N26 quiere ser el banco digital líder en Epaña

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CLAVES:

  • Tras operar en España de forma temporal, la startup bancaria alemana N26 ha vuelto a nuestro país con el objetivo de hacerse con una buena parte del mercado.
  • La entidad, que ya cuenta con licencia bancaria, planea conseguir más de un millón de clientes a nivel europeo, para el año 2019.
  • N26 quiere convertirse en la primera entidad financiera digital de los españoles.
  • El banco alemán cree que la sucursal bancaria del futuro va a estar únicamente en los smartphones.

N26, conocido anteriormente como Number 26, es un nuevo banco 100% online con base en Alemania y que ya está operando en prácticamente toda la eurozona. Su llegada a España en diciembre de 2015 generó mucha expectación, ya que se trata de un nuevo competidor bancario en el que muchos expertos habían puesto la vista como el encargado de revolucionar definitivamente la experiencia de cliente en el sector.

Por aquella fecha, el nuevo banco móvil ya triunfaba en Alemania y Austria, con más de 80.000 clientes, y había anunciado la ampliación de su campo de actuación hasta seis nuevos países entre los que se encontraba España junto a Francia, Grecia, Irlanda, Italia y Eslovaquia.

Fuente: N26
Fuente: N26

La startup llegó con la promesa de desarrollar un nuevo modelo de banca basado completamente en el funcionamiento a través de smartphones, de tal forma que los usuarios puedan gestionar sus compras, hacer transferencias o sacar dinero en efectivo en cajeros de forma muy sencilla, empleando únicamente el teléfono móvil.

Asociada con Mastercard, la empresa ofrece la posibilidad de tener acceso a una red de sistemas financieros que evitan tener que pagar comisiones por los movimientos realizados. Su objetivo así es el de eliminar las barreras de entrada para crear una nueva cuenta con un sistema fácil y sencillo. Pero, sobre todo, a través de su expansión, quieren acabar con las malas experiencias de los usuarios y los precios abusivos que maneja la banca más tradicional.

Fuente: N26
Fuente: N26

Problemas tras su lanzamiento

En abril de 2016, N26 recibe una inversión de 10 millones de euros en una ronda serie A liderada por Valar Ventures, un fondo de inversión liderado por uno de los co-fundadores de PayPal, Peter Thiel.

Pero pasados casi dos años de aquello, podemos afirmar ahora que todo el revuelo que se organizó ha quedado, por el momento, en un simple hype y no hemos llegado todavía a ver una disrupción real, al menos en el mercado español.

Una serie de problemas experimentados durante el año 2016 probablemente hicieron que el banco frenase duramente lo que parecía apuntar a un ascenso meteórico. Por ejemplo, en junio de 2016 Number 26 notificaba a varios de sus clientes que sus cuentas habían sido eliminadas. La razón que alegaba entonces la compañía era que habían detectado cómo algunos de sus clientes estaban llevando a cabo demasiadas extracciones de dinero en cajeros, de forma continuada, lo que les hacía sospechar que podrían estar incurriendo en un delito de lavado de dinero. Todo aquello estuvo relacionado con la entrada en vigor, en julio de ese mismo año, de una nueva ley europea contra el blanqueo de dinero y por la defensa del consumidor, denominada Fair Use Policy 2016, que justamente llegó al mes siguiente de los cierres de cuentas en el banco.

Por otro lado, tras obtener su propia licencia para operar como banco, al llevar a cabo la transferencia de su base de cliente a su propio sistema bancario, varios consumidores se quejaron en las redes sociales de problemas que habían sufrido durante el proceso.

En diciembre de ese mismo año, Vincent Haupert, un investigador de la facultad de informática en la Universidad de Erlangen-Nurember demostró que existían vulnerabilidades de seguridad en el acceso a las cuentas de usuario de N26, lo cual terminó por ensombrecer del todo el desarrollo que estaba experimentando la nueva compañía.

Vuelven a por el sector bancario español

Pero lejos de conformarse con pasar a formar parte del grupo de prometedoras empresas fallidas, todo parece apuntar a que N26 sigue empeñada en su proyecto de revolucionar el sector bancario internacional. Pasados dos años de su lanzamiento inicial, y tras operar de forma temporal en España, esta misma semana se ha hecho público que la entidad alemana planea regresar a nuestro país con el objetivo de captar más de un millón de usuarios hasta el año 2019.

Durante los próximos meses, N26 quiere conseguir más de 100.000 clientes, especialmente entre los nativos digitales. Tal y como ha asegurado Alexander Weber, director de mercados internacionales, el banco busca aprovechar el auge del smartphone en España, que cuenta con el índice de penetración móvil más alto de la Unión Europea.

A grandes rasgos, actualmente N26 permite a sus usuarios crear una cuenta corriente desde el mismo smartphone, con tarjeta de débito gratuita, así como enviar dinero a través del móvil sin coste alguno o realizar transferencias internacionales a través de TransferWise. De cara al futuro, la compañía prevé brindar, además, servicios de inversión o solicitud de préstamos junto con otras startup fintech.

El banco define su propuesta como un modelo de plataforma centralizada de servicios financieros “estilo Amazon” y afirman que su objetivo sigue siendo el crecer a nivel europeo hasta doblar su actual número de clientes y llegar a superar un millón en 2019.

Alexander Weber, que ha participado en el reciente evento de innovación South Summit, celebrado hace unos días en Madrid, ha explicado en una entrevista que “la sucursal bancaria del futuro estará en el móvil y, por ello, quieren adelantarse con una apuesta por “la tecnología y el diseño” que los lleve a ser la principal entidad financiera digital de los españoles.

La base de su modelo de negocio, según explica Weber, es la “sencillez” y la usabilidad, enfocada a ofrecer “la mejor experiencia posible” al cliente de banca móvil. Asimismo, destaca que la entidad impulsa una plataforma “fintech”, o de empresas de finanzas tecnológicas, en la que se integran diferentes servicios para el usuario a través de una misma aplicación para “cubrir todas sus necesidades financieras”.

Weber califica su propuesta de “disruptiva” ya que, a diferencia de los bancos tradicionales, ellos son “puramente digitales” y nacen adaptados a la era de Internet, “acompañando” el cambio en los hábitos de la sociedad “desde el ‘offline’ al ‘online’ y ahora al móvil”, una transformación que se ha dado en todos los sectores.

Como Facebook en las redes sociales, Amazon en la distribución o Spotify en el mundo de la música, N26 quiere ser el primero en aprovechar este cambio en el sector de la banca paneuropea. De hecho, Weber considera que los gigantes tecnológicos de internet, como Google, Amazon, Facebook y Apple (conocidos como GAFA por su acrónimo) no van a ser rivales en el sector financiero, como apuntan algunos expertos, sino que pueden “colaborar”.

Con esta filosofía, N26 pretende continuar su expansión por Europa y centrarse también en el mundo de los pagos a través del móvil, que presenta “muchas oportunidades” con la próxima entrada en vigor de la directiva europea PSD2.

De cara al futuro, Weber destaca asimismo la importancia del “blockchain” o cadena de bloques, tecnología de almacenamiento y transmisión de datos que “será el futuro” de la infraestructura de la banca móvil, así como los avances en biometría para la seguridad, el uso de “big data” o análisis de datos y la inteligencia artificial en las finanzas.

Más de 500.000 en activo

La última comunicación oficial de la compañía, publicada en agosto de 2017, apunta a que la entidad ya cuenta con más de 500.000 clientes a nivel internacional y crece a un ritmo de 1.500 clientes diarios.

Durante los últimos meses antes de esta publicación, la entidad habría logrado conseguir 200.000 nuevos clientes gracias especialmente a una mejora en la experiencia de cliente, apoyada por buenas recomendaciones de los usuarios actuales.

Por otro lado, también ha tenido que ver el hecho de que N26 haya aumentado la oferta de servicios financieros alrededor de su cuenta bancaria, en estos últimos meses, continuando su estrategia de ofrecer los mejores productos del mercado en una sola aplicación móvil.

Desde abril, N26 ofrece una nueva cuenta para autónomos y freelancers; en mayo, el banco móvil lanzó sus servicios de ahorro en colaboración con Raisin y desde junio está disponible N26 Insurance que ofrece la gestión de seguros de la mano de la empresa alemana Clark.

La compañía también ha hecho importantes esfuerzos para ofrecer una imagen de seguridad, con la finalidad de eliminar las posibles dudas que pudieran existir entre los usuarios debido a los problemas experimentados anteriormente:

El banco móvil continúa así su política de innovación con la expansión de su producto de crédito al añadir los servicios de la empresa Auxmoney a su plataforma.

Según afirman en su comunicado de prensa, N26 tiene como objetivo expandir todos sus productos y servicios a todos los países donde está presente. De esta manera, N26 será el primer banco en implementar Mastercard SecureCode dentro de la aplicación. Este sistema de confirmación del pago dota de aún más seguridad a los pagos en Internet. El banco ofrecerá, además, Apple Pay a sus clientes de España, Italia y Francia a final de año.

HIPERTEXTUAL. La banca móvil alemana de NUMBER26 llega a España. 03 de diciembre de 2015 [consultado 16-10-2017]. Disponible en: https://hipertextual.com/2015/12/number26-espana

KIPPEL01. El banco digital N26 regresa a España para captar más de un millón de clientes en 2019. 09 de octubre de 2017 [consultado 16-10-2017]. Disponible en: https://www.kippel01.com/empresa/el-banco-digital-n26-regresa-a-espana-para-captar-mas-de-un-millon-de-clientes-en-2019.html

EXPANSIÓN. El banco N26 vuelve a España y quiere llegar a un millón de clientes en 2019. 08 de octubre de 2017 [consultado 16-10-2017]. Disponible en: http://www.expansion.com/economia-digital/2017/10/08/59da72b4468aebd3038b4593.html

TECHCRUNCH. N26, Revolut and Monzo founders to talk about starting a bank from scratch at Disrupt Berlin. 03 de octubre de 2017 [consultado 16-10-2017]. Disponible en: https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/03/n26-revolut-and-monzo-founders-to-talk-about-starting-a-bank-from-scratch-at-techcrunch-disrupt-berlin/

TICBEAT. El banco móvil N26 vuelve a España y planea tener un millón de clientes en 2019. 09 de octubre de 2017 [consultado 16-10-2017]. Disponible en: http://www.ticbeat.com/empresa-b2b/el-banco-movil-n26-vuelve-a-espana-y-planea-tener-un-millon-de-clientes-en-2019/

N26. N26 supera los 500.000 clientes. 21 de agosto de 2017 [consultado 16-10-2017]. Disponible en: https://n26.com/content/uploads/2017/08/n26-supera-los-500.000-clientes-press-release-es-170817-16.45.pdf

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