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Mobile banking puts your finances at your fingertips 24/7. There’s a host of challenger banks, digital-only banks and personal finance apps available now, designed to give you better, faster control of your cash.
We’ve rounded up everything you need to know so you can decide if digital banks are right for you.
Digital banking, also called mobile banking, is a way to control your money, usually through a smartphone app or web app. It allows you to log into your account anywhere with Internet access, giving you constant visibility of your money and helping you understand the best way to manage it.
There are several advantages to mobile banking:
Here are a few things that you may not know about using your mobile as your main point of contact with your bank:
While traditional bank accounts usually only allow you to hold one currency, digital bank accounts such as Revolut allow you to hold several currencies in the one account. Revolut and other digital banks such as Wirex also allow you to trade cryptocurrencies in your account.
In Germany, digital banks usually have limitations on how many ATM withdrawals you can make a month and do not offer cheque facilities.
Travel is big with digital banks. You will usually find these banks allow you to transfer money to other countries with low or no foreign currency transfer fees. ATM fees in foreign countries will also be lower or abolished altogether.
Not every mobile bank has a full banking licence. The banks are still able to conduct banking business in Germany but may be partnered with a licenced bank or financial operator, such as a payments company, to do so.
Some German digital banks require you to conduct all of your banking from your smartphone. This means no Internet banking from your computer or tablet.
Digital banks still take security seriously, but you will see different security features. For example, you will be able to lock and unlock your card in case it’s stolen or you lose it. No need to call – you can do this in the app. With most mobile banks you can also set payment limits and turn on and off payment capabilities such as contactless payments.
Some mobile banks charge higher monthly fees for premium accounts which offer features such as insurance, discounts and more. This means a higher cost at first which will negate your ongoing costs.
There are a number of companies offering bank accounts, finance apps and ways to manage your spending. However, not all of these are licenced as “banks”. Some providers are electronic money institutions or payment institutions.
These non-bank providers are still able to offer you debit cards and finance apps, but the account where your money is held is not considered a bank account. You are also not protected under the deposit guarantee which will safeguard up to €100,000 of your money in case anything happens to the bank. You can compare bank and non-bank providers in the table above.
There are a number of mobile banks and finance apps available in Germany. These include:
You can sign up with a German digital bank by downloading your chosen bank’s app onto your smartphone. You will need a few of your personal details to sign up, including your full name, date of birth, address and email address. You will need to confirm your identity and may need to deposit funds into your account to make it active. Then, your bank account will be created.
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