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N26 vs Monese in Ireland

How do these two challenger banks compare?

In recent years, digital banks like N26 and Monese have torn up the script of traditional banking. In doing so, banks have been brought into the smartphone age.

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 Monese have increased their customer base by offering fast transactions, fee-free spending abroad and more.

Let’s take a closer look at two of these big ‘challenger banks’.

A quick review: N26 and Monese

N26 is a European digital bank which has more than 100,000 users in Ireland. The challenger bank is also available across Europe with approximately 2.5 million customers across the continent. It no longer operates in the UK. N26 has both personal and business bank accounts, cards and the N26 app. When looking at personal current accounts you can choose from N26 Standard, N26 Smart, N26 You and N26 Metal. The four accounts are also available as business accounts.

To sign up, enter your email address and personal information on N26’s website, select the type of account you want and make a small deposit to activate your account. It’ll take between two and three working days to get your card.

Monese is a 100% mobile bank which offers customers a current account with needing to show proof of address. It was launched in 2015 and has many convenient features, including the ability to have two current accounts – a European IBAN account (in Euros) and a UK account with a sort code (in Sterling). This means you can manage a UK current account from Ireland on your smartphone. With Monese, you can pick between its Simple, Classic and Premium accounts.

You can open an account in minutes – just download the Monese app, take a selfie and scan your ID document such as a passport or ID card from your country. You’ll usually receive your account number and sort code in minutes.

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 banking: from clear transaction categories, to the ability to freeze your card instantly if you lose it. Monese calls its savings feature ‘Pots’, while N26 refers to its equivalent as ‘Spaces’. But these are basically the same thing – sub-accounts within your main account where you can keep money for a rainy day or save for a specific item.

N26 benefits from a large customer base in Ireland. This gives extra appeal to being able to send money to fellow N26 users instantly. Meanwhile, Monese has market-leading features when it comes to digital banking, including a virtual card which gives you an extra layer of security as you shop online. Late in 2019, it added a joint account to its armoury. Also, the fact that you can hold an account in Ireland and the UK will offer a clear benefit for many Irish customers as N26 no longer operates in the UK.

N26 vs Monese side-by-side comparison

N26 Bank Account

N26 Smart

N26 Bank Account

N26 Smart

OVERVIEW
Description Benefit from no monthly fee, no currency conversion fees and a raft of in-app budgeting features to help you save. A mid-tier, premium subscription plan that comes with a range of essential money management features to help you better manage your finances.
Monthly fees: 0 € 4.90 €
Card delivery Up to 10 working days Up to 10 working days
Mobile wallets Apple Pay
Google Pay
Apple Pay
Google Pay
Supported currencies EUR
EUR
Free ATM withdrawals limit 3 withdrawals per month 5 free withdrawals per month
GLOBAL SPENDING
Currency conversion fee 0% 0%
Free currency conversion limit Unlimited Unlimited
EXTRA FEATURES
Savings function No No
Benefits Payment notifications
Bill splitting
Spending categorisation
Fast transfers
Web app
Payment notifications
Bill splitting
Spending categorisation
Fast transfers
Web app
Choice of card colour
Learn more

N26 You

Monese Classic

N26 You

Monese Classic

OVERVIEW
Description A smart IBAN account with no currency conversion fees, complimentary insurances and no ATM fees here or abroad. A dual currency card designed for travellers with no foreign currency fees up to €2,000 per month and foreign transfers in several currencies.
Monthly fees: 9.90 € 5.95 €
Card delivery Up to 10 working days Within 14 days
Mobile wallets Apple Pay
Google Pay
FitBit Pay
Apple Pay
Google Pay
Supported currencies EUR
GBP
EUR
Free ATM withdrawals limit 5 withdrawals per month 900 € per month after which a 2% applies
GLOBAL SPENDING
Currency conversion fee 0% 2%
Free currency conversion limit Unlimited Unlimited
EXTRA FEATURES
Savings function Account with interest earned Account with interest earned
Benefits Payment notifications
Bill splitting
Spending categorisation
Insurance covers
Fast transfers
Web app
Choice of card colour
Payment notifications
Fast transfers
Web app
Learn more

N26 Metal

Monese Premium

N26 Metal

Monese Premium

OVERVIEW
Description Receive a stainless steel Metal card available in 3 shades, an insurance package and exclusive offers. A premium card with no fee for international payments, no foreign currency fees and unlimited ATM withdrawals at home and abroad.
Monthly fees: 16.90 € 14.95 €
Card delivery Up to 10 working days Within 14 days
Mobile wallets Apple Pay
Google Pay
Apple Pay
Google Pay
Supported currencies EUR
GBP
EUR
Free ATM withdrawals limit 8 withdrawals per month 2500 €
GLOBAL SPENDING
Currency conversion fee 0% 0%
Free currency conversion limit Unlimited Unlimited
EXTRA FEATURES
Savings function Account with interest earned Account with interest earned
Benefits Payment notifications
Spending categorisation
Virtual cards
Fast transfers
Web app
Exclusive offers
Choice of card colour
Payment notifications
Virtual cards
Fast transfers
Web app
Open multiple bank accounts
Learn more
*We selected products from each provider that were the most comparable. You can find all available products on our review pages as well as the provider’s website.

Looking for more options? Compare a range of digital banks in Ireland

Name Product Monthly Fee Free ATM withdrawal limit Supported currencies
N26 Bank Account
0 €
3 withdrawals per month

1

Benefit from no monthly fee, no currency conversion fees and a raft of in-app budgeting features to help you save.
Revolut Standard
0 €
€200 per month

28

Enjoy no monthly fee, no currency conversion fees up to €1,000 per month and hold an array of currencies in your account.
Wise Multicurrency Account
0 €
2 withdrawals up to €200 per month

19

Wise (formerly TransferWise) is an international account with over 50 currencies, instant and very convenient money transfers, a card to spend in any currency, bank details to be paid in 30 different countries and multi-currency direct debits.
Wirex Standard
0 €
€400 per month

13

Get a Welcome Bonus of $15 USD in WXT when you sign up with Wirex through Finder.

Benefit from an array of digital payment features, including a free prepaid Wirex card and unlimited fee-free transfers at interbank rates - with zero monthly subscription fee.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Monthly Fee Free ATM withdrawal limit Supported currencies
Revolut Premium
7.99 €
€400 per month

28

A combined current account and IBAN account with unlimited free currency conversions and international transfers in many currencies.
bunq Easy Money Personal
8.99 €
4 withdrawals per month

1

A card linked to up to 25 individual IBAN accounts. Earn interest on all money in your account and benefit from competitive rates and fees.
N26 Smart
4.90 €
5 free withdrawals per month

1

A mid-tier, premium subscription plan that comes with a range of essential money management features to help you better manage your finances.
Revolut Plus
2.99 €
€200 per month

28

Enjoy purchase, event ticket and returns protection, plus other innovative features with this lower-priced subscription plan.
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Compare up to 4 providers

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