOS devices).
  • Make free payments worldwide
  • Get up to three ATM withdrawals free of charge per month in the Eurozone
  • Make mobile payments

Smart: This account offers all the basics of banking, as well as an optional Mastercard debit card. You can also choose the color of your card (ocean sand, aqua, rhubarb or slate span) and get five ATM withdrawals free of charge within the Eurozone.

You get: This account includes all the features mentioned above plus unlimited withdrawals in any currency.

Metal: This account is N26’s most costly. You get all the features mentioned above and eight monthly ATM withdrawals free of charge within the Eurozone. A 18-gram metal card is also included.

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We also want to mention other features, which we discuss below:

Money Management

Spaces are sub-accounts that you can use to manage your money and save. You can track your savings and transfer regular payments to designated spaces.

N26 “Shared Spaces” can be created. These allow you to save money and share it with your friends, all while working towards the same financial goals.

With the Standard account, you get 2 spaces and with each other, 10 spaces.

Round-Up is available to all account holders, except those who have the Basic Business plan. This allows you to round up each card transaction to the nearest Euro and save the difference in a Space .”

Statistic

N26 automatically classifies your spending into categories. This allows them to create monthly reports about how you spend and manage your money. This feature is available to each of the four accounts.

Payments

As we mentioned, mobile payments can be made with Apple Pay or Google Pay. N26 can be integrated with Wise to allow you to transfer money to different currencies (there are 38 supported span>).

All N26 customers have the ability to send and receive money via MoneyBeam and can receive incoming payments using SEPA Instant Credit Transfer.

N26 Business Accounts

Let’s now look at the N26 Business Account. There are four options: Business, Business Smart and Business You. There are fees again, but we’ll discuss those in the next section.

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Business: This account is the most basic and free. You get a debit Mastercard, contactless payment, mobile payments using Apple Pay and Google Pay, 100% Mobile Banking via the N26 App, 0.1% Cashback on card purchases and free ATM withdrawals within the Eurozone.

Business Smart: This account offers the same features as the personal account, but you can choose your Mastercard debit cards (these are the exact same as the personal accounts). A monthly ATM withdrawal within the Eurozone is also available as an optional card.

Business You: Unlimited worldwide withdrawals in any currency are just a few of the extra features that this account offers.

This account costs the most. You get an 18-gram metal credit card, 0.5% cashback for card purchases, and up eight ATM withdrawals per month in the Eurozone.

The Business Accounts of N26 have some additional features that are worth noting,

Money Management

All transactions can be tracked, even invoice payments. To make things easier when you need to file your tax returns, you can download them as PDF or CSV reports.

N26 also offers business customers the “Spaces” features previously mentioned.

Statistic

All business customers, like Personal Account holders, have access to N26 statistical reporting on account transactions, spending insights and so forth.

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Payments

Customers with N26 Business Accounts also have the same payment options as Personal Account Holders.

Other N26 features

N26 customers also enjoy other features, which we won’t be able to discuss in detail. These features may still be of value to N26 customers who want to see real value from their account. These are the basics:

  • Travel insurance
  • Exclusive partner discounts
  • Travel insurance that includes emergency medical coverage, trip cancellation or curtailment and flight and baggage delays
  • Mobility coverage to vehicle rentals
  • Mobile phone insurance

This applies to Business You and Business Metal customers.

The Cards and Prices Compared

Nobody wants to be surprised at hidden bank fees. We’re going to examine the fees associated with Wise accounts and N26 accounts in more detail.

Wise Charges

Let’s first look at the Wise Personal account. Wise charges an annual fee if you have an account that has a balance exceeding EUR15,000

A Wise debit card will set you back $9 The replacement card and the first two ATM withdrawals of up to $250 are free. They cost $1.50 each withdrawal after that. Monthly fees for ATM withdrawals exceeding $250+ are 1.75 %.

You can receive money in USD or EUR, GBP and NZD. You will be charged $7.50 if you send USD through an automatic clearinghouse (ACH). Wire transfers are subject to a $7.50 fee.

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Wise Business Accounts are free to open and maintain 50+ currency balances. You can also receive money in Euros or British pound, Australian dollar and New Zealand dollars, Hungarian forint, Romanian leiu, and Singapore dollars.

The fees start to apply when you send money. There is a $1.40 fixed fee for this. To receive foreign currencies, there is a $31 one-time fee.

Transaction fees apply to money added to your business account or currencies converted. It will cost $7.50 to send USD wires from your US account beginning December 2020.

An annual 0.4% fee will be added to your business account if it has a balance of more than EUR70,000. The online calculator, similar to the Wise Personal account, allows you to see exactly what currency conversion fees will be charged before you press “send.”

N26 Charges

Let’s first look at the charges for N26 Personal Accounts:

  • Standard: For balances above EUR50,000, this is free. A fee of 0.5% could apply after that.
  • This account is priced at EUR4.90/mo
  • The account costs EUR6.90/mo
  • This account is priced at EUR9.90/mo

The Business Account’s monthly charges are exactly the same as those for the Personal Account.

N26, like Transferwise is determined to assure its customers that there aren’t hidden fees. Both account types are free of charges:

  • Services
  • Overdrafts
  • Foreign transactions
  • Maintenance
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There is no minimum balance required.

Customer Support

There is nothing more frustrating when it comes to finances than not being able to access help and support quickly. Let’s now see how N26 and Wise compare in this area.

Wise Support

Wise’s customer service offer seems less generous than N26’s. Wise’s website has a Help Center where you can submit your questions and receive helpful guides and articles. You can also find a Q andA section which covers the following topics.

  • Sending and receiving money
  • Account setup
  • Debit cards
  • About Wise

You can still get help from Wise if you are still having trouble.

N26 Support

Customers with Personal or Business Accounts have the same support: Chatbot support and in-app chat support. Apart from customers on free accounts, all customers have access to phone support seven days per week. Only N26 Metal and N26 Business Metal customers get a dedicated Metal line seven days per week.

Our Final Verdict

Traditional banking and its borderless accounts is no longer the only option for financial management. Wise and N26 both offer attractive mobile banking options that can be used for both personal and business banking. Both mobile banks provide useful in-app features such as money tracking, money management, and sending money overseas.

N26’s monthly subscription fees (free accounts aside) cover N26’s fees, while Wise charges per transaction. This is one of their major differences. Before you make any final decisions, ensure that you factor this into your budget. This solution offers more flexibility than Transferwise, due to its longer list of features.

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Your location may influence your decision. N26, for example, has closed its UK operations and only offers limited US service. Wise is a better option if you are based in one of these countries.