Security when opening an N26 account: how we make sure your data stays safe

3 min read

When it comes to customer verification during registration, security plays a vital role for us. We allow you to open an account in just a few minutes. But, behind this speed, we employ several levels of security to protect you.

When you open an account at N26, you'll use one of three different identification methods: photo, video or Postident. The appropriate procedure depends on your nationality and your place of residence.

Our in-house customer verification team, which specializes in identity verification knowledge and research, helps us to develop our verification methods further and make them increasingly secure.

When we design and select a procedure, we make sure it complies with local and European requirements. Yet we try our best to never compromise our emphasis on good user experience. As a fully licensed bank, we work exclusively with established partners who also work for other renowned banks in Germany and around the world. Both our employees and those of our partners are regularly trained to meet the latest standards and are equipped with the expertise to verify ID documents.

What happens during the verification?

Each time we open an account, we employ the three following techniques to help prevent identity fraud: (a) we check for any possible ID card or passport tampering and counterfeiting by, for example, testing document-specific security features; (b) we confirm that the document holder and verifier are the same person; (c) we run the signup information through databases of international blacklists and known fraud attempts.

The first step is always the same when you begin signup. Once you decide to open an account, you'll enter your personal data directly into the app. Then we verify your identity using one of the following methods:

1.) Video Identification Once you begin verification, you'll be forwarded to a trained specialist who will communicate with you via video chat and check all your data and the authenticity of your ID card. These employees are specially trained to detect fraudulent behavior immediately—like tampering or fake ID cards. If all your information is correct, the specialist gives us the green light to open your account. For the video identification procedure, there must meet the extensive requirements of BaFin (Federal Financial Supervisory Authority). To ensure we keep with and improve current standards, we continuously improve the process internally, too. At the moment, we are testing a higher-quality video verification tool that will soon make the identification process even more secure.

2.) Photo identification Most of our customers outside Germany will confirm their identification using a photo verification process. For this method, we work with SafeNed, a payment service provider licensed by the UK Financial Services Authority. After entering the data in the app, upload photos of your passport and a selfie. The trained staff of Safened check your entered data and documents based on the images on validity and authenticity. Once your documents have been reviewed and accepted, SafeNed will send us a confirmation and you can open your account

3.) Postident identification If you're living in Germany and you want to open an N26 account, you can use Deutsche Post's postident method. After registering, you (depending on your nationality and the chosen type of ID) can verify your identity at a post office. Details about which documents they accept are here.

Once they review and accept your documents, we receive a confirmation from Deutsche Post and you can open your account.

It goes without saying that when we chose a verification method, complying with the law and regulatory requirements comes first. But, as a mobile bank, we still put a premium on good user experience. Your trust is of the utmost importance to us. You should feel secure when you open a bank account. That's why we are working constantly to review and improve our identification methods.

By N26

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