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Even more competition for Ireland’s main banks

One things is certain, the area of company finance is likely to be a major battleground in the months ahead.

Keeping an eye on costs and on top of company finances will be more important than ever in a post Covid – 19 lockdown world.

Even before March’s economic closure in Ireland, the country’s pillar banks were getting heat because of the shape of their customer service, or lack thereof.

With the recent invitation to digital lenders to become involved in the distribution of state backed loans, it’s clear that the pillar banks face a much changed future working environment.

Then there’s the issue of digital banks like Revolut and N26 looking to claim market share in Ireland, by luring away traditional banking customers.

That battle just intensified.

Berlin headquartered N26 which has more than 5 million customers in 25 markets, has launched a new business account aimed at freelancers and the self-employed including Ireland.

The company employs more than 1.500 employees across 5 office locations: Berlin, New York Barcelona, Vienna and São Paulo, has a full European banking license, state-of-the-art technology and no branch network.

Now it’s launched it’s Business Metal offering for €16.90 a month to customers in Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.

N26 said it had reached over 100,000 customers in Ireland by December and it has more than five million customers in it’s 25 markets.

The new account offers 0.5% cashback on all purchases, is backed by Mastercard and comes with a metal debit card, which should increase the life of the normally plastic payment card.

It also comes with a range of insurance features and curated partner benefits.

Among the benefits the bank is citing is ‘the removal the hassle of paperwork, balances and spreadsheets’.

‘The account offers automatic categorization of spending through the Statistics feature so that customers can keep track of all their business expenses in one place. Account holders can also log in via the Web App on desktop to download statements for easier tax returns, in a more seamless and intuitive way.’ says N26.

In addition Business Metal customers can make payments anywhere in the world with zero foreign transaction fees and with Mastercard’s best exchange rate guaranteed. The account also comes with free unlimited international ATM withdrawals and instant push notifications on all account transactions for the perfect bank-without-borders experience.

“Freelancers and the self-employed are a growing, and increasingly important, part of the global workforce. Yet they are often overlooked and neglected by traditional banks.” Commented Sarunas Legeckas, General Manager Greater Europe. “N26 is investing in more tailored solutions for this market, an important first step being when we opened our Vienna Tech Hub in October 2019, a new technology and innovation center to lead the development of our Business offering. We’re delighted to now announce our new N26 Business Metal account, enriching our existing Business products and innovating the sector with exclusive cashback as well as a host of other key account benefits.”

We welcome anything that improves the lot of small business owners👏👍