The N26 nightmare begins (part 1)

… continuing the story.

It just takes a few minutes to open a bank account online with N26. As easy as these four steps: Confirm your email address, Download the app, Verify your identity, and Get your N26 debit card. All I had to wait now was for a confirmation message.

We’re sorry, but unfortunately, we can’t offer you an N26 account.N26

It took me a little while to stomach this unforeseeable email: We cannot open your N26 account. How come? There was not even an explanation other than this:

As a banking institution, we must follow strict legal regulations for each account opening. We are currently unable to give you more information on this subject for legal reasons and our Customer Service will not be able to assist you further.

Given the emergency of the situation (see When all the crap hits the fan at the same time…), I could not just let it go. I wanted to know: why could I not open an N26 account?

What legal regulations could preclude me from opening a bank account?

Let me remind you of the N26 eligibility criteria:

  • are at least 18 years old _ checked
  • are a resident of a supported country _ checked
  • own a compatible smartphone _ checked
  • hold a supported ID _ checked
  • don’t already have an account with us _ checked
  • are able to verify yourself in one of our supported languages: English, German, Spanish, Italian, or French _ checked

All checked indeed! There was no way, absolutely no way! Come on, I even had to buy a new phone for this darned account. I didn’t care that [their] Customer Service will not be able to assist [me] further, I contacted them anyway.

I needed this bank account and I needed it now!

Chat with L.

The person was nice and understanding. I explained to her the whole situation; that I didn’t have a compatible smartphone the first time I tried (see A “real” bank – N26), but now I have one – specifically bought to open an account with N26! That I was French and I used my French ID.

“Should I have used my passport instead?”

That I thought that N26 was operating in France and that I could verify myself – whatever that means – in either French or English. And, of course, that I didn’t already have an account with them!

“So what could have gone wrong, then?”

Domain names act similarly to street addresses.
All right reserved

She was trying to help; not letting me down. At some point, I mentioned that I was in Germany visiting my wife and that… That’s it! According to her, this was the problem. The app had geolocalized me during the process. There was a clear mismatch with my French address.

I asked her if I could start the process again – from scratch, and what is more, from France – and she confirmed that she could indeed “reinitialize” the app. I could even be back for my wife’s name’s day (see N26 – this time, it’s for real, right?); there should be no problem.

On the road again…

Walking legs
All right reserved

I had no other choice but to pay this one-euro social security contribution as fast as possible; nine days had already gone by since my payment didn’t go through (see When all the crap hits the fan at the same time…). Therefore, I decided to go back to France the following morning, fix the situation, and come back immediately. I promised my wife that I will be back for her name’s day indeed and that I will still spend two weeks with her anyway. This was just a little interruption, nothing more.

We enjoyed our Valentine’s day – despite this unfortunate email.

To be continued…

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