The N26 nightmare – part 8

… continuing the story.

It just takes a few minutes to open a bank account online with N26. . . . Once again, I was going through the […] process; three months that I was trying to open a bank account with N26… I received THE email from N26 . . . Your identity verification failed.

Seriously! Three months that I was struggling with this nightmare; I thought the third umpteenth time’s the charm. Why? I fulfilled all their criteria: I am older than 18 years, I am a resident of a supported country, I now own a compatible smartphone, I hold a supported ID, I don’t already have an account with them (see side note, though), and I am able to verify myself in one of their supported languages. No way! I could not comprehend what could be their problem with me.

At least, there was some change in their phrasing, and maybe even some hope. Compare the email received three months earlier (left) with the most recent one (right):

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.N26
Please contact our Customer Service for more information and so that we can help you.N26

Time to understand what N26 problem is, at least with my French ID!

The quickest chat ever

I was expecting “THE” validation N26 email the following day (twenty-three hours and fifty-five minutes, to be exact; see N26 – this time, it’s for real, right?) and I didn’t see it immediately (i.e. on May 6 at 6:13 pm). Still, as soon as I read this email – at 9:17 pm – I contacted the customer service…

This was the quickest chat I ever had with N26 support. Basically, H. told me there was nothing to do; my case had been escalated and I just had to wait.

The hammer blow

I didn’t have to wait long. On May 7, I received this email:

Hello Alexandre,

Thanks for getting in touch!
I’ve taken a look at your sign-up and currently we’re unable to offer you an account due to legal requirements.
Please note that our Customer Service cannot help you any further or make an exception for you.
Thank you and we wish you all the best.
Have a great day,

N26 Customer Service

Let me highlight the subtle change in their phrasing:

Please note that our Customer Service cannot help you any further or make an exception for you.K.

This injunction did not deter me to contact them the first time (see The N26 nightmare begins), why would I give up now? I replied to K.’s email immediately. Briefly, I asked for answers: What legal requirements?, what could be wrong with my ID? Why not try with my passport instead? Then, I reiterated how crazy – how much struggle [for] this bank account – the whole story was; from the smartphone problem three months ago to the geo-localization issue to the crashing App to the Covid-19 matter and finally to my mistake a few days earlier… Here is how I ended up my 1940-character long email:

. . .
My wife is telling me (via Skype) that people apparently have the same issue because of their beard!!! Could my goatee be the culprit? Is that a legal issue? After going through all that I had to in the past weeks, I can shave – if this is what I have to do.
Please, help me go through this nightmare, or at least, provide me with some answers.
Thank you,


To be continued…

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