THERE ARE PLENTY of new digital banks that claim to “change banking as you know it” around at the moment, but the two most popular banking apps in Ireland are Revolut and N26.
I was intrigued by N26, but I don’t know anyone in real life who uses that app, so I turned to social media to see what people were saying about it. From what I saw, a lot of N26′s Facebook and Instagram posts are flooded with complaints in the comments about various issues, and all of these comments seem to go ignored by the company. Here’s a little sample of what their Facebook page currently looks like:
That doesn’t really inspire too much confidence.
In contrast, I’ve met plenty of Irish people who use Revolut and speak highly of it, so I decided to give that a go instead, even though it costs €6 to order your debit card (whereas, it’s free with N26).
There aren’t many huge differences between N26 and Revolut, although one thing that some people might consider to be a drawback is the fact that Revolut is only available on smartphones, while N26 can be used on both your phone and PC. You can see the differences between their ATM withdrawal fees here.
After a few weeks of using the app, I have no complaints about Revolut.
It has a feature called ‘Vaults’ where you can set up a vault (or savings account, basically) for a holiday, rainy day fund, etc. You can either lodge a specific amount of money in a vault every week or month, or alternatively, there’s a setting which saves all of your spare change from day-to-day transactions to a vault of your choice.
There’s also a spare change accelerator which you can turn on and multiply the spare change x 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10 if you’d like to build up that change a little bit faster. This is a nice feature for people who are bad at saving, because it doesn’t even feel like you’re saving and the change builds up surprisingly quickly.
I asked some of my co-workers who use Revolut what they like about the app, and Nicky shared a pretty useful tip: you can use your vault to save up your spare change for the last week of the month when you’re usually broke.
The trick is to completely forget about the vault. You forget you have like €80 in there.
Eoin Lúc also agreed that the vault feature is pretty handy.
It’s like finding money in the arse pocket of your jeans after you’ve forgotten about it.
Aside from saving, it’s also very convenient for splitting bills.
You’ll never have to worry about waiting for a Circle transfer to come through or copying and pasting a mate’s IBAN again. You can send or request money to anybody in your phone-book who is using the app. If you go out for dinner with friends, all you have to do is input the amount you want to split and Revolut will send them all a request for an equal amount of the bill.
Another thing I have found particularly useful about Revolut is the monthly budget feature. You set how much you want to spend a month, and each day it’ll tell you how much you’re allowed to spend to stay within that budget. Every time you buy something (even if you use Contactless), you get a notification immediately telling you how much of your daily budget you have got left to spend.
Eoin Lúc pointed out that this is actually a good way to reign yourself in when you’re out having a few drinks.
Even if you’re KO’d on a night out, you’ll know when you should call it a day.
If you’re really bad at saving, Revolut (or N26, if you decide to try that) could be game-changing for you. Even putting your spending money for the month onto your Revolut card instead of paying for stuff with your wages is a pretty good habit to get into.
Because I have yet to encounter any person I know in real life using N26, I’m still really curious about how it compares to Revolut. If you’ve tried it and had more success than the people spamming their Facebook and Instagram comments because they can’t get through to Customer Support, drop a comment below and tell us how that went.
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