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The crazy cost of cash

2 min read

We’ve often said that there are a few things that we consider foundational principles. Among them: that a base checking account with the features you need most, should be free. A lot of the “legacy” banks simply don’t have the ability to make that kind of offer.

We work hard every day to make your N26 experience more useful and convenient. Our ability to offer a free account and to focus on innovation are to a large extent based on what we do and don’t have. We do have the latest technical platforms to enable our innovation, but we don’t have the expensive bureaucracy or retail branches that burden the “legacy” banks.

There’s also another reason we can operate efficiently: because we try to minimize the amount of cash we have to process. We believe that the use of cash adds unnecessary costs to users, banks, and the economy in general. But we’re also realistic. We realize that in many places the infrastructure simply isn’t completely in place to be able to offer seamless alternatives to cash. And let’s face it: some people simply like to use physical bills and coins.

So given the no-cash aspiration with a sprinkle of occasional-cash pragmatism, we’d like to suggest some ways that you can help us keep costs down- and thus help us to keep your core checking account free of charge:

A few larger cash withdrawals are better than many smaller ones.

Why? Our ATM service partner charges us per transaction, not per withdrawal amount. So you help us save when you reduce the number of withdrawals per month, even if the total amount withdrawn remains the same.

Strive to withdraw cash no more than x times / month.

You’ll benefit because you’ll have less of the “black box” effect at the end of the month (“where did all that cash really go?”) And you’ll also help us by giving the old legacy banks one less opportunity to charge us for ATM usage.

When you have the choice of getting cash from an ATM or the CASH26 retailer network, use CASH26.

It’s significantly more efficient for us, and you’d probably be surprised how close a CASH26 retailer is to you.

By N26

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