N26 launches its investment product in Germany

A few days after announcing its banking license, N26 (formerly known as Number26) is partnering with fellow German fintech startup vaamo to add a new service to its banking offering with its first investment product for German customers. vaamo manages different portfolios of risky and not-so-risky assets thanks to robo-advisors so that you don’t have to micro-manage these portfolios.

Starting today, German customers can invest some of their money using the N26 app in a new N26 Invest section. You don’t have to talk to any financial advisor, you don’t have to visit a bank branch.

“With N26 invest we hope to set a new standard in investing on your mobile phone. Our customers can invest with just a few taps and no paperwork, right on their phones,” N26 co-founder and CEO Valentin Stalf told me. “We offer them full transparency regarding fees and a great user experience with graphics that let you track the performance of the investment in real time.”

In many ways, vaamo works a lot like Betterment or Wealthfront in the U.S. Coincidentally, both Betterment and N26 took part in our Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch Disrupt. These kind of companies are providing a hands-off, digital-first approach to investment.

The hardest part is signing up. In the N26 app, you can swipe right from your current account to go into the savings & investment screen. While the company is still working on savings accounts, this is where you can sign up to vaamo and upload some money.

You can then choose between three different plans ranging from low returns and low risk to high return potential and greater risk. After setting up a one-time deposit, you can also set up monthly deposits. All of this will sound familiar if you’ve dealt with investment funds. And then you’re good to go. vaamo portfolios are based on five different funds that hold 15,000 securities altogether.

N26 promises transparency when it comes to fees. And this is important as we’re talking about multi-year investment plans — compounded fees can add up. You can add or withdraw money at any time.

Up next, N26 plans to add real-time credit, savings and insurance products. While it’s interesting to see N26 partnering with vaamo, TransferWise and Barzahlen, I can’t wait to see what the company will come up with on its own. Now that N26 has a banking license, it can do more than facilitate transactions with third-party services.

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