N26 logo against a turquoise background.

People Stories: telling the story of our product through our people

In our new content series, we’re chatting to the people of our business to find out how their work brings the N26 product to life.

3 min read

From product managers to marketers, analysts to recruiters, a diverse mix of roles bring N26 to life. So, what better way to tell the story of our product than through the people who built, designed, marketed it, and more?

In the coming months, we’ll be speaking to people of N26 across the globe about how their work influences the product our customers have come to love. From all sides of the business, from every one of our global offices, we’ll be learning more about how their work influences what customers experience while managing their money.

One feature which makes N26 unique is the ease of signing up. In contrast to traditional banks, customer onboarding involves no fuss, no paperwork, and no visits to a bank branch. That’s why we’re kickstarting this series with Daniel Thomason, product manager for the KYC (Know Your Customer) team, discussing insights on innovation through the onboarding process.

The best thing about N26’s KYC process is that we have retained this mindset of “let’s reinvent.” We’re constantly looking for ways to be a neo-bank in every part of our product, whether that’s inside the product—like with Moneybeam or Spaces, or the onboarding process. We’re always asking: how can we make this process feel like we’re from the 21st century? This is especially the case considering that many of the traditional banks—particularly German ones—still actually require you to go into them in person, sign three pieces of paper and talk to a real person. We’re already online, but we’re always experimenting with how we can make it better—for example, how can we detect fraud more easily, while also reducing friction for good customers?

It’s hard to turn off the Product Manager brain when it comes to thinking about products, especially when it comes to my personal favourite part of N26. “What’s the job to be done?”; that’s the product mindset. For me, I want to know where my money is, and be able to very quickly manipulate it, and I think N26 really makes that base-level job that I need from a job really easy, and kind of frictionless. So the small things, like the push notifications when you spend money. This is just such a reassurance that my money has gone where I think my money has gone. It’s definitely landed, and if the cashier says “maybe the terminal’s screwed up”, I can say “no, I don’t think it did, here it is!”. I also appreciate things like being able to drag money from Space to Space, just with a finger tap!

For a product manager, describing your day-to-day is always tough. My day varies from having meetings with interesting people from around the company—whether they’re in business operations, compliance, legal, or design. A PM is kind of the centre point for communication and information flows, so there are a lot of meeting-heavy days. On the “thinking and heavy concentration” days, I might be taking a user problem and diving into the data, to better understand what exactly users are doing with our product, and where they’re having trouble. Or, I could be writing a strategy document to say “here’s where we are, here’s where we want to be.”

I actually applied for a generic Product role, but landed in the KYC stream. It proved quite fascinating, because it’s at an intersection of the critical path that growth plays for N26. We’re still such an early-stage growth company, but also facing compliance regulations as a bank—KYC is the first critical component of our regulatory ‘burden’ as a financial institution, to identify our customers’ identities. This interesting interplay between those two things has been eye-opening.

Next time, we’ll be speaking to Fadeelah Alhoraibi, the Product Manager for memberships, based in our Barcelona office.

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