N26 vs Monese
N26 and Monese are two big names for easy money management, but how do they compare?
Established banks have struggled to keep up when it comes to offering customers slick, easy-to-use apps, while their online banking processes are often unfriendly to customers. Meanwhile, digital banks such as N26 and finance apps such as Monese have increased their customer base by offering fast transactions, fee-free spending abroad and more.
Let’s take a closer look at them so you can decide which is right for you.
A quick review: N26 and Monese
N26, originally called Number 26, was founded in February 2013 and is currently headquartered in Berlin. While it’s run out of Germany, it’s available in a number of countries throughout Europe as well as the UK and has recently launched in the US. N26 currently offers a number of personal and business bank account options as well as an app and cards.
Monese was launched in 2015 as an “inclusive, instant and on-demand” account. You can open a UK account and manage it on your smartphone as long as you live in the European Economic Area or the UK. You don’t need to provide a UK address to get an account. Once you’re signed up you will receive a debit card to access your money. The app offers a number of features including tools for budgeting and financial insights, international transfers into eight currencies at rates up to eight times less than the banks and various security features. With Monese, you can pick between its Simple, Classic and Premium accounts.
N26 vs Monese in Germany
|Card delivery||Up to 10 working days||Up to 3 working days|
|Payments||Use MoneyBeam to transfer money instantly. N26 is partnered with TransferWise, so can send money to 16 countries||Send money to 30 countries, including 18 currencies|
|Spending insights||PULSE26 analytics offers insights like the restaurant you visit most. Monthly reports help understand your spending habits||Monese’s Spending Overview area shows your current spending breakdown, plus, outgoings in previous months|
|Banking licence||Yes||No – but deposits are held safe in a segregated account at major banks|
|Top Up Via bank transfer||IBAN required and details needed||Link your account with another debit card, through a SEPA credit transfer or a SWIFT payment|
|Freeze your card||Yes: touch of a button in app||Yes: touch of a button in app|
|Alerts||Alerts for withdrawing money and paying||Instant notifications on spending and top-ups|
|Savings Goals||N26 ‘Spaces’ feature lets you open sub-accounts to stash your money away||Monese ‘Pots’ lets you put money aside, separated from your daily spending|
|Look and feel||Monthly spending statistics shown in pie chart||Simple design with transactions prominent|
|Foreign ATM withdrawals|
|Foreign transactions fee|
|Apple and Google Pay||Yes||Yes|
|Find out more|
N26 vs Monese: The verdict
If the contest between N26 and Monese were a sporting one we might call it a draw. Both apps have similar features that aid seamless financial management: from clear transaction categories, to the ability to freeze your car instantly if you lose it. Monese calls its savings feature ‘Pots’, while N26 refers to their one as ‘Spaces’. But they’re basically the same thing; sub-accounts within your main account where you can keep money for a rainy day.
N26 benefits from being a German-based company. Additionally, it’s rolled out a line of credit feature for German users which could be an interesting benefit for individuals with poor SCHUFA scores who can’t access credit from banks. Meanwhile, Monese has market-leading features, including a virtual card which gives you an extra layer of security as you shop online. Late in 2019, they added a joint account to their armoury.