At around 6:30 pm on a seemingly ordinary summer’s evening (namely, June 13th 2018), an excitable crowd began to arrive on to the 8th floor of the WeWork Sony Center. Up there, plenty of sights grab your attention when you step out of the elevator such as an impressive view over Tiergarten, the glass dome of the Reichstag and over to the right, the unmistakable outline of the TV Tower against the Berlin skyline. While this scenery offers a lovely backdrop, the 150 visitors gathered here didn’t come to admire historical landmarks.
It was the night of our first N26 Access, our new interactive event format designed to give customers an inside glimpse into the company. People come first. And customer feedback is a key part of that. Which is why we think the event is so significant, and not the run-of-the-mill networking event. It was a golden opportunity for the people responsible for imagining and creating our products to meet with the people who use them (in other words, you guys out there).
The evening unfolded in two parts. First, presentations by several N26 speakers then canapes and the clinking of glasses. During the latter, guests got a chance to chat freely with the teams and the two co-founders of N26, all of whom were present and ready to mingle.
From 0 to 1 million customers
To start things off,Valentin Stalf, CEO and co-founder of N26 told the history of the company’s founding. His presentation gave the audience an insight into his company’s timeline, from the concept stage a few years previously to the present day. From humble startup beginnings with just a few initial customers; to the first 100,000 users; milestones such as obtaining a banking license and various stages of fundraising, followed closely after. As you’d expect, this was one journey that wasn’t without its share of adventure, and the CEO had plenty of stories to share. Like how N26 actually started out as a prepaid card for teenagers—and pivoted instead into retail banking.
N26 revolves around you
The second speaker was Christian Hertlein, Head of Design at N26. At the heart of the mobile bank and under the scope of "design research," his team’s main goal is to build the bank people love to use. Christian explains that the best way to do this is by working together with its customers, and he outlines the approach and processes that have already been adopted at users’ suggestion. Here at N26, clichés and stereotypes are avoided, so giving our users an experience tailored to their habits and needs, while still offering them a product as unique as they are, is key.
N26 Metal, the creation of a timeless card
Last but by no means least, is speaker Vanaja Sriskandarajah, a Senior Product Owner at N26. Notably, Vanaja is responsible for creating N26 Metal, a new-generation account that comes with a stylish card made out of metal. She explains that while everything began with the original transparent card, it soon became clear that our customers needed different options to match their varied lifestyles. Hence, N26 Black was born; with its elegant and minimal design, she stressed that while N26 is The Mobile Bank, our cards are quite real... the physical link between a mobile-platform bank and its customers out there in the real world. This is what led Vanaja and her teams to create on the latest card, N26 Metal, to give customers something more than just a payment method.
N26 Access, what's next
Going forward, we plan to continue hosting N26 Access events like these to offer our customers a chance for their voices to be heard and offer them full transparency and a chance to connect with us.
The next N26 Access event will probably happen outside of Berlin, so if N26 arrives in your city... we’re looking forward to meeting you!