Challenging the Face of Cash — Celebrate International Women’s Day with N26’s AR Effect

N26 is drawing awareness to gender inequality by showcasing just how little representation women have on paper currency.

3 min read

International Women’s Day is a chance to honor the women we respect and admire, raise awareness about the continued struggle for full gender equality, and take action to effect meaningful change.

At N26, we want to help 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 cash? Not many. That’s why, together with Ommy and Facebook, we’ve launched an AR effect designed to shine a light on the unequal representation of women on currency around the world. This augmented reality effect features a cast of barrier-breaking women and places their faces on any $1, $5, or $10 dollar bill.

How does it work? Simply open the effect on Instagram or Facebook, hold the bill up to your phone’s camera, and watch George Washington or Abraham Lincoln morph into a pioneering woman, from Grace Hopper, to Rosa Parks, to Sojourner Truth. Don’t have a bill handy? Scan a digital image instead. 

What’s so important about inclusive money?

Despite women making up half of the population, we’ve spent centuries passing back and forth cash exclusively with male faces on it. In fact, globally, only 12% of bills featuring a person are women. And that includes Queen Elizabeth, who appears on every piece of currency in the Commonwealth. 

We can certainly do better. Many countries are now facing calls to represent historic women on their bills, including our own efforts to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. But rather than waiting for the Treasury to get their act together, we decided to take matters into our own hands by creating an AR effect that helps shine a spotlight on many aspects of gender inequality.

Help make an impact

While the AR effect helps raise awareness about representation in money, there’s certainly more you can do to champion women this month. For the entire month of March, N26 has partnered with Women for Women International to support their mission to help women who have survived war and conflict learn the skills they need to rebuild their families and communities. You can find donation buttons across our Facebook and Instagram stories by visiting @N26US.

In addition, N26 will be making a donation to Women for Women International to show continued support for the creation of sustainable change for women around the world.

Our commitment to equality

While we can’t change the world all on our own, we can certainly use our platform to help enact positive change. This starts with making sure that our company reflects the change we hope to see in the world by building a diverse, inclusive environment where everyone can thrive. Today, women represent the last three of our four most recent senior management appointments. N26 also runs a Womxn26 employe representation group, advocating for anyone identifying as womxn to feel supported.

We recently published our Female Opportunity Index 2021, a study of gender equality in 100 countries, exploring advancement in female leadership within governments, 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. 

Help spread the word

We will be promoting our International Women’s Day celebration across Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Simply visit our social media channels or post using the #iN26, #balancethebanknotes, #IWD2021, and #InternationalWomensDay2021 hashtags. 


Your money at N26

At N26, we’re disrupting the banking industry to make it more balanced, convenient and accessible. You can open an account in just 5 minutes directly from your phone, and enjoy features like Spaces, to help you save for the things you want and need, and instant notifications on all account activity to give you peace of mind.

N26 does not manage external links, and is not responsible for the content, links, products or services of these websites. Further, N26's privacy and security policies do not apply to external linked websites. Please consult the disclosures of any external linked websites for further information.

The N26 account is offered by Axos Bank®, Member FDIC. N26 Inc. is a service provider of Axos Bank. All deposit accounts of the same ownership and/or vesting held at Axos Bank are combined and insured under the same FDIC Certificate 35546. All deposit accounts through Axos Bank brands are not separately insured by the FDIC from other deposit accounts held with the same ownership and/or vesting at Axos Bank. The N26 Visa® Debit Card is issued by Axos Bank pursuant to a license by Visa U.S.A. Inc. The N26 Visa Debit Card may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.

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