A letter from our General Manager: our customers are always top priority

Our view on the topic relating to public benefits and N26 accounts.

3 min read

In recent weeks, we’ve seen how a concern for some clients has grown to be a worry for many. It has come to our attention that our customers have been having problems when managing payments coming from Spanish public institutions, particularly in cases where they’ve tried to collect benefits for ‘ERTE’—an employment regulation that allows companies to temporarily cut hours or headcount—or when managing a procedure with the Treasury. Ultimately, this means that we haven’t been meeting the expectations of those customers who are committed to banking with N26.

We’re a young bank that’s fully regulated and offers all the guarantees. We’re also energetic and innovative, a drive that only matures and increases with each year. Our goal is to offer you a global bank that’s also adapted to local needs, and this continues to be our commitment. We’re always moving forward with one clear ambition in mind: to offer a banking experience that makes life easier for people, and that doesn’t benefit at the expense of the client. When it really comes down to it, we want the customer to benefit from what the bank is offering, believing in transparency, agility and in really changing things. For this reason, we would like to share our point of view.

At the present time (May 2020), we’re in the process of becoming a ‘collaborating entity’ of Spanish Social Security. This is an essential requirement for our clients who want to manage funds relating to public aid through their N26 accounts. The problem with these kinds of transactions was already identified a long time ago—since it frequently affects the self-employed—and we have a team dedicated to finding a solution that helps facilitate our clients’ day-to-day lives. For months, we’ve been working with the relevant authorities and organizations (tax authorities, Social Security and private entities) to find a solution.

What do we need to do to fix this? Unfortunately, we don’t have an answer yet. In order to be fully linked to public entities in Spain, one of the requirements is to have a Spanish IBAN (something we provide for all new accounts opened since April 2019), despite the fact that this goes against the European philosophy of the single SEPA payment area. Another requirement is to collaborate with private organizations, and use private software tools—these appear to work well in the meantime. This, from our point of view, does not encourage innovation or competition within the sector. And in the end, this is hurting our customers.

In this challenging situation, we’re sad to say that we’re affected by forces beyond our control. And unfortunately, the current crisis is increasing the number of clients facing this issue. It troubles us to see that our loyal customers—those committed to N26’s vision—are suffering the consequences. And although we can’t change this in this moment in time, we apologize for any inconvenience caused to you in this critical time. Every day, we’re striving to adapt our services and product, and are always thinking about what our customers need in order to meet their expectations.

Francisco Sierra

General Manager for N26 in Spain

Last updated: June 2020.

By N26

The Mobile Bank

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