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HomeGerman FinanceThe top 15 mobile banking apps in Germany every Expat should know

The top 15 mobile banking apps in Germany every Expat should know

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Mobile banking apps have become the norm for Expats in Germany. The reason is the increased customer need for convenience. Which of the 15 following mobile banking apps is right for you?

In addition to the established financial institutions, Fintech companies are increasingly offering innovative solutions for mobile banking. Consumers should be aware of the security gaps in mobile banking apps and mobile accounts and protect themselves against a possible hacker attack.

More than 37 percent of all Germans already use a smartphone app to do their banking.

Classic online banking is stagnating and is increasingly being used by older bank customers. Young target groups prefer to use modern banking apps that they can use anywhere and anytime.

The change makes sense. Banking apps simplify a lot of things. Photo transfers, voice control and multi-banking are just some of the features that make mobile banking so convenient.

1. N26

banking app

The primary target group is clearly young people, digital nomads and freelancers. There are many travel features (insurance, partner offers, etc.) in the premium models. Users can also use the app to take out loans, park money in fixed-term deposit accounts and open sub-accounts (so-called spaces) – all within a few seconds.

Cost and Rating

N26 offers its customers different models. N26 Standard (Free), Smart (€4.90), You (€9.90) and Premium (€16.90). 

With the paid accounts you get more spaces (or sub-accounts), additional insurance protection, exclusive partner offers, privileged support and the rounding up rule. If you don’t travel a lot, you won’t benefit from the extra functions.

Pros

  • Sub-accounts (Spaces)
  • Categorization of expenses
  • Desktop app
  • intuitive operation
  • Real-time transfer
  • Ideal for frequent travelers and digital nomads
  • Debit Mastercard

Cons

  • Few new features
  • Slow
    customer support
  • No more investments possible

2. Revolut

banking app

Revolut is one of N26’s strongest competitors – internationally and on the German market. While N26 is currently limited to basic banking functions, Revolut impresses its customers with dynamic innovation.

When it comes to further development, the pace of features and improvements is high. N26 can hardly keep pace at such a clock rate. Meanwhile, Revolut customers can even trade crypto assets, buy stocks / commodities, manage subscriptions or manage payments among friends.

Cost and Rating

Revolut also offers customers the paid models Plus (€2.99), Premium (€7.99) and Metal (€13.99) interesting features that can be very useful for travelers.

Cons

  • Lots of new features
  • Sales analysis
  • Set and control budgets
  • Subscription control
  • Investing in stocks, crypto and commodities
  • Share bills with friends

Cons

  • Lots of features, little overview
  • Customer service often flawed

3. Vivid Money

banking app

Vivid Money is a relatively young banking app (start: 06/2020) that offers its customers many exciting functions.

We consider the integrated budget control particularly helpful if you want to get an overview of your own financial behavior. Vivid Money is also planning to enable its users to invest via the app. Overall, the banking app is reminiscent of a “tidy” Revolut.

Cost and Rating

Vivid focuses on simplicity. You can choose between the Standard (Free) and the Prime (€ 9.90) model.

With the Prime subscription you have additional cashback options and, for example, virtual credit cards for your online shopping. 

Pros

  • Cashback options
  • Sub-accounts (pocket)
  • Shared Pockets
  • Secure metal VISA card
  • Multi-currency accounts

Cons

  • With the standard model, only € 200 / month can be withdrawn free of charge
  • Slow customer support

4. Tomorrow – Impact Banking

banking app

Tomorrow stands for sustainable banking without empty promises. While many financial service providers only approach the topic of sustainability for strategic reasons, the principle is lived at Tomorrow.

Tomorrow uses revenues from the banking business to finance sustainable projects. With Zero, Tomorrow is also offering the first  CO2 -neutral bank account. Anyone who takes a look into the engine room will also see that Tomorrow is planning many banking features.

The opportunity to invest sustainably will be particularly exciting.

Cost and Rating

Tomorrow also relies on a simple model. You can choose between a free account, “Tomorrow Zero” and the joint account “Tomorrow Together”. 

At Tomorrow Zero you pay €15 a month and in return receive unlimited pockets (sub-accounts), free withdrawals and a climate-neutral bank account. The wooden map in the “Zero” model is worth seeing. At Tomorrow Together you pay €5 per month.

Pros

  • Support of sustainable projects
  • Impact board
  • intuitive operation
  • Sub-accounts (pockets)
  • Wooden card in the premium model
  • Digital budget book
  • Joint account

Cons

  • Few features
  • No giro card
  • Zero model relatively expensive at € 15 per month

5. DKB Banking App

banking app

The DKB Banking App offers pretty much everything you need. From classic functions to photo transfers, digital payment approval using biometrics (Face ID, fingerprint) and the management of bank cards. 

You can also use the app to generate a barcode using the “Cash in the shop” function, which you can use to deposit cash into your current account in over 12,000 partner shops (Real, Penny, Rewe etc.) in Germany.

Cost and Rating

Account management and all bank cards are free at the DKB.

Pros

  • Free account
  • Cell phone charging
  • Multi-banking
  • Voice control and photo transfer
  • Securities trading
  • Credit and checking cards

Cons

  • No sub-accounts
  • App seems overloaded
  • Long waiting times in customer support

6. Sparkasse Banking App

banking app

The savings banks also offer their customers a mobile alternative to online banking. Anyone who thinks that only standard features are available here is wrong.

Photo transfers, Kwitt transfers, sales evaluations and multi-banking are just some of the many functions that are integrated into the Sparkassen app. Especially those who have bank accounts with other banks can use the multi-banking function to summarize them in an overview.

Cost and Rating

The app is free for young people and students. For the rest, there is a basic (€0-4), classic (€6-10) or premium model (€8-15). 

At 9.95%, the savings banks demand one of the most expensive overdrafts on the market.

Pros

  • Multi-banking
  • Securities trading
  • Manage Loans
  • Kwitt (send money to friends without a TAN)
  • Photo transfer
  • Spend Analysis
  • “Account alarm clock” function

Cons

  • High overdraft interest
  • Fees for payments in foreign currencies
  • Chargeable credit card and account management

7. ING-DiBa App

banking app

Thanks to multi-banking, a holistic overview of all bank accounts is also made possible here. This is an absolute benefit for private financial planning.

Cost and Rating

Are you under 28 or can you prove that you have received at least €700 per month? Then an account with ING-DiBa is free for you. All others pay a flat rate of €4.90 per month. 

The overdraft rate is relatively low at 6.90%.

Pros

  • intuitive operation
  • Multi-banking
  • Securities trading
  • Saving through a rounding up model
  • Photo transfers
  • Analyze expenses

Cons

  • No visual progression of
    the depot value
  • No management of standing orders possible
  • Advertisements

8. Volks- and Raiffeisenbanken

banking app

The Volksbank and Raiffeisenbanken also offer their customers a banking app. The range of functions is comparable to the Sparkassen app. 

Customers can check their account balance, make transfers, scan invoices for easy payment and send money via smartphone (Kwitt feature). In addition, customers can integrate external accounts via multi-banking.

Cost and Rating

There are also different models here. The online current account (€0 – 5), the basic current account (€4.50 – 10) and the premium current account (€10 – 20).

The overdraft rate varies between 7.90% and 9.97% depending on the region.

Pros

  • Multi-banking
  • Kwitt (send money to friends without a TAN)
  • Photo transfer
  • Retrieving online depots

Cons

  • Account management fees
  • Paid
    credit cards
  • Cash handling is not
    always free

9. Postbank finance assistant

banking app

The Postbank Finance Assistant is Postbank’s mobile banking app. These are available for smartphones and tablets. The aim of the app is to give the user a holistic overview of their financial situation.

Voucher codes for Apple, Zalando, Netflix etc. can even be bought via the app. Despite the many features, the app looks very old-fashioned “purely optically”. If that doesn’t bother you, you’ll be happy in any case.

Cost and Rating

The Postbank financial assistant is basically free of charge. The account models cost between €0 and €10.90 per month.

Pros

  • Multi-banking
  • Buy vouchers in-app
  • Forecast of future account balance
  • Photo and voice transfer

Cons

  • Chargeable credit card and account management
  • High fees for cash withdrawals abroad and payments in foreign currencies
  • Error messages when using the app

10. Sparda app

banking app

The Sparda banks have two apps – the SpardaApp (mobile banking) and the SpardaSecureApp, with which you can approve transactions.

The range of functions is similar to that of other banking apps from large banks.

Cost and Rating

The fees vary by region. A current account at Sparda Bank in Berlin (so-called “DeinKonto“) costs €4.90 per month.

Pros

  • Multi-banking
  • Photo transfer
  • Spend Analysis
  • Good customer service
  • ATM search
  • High security

Cons

  • Access to the mailbox
    and bank statements are missing
  • Few options to withdraw cash
  • Account management fees
    and chargeable credit cards

11. bunq

banking app

The bunq banking app is not as much in the foreground as its rivals N26 or Revolut – but it also offers numerous features. The company comes from the Netherlands and is now active across Europe.

Depending on your life situation, you can choose between three account models: Easy Travel, Easy Money and Easy Green. Sustainability also plays an important role at bunq. As a customer, you can decide how your money should be invested.

Cost and Rating

bunq follows a similar pricing strategy as N26 or Revolut. With EasyTravel (Free), EasyMoney (€7.99) and EasyGreen (€16.99), how much you spend per month is up to you.

Pros

  • Joint account
  • Sub-accounts
  • Set and control savings goals
  • Desktop app
  • Support of sustainable projects
  • Models for different target groups

Cons

  • With EasyTravel € 0.99 per cash withdrawal
  • Customer service for German customers expandable
  • Debit cards only

12. Deutsche Bank

banking app

Deutsche Bank Mobile is the banking app from Deutsche Bank. At first glance, the integrated  CO 2 indicator is exciting. In addition, users can customize the appearance of the app with their own images.

The range of functions is broad. Multi-banking, spending analyzes, photo transfers and integrated securities trading round off the Deutsche Bank mobile app.

Cost and Rating

Depending on your age and needs, you pay between € 0 and € 13.90 per month for your bank account at Deutsche Bank.

Pros

  • Multi banking
  • CO2 indicator
  • Photo transfer
  • Mobile securities trading
  • Good financial overview
  • Individual design
  • Demo version for testing without real data

Cons

  • From €6.90 for non-students, trainees and school children

13. PSD banks

banking app

PSD Banking have also developed a mobile app for smartphones and tablets. With the PSD app, account balances can be summarized thanks to multi-banking.

In addition, the app offers many innovative features such as photo transfers or money transfers without TAN with Kwitt. Like many other banking apps, the PSD app has an integrated “ATM finder”.

Cost and Rating

The monthly fee does not apply to monthly receipt of money or salary. In the other cases you pay €4.90 per month.

Pros

  • Multi-banking
  • Securities trading
  • Credit management
  • Photo transfer
  • Kwitt (send money to friends without a TAN)
  • ATM search

Cons

  • Confusing
  • Looks “old-fashioned”

14. comdirect app

banking app

The comdirect app impresses with a modern user interface and many useful features. For example, you can make transfers via chat or voice control. 

In addition, users can trade securities at any time and summarize all bank accounts in one overview. You can also easily search for ATMs near you. As with many new players on the market, the comdirect app also lacks a multi-banking function.

Cost and Rating

The use of the app and the bank account are free. However, there are a ton of hidden fees associated with transfers, withdrawals, and deposits.

Pros

  • Transfers via chat or voice control
  • Photo transfer
  • Comprehensive financial overview
  • ATM search
  • Manage Loans
  • Securities trading

Cons

  • Hidden fees (e.g. transfers)

15. C24 Banking App

banking app

The C24 app is the banking app of the Check24 comparison portal. It looks very similar to the N26 app, but offers many more functions. Cashback, multi-banking and the fact that all accounts are 110% climate positive complete the offer.

A special feature is the expenditure and contract analysis. Current contracts are identified from the sales data and potential savings are shown.

Cost and Rating

With C24 you can choose between C24 Smart (Free), Plus (€5.90) ​​and Max (€9.90). Your bank account is climate-positive in all subscriptions.

The number of your pockets (sub-accounts), your insurance coverage and your cashback increase depending on the model.

Pros

  • Very clear
  • Lots of features
  • Spend analysis and contract recognition
  • Cashback options
  • Multi-banking
  • Climate positive accounts

Cons

  • Slow
    customer support

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Tim Gumbert
Tim is the go-to guy when it comes to finding all the gems regarding life as an Expat in Germany. His whole motto is discover Germany on your own and without a roadmap, explore new routes while climbing or mountain biking.
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