Virtual banks are fast gaining popularity in the banking sector. As such, many virtual banks are emerging with innovative products. The same applies to N26 and Chime digital banks. If you want to choose between N26 and Chime, this article will take you through the services and features offered by each bank and you will be in a position to pick which is best for you.
N26 Europe has been a popular online bank offering its services in European countries. However, following the rising popularity of online banks in the US market, N26 extended its services there in 2019. It is important to note that N26 USA and N26 Europe offer different features depending on the users’ needs. This article will focus on N26 USA.
Chime is a US digital bank founded in 2014. Some online banks may not extend their services to potential customers due to a bad credit history. However, Chime offers banking services without conducting credit background checks. You can access Chime through its mobile app and the online banking portal.
It is important to go through the available options and the services they offer before you make a choice.
To open an N26 account, you will first need to download the app and enter your personal details including your name, residential address, email, and your phone number. For identity verification, you will need to take a selfie and submit it along with a photo of your passport.
The first step is to download the free app for Android or iOS. You will then need to enter personal details such as your name, date of birth, email address, residential address, social security number, and telephone number. You can open two types of accounts with Chime; a Spending Account (it comes with a Visa debit card) and a Savings Account (optional).
There are several ways to deposit funds in a digital bank account. The following is how to top up your N26 or Chime account.
N26 does not accept cash deposits. To top up your account, you will need to transfer funds from other bank accounts.
You can deposit funds into your account in various ways including cash deposits, funds transfer from another bank account (the account should be linked to your Chime account),direct deposit from a payroll agent, and also by depositing a paper check digitally.
A customer-friendly online bank will offer services at low costs. Here’s how Chime compares to N26 in domestic and international fees.
Chime does not charge any fee when you order your first card. In case you lose the card, replacing it is also free. The same applies to their card delivery service (it’s free). When you use MoneyPass or Visa Plus Alliance ATMs, you are exempted from any ATM fees. However, you will be charged a $2.50 fee for an out-of-network ATM withdrawal. Another advantage of Chime is that it does not charge a monthly fee and does not require a minimum balance to keep the account running.
Chime does not charge any special foreign ATM fees, exchange fees, or foreign spending fees. While other online banks may charge you for using your card on special currencies or withdrawing cash on weekends, Chime doesn’t.
N26 offers attractive domestic fees for its services. This includes unlimited free ATM withdrawals at any Allpoint ATMs (located in Australia, Puerto Rico, the UK, Canada and Mexico), and 2 free ATM withdrawals out-of-network withdrawals. If you make more than 2 out-of-network withdrawals, you will pay $2 for each withdrawal. Additionally, N26 does not charge a fee for your first card. However, if you lose it and request for a replacement, you will pay a $5 fee. While N26 does not charge for its Regular Card Delivery service, it charges $30 for its Express delivery service.
You should not be worried of having to pay high fees when you travel abroad since N26 does not charge any foreign spending fee nor foreign exchange fees. If you travel to a country with no Allpoint ATMs, you will have the 2 free ATM withdrawals, but you will pay $2 for any additional withdrawal plus a 2% fee of the total amount you withdraw. Additionally, N26 does not charge any special currency or weekend fees.
Online-only banks offer more convenience to users compared to traditional banks. They let you do what traditional banks wouldn’t.
With the N26 bank account, you can set your own spending and withdrawal limits from the app. You can also use the app to create sub-savings accounts (spaces) which will help you save responsibly. Additionally, you can track your subscriptions and block/enable them from the app. Unfortunately, the N26 app lacks a bill splitting/ shared expenses feature.
Just like with the N26 app, you can set your spending limits and split bills with friends and family from the Chime app. However, you cannot set withdrawal limits from the app, you cannot open sub-savings accounts, and you cannot track nor enable/disable online subscriptions.
One of the first things customers will look at while choosing an online bank is its customer support system. If there are no physical branches where customers can get help, it is best that these digital banks put in place excellent customer support systems. This will give users the confidence that their needs will be attended to without much delays.
Chime bank users can get in touch with the customer support team through telephone (844-244-6363), in-app support chat, and through email ([email protected]). The lack of a priority customer support feature delays email responses. If Chime bank can include this feature, their customer support system will be excellent.
N26 offers reliable customer support to its users since their phone lines get through quickly, and the emails are answered in good time. In case of any concern, users can get in contact with N26’s support team through telephone (1-888-626-0626), email ([email protected]), or through the In-app chat support system through the mobile app or the website. N26 does not have a priority customer support feature.
Before you choose a digital bank, it is best to first consider the security of your money. An ideal online-only digital bank should have security features that will ensure safety of your funds.
N26 has a guarantee scheme that ensures safety for your money. Customers with N26 USA accounts are insured for up to $250, 000. Additionally, N26 offers the following security features:
- You can reset your PIN from the app
- Customers can freeze and unfreeze their cards from the app
- N26 also boasts biometric login and authentication
Chime has partnered with the Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank N.A. These banks are members of FDIC, which means that user’s funds are protected (up to $250, 000). With a Chime account, you can freeze and unfreeze your card from the app, and you can also set up biometric login and authentication to log in. However, you cannot have disposable virtual cards for one-time online purchases and you cannot also reset your PIN from the app.
N26 focuses on offering a comfortable and easy to use customer experience at low costs. This is usually what most users look for when choosing between banks. Given the many advantages that N26 has over Chime, N26 is a better choice.