Germany-based challenger bank N26 has announced that it will close its US operations. According to CNBC:

“N26’s 500,000 American customers will no longer be able to use the app from January 11, 2022. The Berlin fintech, which was recently valued at $ 9 billion in a financing round, said it wanted to focus on its core. “European business.”

An N26 spokesman told The Financial Brand:

“We would have to invest significantly more and prioritize the market over our other global priorities if we want to make the US really successful in the long term.”

The US plans for N26

When N26 launched in the US in July 2019, I had the opportunity to interview Nicolas Kopp, CEO of N26’s US operations.

Me: What is the US banking market deficit that N26 is seeking to address?

Kopp: Americans are angry on several fronts. First of all, the mobile banking experience is bad here. Second, many consumers experience hidden account and overdraft fees. With N26 there are no monthly fees, no minimum balance, no ATM fees and no overdraft fees as there is no overdraft facility.

Me: Which segment (s) of the US market are you targeting?

Kopp: N26 is for people who live life on a mobile phone. There is no focus on age, income, or background. In fact, the average age of our European customers is over 35 years.

Me: What are the main differentiators of the N26 offering?

Kopp: Early access to paychecks – Customers can access their paychecks two days faster. We also offer the best card transaction exchange rates for the travel nomad.