Digital bank N26 bigger than HSBC in France with 1 million customers

Germany’s hot online banking startup N26 said on Thursday that it has hit the 1-million customer mark in France last month.

The online bank, launched in France in 2017, now has gone past HSBC, which has approximately 900,000 customers according to its 2018 report.

"Reaching a million customers is a major step for N26 in France,” said Jérémie Rosselli, N26 general manager for France. “More than a goal, it's a new stage in our growth that proves that the banking experience we offer meets the needs of customers and fits their lifestyles.”

The Berlin-based startup achieved a unicorn status — for being valued at over $1bn – and became Europe’s most valuable private fintech firm earlier this year. After its most recent funding round its valuation shot up to about €2.3bn (£2bn).

N26 was founded in 2015. It currently has 3.5 million customers in 26 markets and counts Peter Thiel, Tencent, Allianz, and Singapore’s GIC sovereign fund among its investors. The digital bank told Yahoo Finance UK that it signs up more than 10,000 new customers every day, including 1,000 in the UK.

READ MORE: Germany's newest unicorn is now Europe’s most valuable fintech company

A 2019 KPMG study found that France now has some 19 “neobanks”, new banks or payment platforms that are predominantly digital. KPMG notes that based on public data, by the end of June 2019, these new banks represented about 2.6m active accounts.

“Unlike traditional banks which are targeting all customer segments, the neobanks do not hesitate to focus on priority segments and develop offers accordingly,” the study notes. “For instance, millennials or frequent travellers, two of Revolut’s top targets, are being offered a multicurrency payment card with low currency conversion fees.”

Hot on the heels of UK digital bank Monzo, N26 made its US debut this summer. US CEO Nicolas Kopp told Yahoo Finance that the company planned on disrupting the market and convincing American consumers to switch to N26 by offering a better user experience and new features, such as getting paychecks early and instant money transfers.

READ MORE: German bank backed by Peter Thiel launches in US

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