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Real-time banking behind the scenes

At N26, you can receive a notification any time your balance changes. How do we manage do pull this off?

2 min read

Find out what’s happening right away whenever you use your N26 card and get a real-time notification.

At N26, we have only one goal: to create a unique bank that matches your pace. We want our customers to have a simple, intuitive, and fast experience.

Having said that, keeping things simple is actually a lot of work. This article will give you a behind-the-scenes look into real-time notifications and how you receive them on your smartphone when using your N26 debit card.

Here’s an example of what you can expect when you pay with your N26 card:

You pass your card over the card reader, or insert it into the slot.

image of a mastercard debit card inserting in a card reader.

The shop's bank gets a request from the terminal and processes it.

image of a bank building.

Who issued the card?

The vendor's bank checks the card brand and forwards the request. At N26, we use Mastercard.

image of a building with a mastercard logo.

Mastercard receives the payment request and redirects it to us.

image of a building with the N26 logo.

Processing time...

Once N26's availability has been confirmed, we are sent the authorization request.

We process the transaction. Our technology uses over 15 million lines of code to process your transaction as quickly as possible.

image of a rack with four servers.

We check which account this card is linked to and whether it is active or not.

image of two mastercard debit cards.

Is it an authorized transaction?

We verify that your application settings allow you to make this payment.

image of a whistle, a exclamation sign, dialogue box and two icons.

Beware of fraud...

We make sure that the transaction does not look risky.

We check that there are enough funds in your account and that the transaction is within the limits you have set in your application.

image of a magnifier showing characters of a mastercard.

All good!

We send a message to the vendor terminal notifying them that the transaction has been accepted. The amount is automatically deducted from your balance and the transaction appears in the N26 app.

icon of with a check sign.

We identify the smartphone linked to the card and send you the notification.

image of n26 app on a mobile phone and two debit cards.

You get the notification.

Your payment has been processed!

image of a push notification of a payment process in N26 app.

We've gone the extra mile to make your life easier.

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