Balance the Banknotes—celebrate International Women’s Day with N26’s AR effect

This International Women’s Day, N26 is drawing awareness to gender inequality by showcasing just how little representation women have on bank notes.

4 min read

March 8 is International Women’s Day—a chance to honor the women we love, raise awareness about the continued struggle for full gender parity, and take action to effect meaningful change. 

At N26, we want to level the playing field, promoting an inclusive, fair banking system. This year, we are celebrating International Women’s Day with the theme Choose to Challenge. What are we challenging? Well, for starters—have you ever realized how many women are actually featured on banknotes? Not many. That’s why, together with Ommy of Autonommy Ltd and Facebook, we’ve launched Balance the Banknotes, an AR effect designed to shine a light on the unequal representation of women on our money. Our augmented reality effect supplants a rotating cast of barrier-breaking women onto any 5 or 10 euro note and 1, 5, or 10 US dollar bill.

 How does it work? Simply open the filter on Instagram or Facebook, hold the banknote up to your phone’s camera, and watch George Washington morph into a pioneering woman, from Rosa Parks to Emmy Noether to Emilia Pardo Bazán. Don’t have a bank note handy? Scan a Google image instead. 

What’s so important about inclusive money?

Despite women making up half the population, we’ve spent centuries passing back and forth banknotes with mostly male faces on them. In fact, of all globally circulating banknotes, only 12% feature a woman. And that’s including Queen Elizabeth, who is featured on every note in the Commonwealth. 

 Come on, world—we can do better. Many countries are now facing calls to represent historic women on their banknotes, including Harriet Tubman in the United States. But rather than waiting for national banks to get their act together, we decided to take matters into our own hands. And though Balance the Banknotes helps shine a spotlight on one aspect of gender inequality, banknotes are just one of many things that need to change to make the world more equal. 

Make a donation—make an impact

While the Balance the Banknotes effect helps raise awareness about representation, there’s lots more you can do to champion women this month. For the entire month of March, N26 is supporting Women for Women International to help women who have survived war and conflict learn the skills they need to rebuild their families and communities. To donate, simply tap the “Send money” icon in your N26 app, then select “Donate.” You can also find donation buttons across our Facebook and Instagram stories by visiting @N26

Our commitment to equality at N26

While we can’t change the world all on our own, we can focus on how to use our position to enact positive change. This starts with ensuring that our company reflects the change we want to see in the world and building a diverse, inclusive environment where everyone can thrive. Today, 36% of our managers are female, and women represent the last three of our four most recent senior management appointments. N26 also runs a Womxn26 ERG (employee relations group), advocating for anyone identifying as womxn to feel supported and thrive. 

We also recently published our Female Opportunity Index 2021, a study of gender equality in 100 countries and 10 German cities, exploring advancement in female leadership within government, corporations, STEM, and entrepreneurship, plus other success enablers such as access to education and parental leave. By exploring the structural roadblocks women experience, we can find better ways to dismantle them. 

Spread the word

From March 8, we will be promoting our International Women’s Day celebration across our Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook channels. To learn more about how to participate, simply visit Balance the Banknotes or our social media channels @N26. Want to share your thoughts on representation? We’d love to hear from you—use #iN26, #balancethebanknotes, #IWD2021, and #InternationalWomensDay2021.   


Your money at N26

At N26, we’re disrupting the banking industry to make it more balanced, convenient and accessible. All our accounts come with a virtual debit Mastercard that can be linked with Apple Pay or Google Pay, so you can start spending right from your smartphone. And because we want to empower people to spend and save the way they want, our premium accounts offer N26 Spaces, our iconic sub-accounts designed to help you save and budget, on your own or with others. Learn about all our account options here.   

By N26

The Mobile Bank

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