N26 and User/Customer Experience
I wouldn’t normally do reviews of services, but I felt pretty compelled lately to write a few words about N26.
I signed up roughly a year ago, and used it every once and a while, finding it difficult to break away from the fairly entrenched services of the Irish banking system. Then, shortly after watching Pat Kua deliver his talk at Craft Conf, I read that he’d become N26’s new CTO.
A Berlin-based FinTech startup attracting executive talent isn’t new, but it’s also home to a very active accessibility advocate called Hugo Giraudel, whose writing I’ve followed for some time. Additionally, they’re been quite vocal about their developer culture through Getting Stuff Done Days (GSDD), and as these topics resonate with me, I started to pay a lot more attention.
Shortly afterwards the N26 app and card became my daily-driver, and I was amazed with what an incredible service they’ve developed.
Some highlights that I find invaluable:
I get a push notification around 5 seconds after every transaction, with cost, seller name, date and time
Every transaction is reflected almost immediately in the app, which is impressive as with other services I was forced to wait a couple of days in some circumstances for the transactions to appear.
Their Mastercard SecureCode feature is available on the web or in the app, and is super smooth by comparison to a lot of other financial institutions. One-tap confirmation and you’re done.
The MasterCard is free to new users (if you sign up now) and their main restriction is limited ATM withdrawals.
So, besides all that, what makes this so good?
Well, it’s their almost crazy focus on User-Experience(UX) and Customer Experience (CX). The service feels polished; like a serious amount of work has gone into making this a viable contender to the incumbents.
This is the kind of service that you want to tell your friends about, because it’ll actually be an improvement to their day-to-day activities.
Of course, they’re small and new and nimble: why wouldn’t they be able to innovate in these areas, right? Well, yes you expect it of a startup, but once you experience Stripe or N26, it makes going back to using PayPal or your bank’s service extremely difficult, as they’re so well established that they just don’t care anymore.
So really, this is a disruption I can absolutely get behind. More power to them, and I hope others vote as much with their feet as well as their wallets.