Monzo vs N26

Monzo and N26 are two major names in the emerging crop of “challenger banks”, we look at how they compare.

Over the last decade, digital banks such as Monzo and N26 have shaken up the banking world, bringing banking into the smartphone age.

Traditional banks continue to fail when it comes to offering customers easy to use and stylish apps, while their online banking processes are often laborious and slow. By contrast, digital banks such as Monzo and N26 have lured in customers by offering snazzy apps, real-time information, and fee-free spending abroad.

Here we take a closer look at two of these major “challenger banks”.

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Monzo and N26 at a glance

Fees and chargesFreeFree
Delivery speedBetween 2-7 working days5-7 working days
PaymentsPay via bank transfer or send instantly to other Monzo accountUse MoneyBeam to transfer money instantly. Is partnered with Transferwise so can send money to 16 countries.
UK ATM withdrawals FreeFree
Spending insightsSpending tracker provides a breakown of how much you've spent and wherePULSE26 analytics offers insights like the restaurant you visit most. Monthly reports help understand your spending habits.
Categories10+ categories, regularly updated20+ categories
Direct debitsYes - future payments shown in homefeedYes
Top upVia bank transfer, standing order, or have salary paid inVia bank transfer - IBAN needed and details needed
Freeze your cardYes: touch of a button in appYes: touch of a button in app
AlertsMonzo's Targets sends notifications to warn if you're spending too fast. Dashboard changes from green to orange to red to indicate overpending.Alerts for withdrawing money and paying
InterestMarketplace with 8 savings accounts both fixed rate and easy access, £500 minimum deposit.None
Savings goalsMonzo pots let you put money aside, protected from your daily spendingn26 'Spaces' feature lets the user open sub-accounts to stash your money away
VisualisationMonzo uses a monthly graph and a pie chart to show the trajectory of your money, and how it is broken downMonthly spending statistics shown in pie chart
Foreign ATM withdrawals£200 free monthly
1.7% of amount drawn
Foreign transactions feeNo feesNo fees
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Popularity of Monzo and N26 over the past year

Monzo vs N26: The verdict

In most areas, there’s not a whole lot separating Monzo and N26.

For day-to-day banking, both of their apps offer similar features. Transaction categories, budget goals, and spending insights are available from both these options.

Monzo may label their saving feature ‘Pots’, while N26 refer to their one as ‘Spaces’, but they’re essentially the same thing. Sub-accounts within your main account so you can hide money away for a rainy day.

With both you can send money to friends quickly and easily, and for those looking to transfer money abroad, both of these digital banks use Transferwise. So the costs will be cheaper than sending through a traditional bank.

However, there is a different in using your cards abroad. N26 will charge their basic customers a 1.7% fee when taking cash out abroad, while with Monzo you get the first £200 in a thirty day rolling period without any extra charge. You may want to compare exchange rates on the day too, to see how Monzo’s MasterCard rate compares with N26’s mid-market rate.

Video: Alex Weber, head of international markets, on why N26 is different

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    QuestNovember 10, 2018

    Could you please provide information on the ownership of these online banking institutions as well as their home residence. It would make it much easier to decide which one to choose if I knew that one is financed with i.e. Russian money and another one is based in Germany.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      CharisseNovember 16, 2018Staff

      Hi Quest,

      Thanks for reaching out to finder.

      Monzo Bank Limited is a company registered in England and Wales while N26 is a German direct bank, headquartered in Berlin, Germany. You can also visit their websites to know more about how Monzo and N26 works and the services they offer.

      I hope this helps.


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