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App-only bank N26 hits 300,000 customers as startups across Europe race to be the finance app for millennials

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App-only bank N26 has tripled customer numbers in little over a year, announcing on Wednesday that it now has 300,000 users across Europe.

The customer number is up from 100,000 in January 2016. N26 has customers in 17 European countries, including 30,000 in France and 10,000 in both Spain and Ireland.

The startup also announced on Wednesday that it has processed €3 billion (£2.6 billion, $3.1 billion) of transactions, with more than 60% of that total in the last year alone.

Valentin Stalf, the founder and CEO of N26, says in a release announcing the milestone: “January and February 2017 were the strongest months in terms of customer growth in our company’s history. We are on track to grow to a couple of million customers over the next years.”

N26, founded in 2013 and launched in 2015, is an app-only bank. It currently offers a debit card and account that can be controlled from an app. It also has nifty features such as the ability to borrow up to €25,000 straight from your smartphone.

Berlin-based N26 is one of a number of app-only bank or bank-like services that have sprung up across Europe in the last few years. Many of them are competing to become the go-to bank for millennials, the generation glued to their smartphones who find bank branches as old school as sending a fax. N26 highlights in a blog post announcing the milestone that 59% of its customers are aged 18-34.

Like many of its rivals, N26 says its ambition is to “run your entire financial life from your phone,” partnering with the likes of Allianz to offer insurance and TransferWise for sending money internationally.

Britain’s answer to N26, app-only bank Monzo, says in its investment deck that it wants to become a “financial control centre” and partner with other providers for things like loans and currency exchange. Likewise, Fast-growing startup Revolut began as a money exchange card but is fast pivoting to become a hub that gives you “the best possible financial product at the best possible price.” And on Wednesday, app-only bank Starling announced it is integrating TransferWise’s service to let customers do international money transfers.

N26 has a significant war chest to take on any would-be rivals. The 200-person business has raised over $55 million, most recently raising $40 million from investors including Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing last June. N26 has said it plans to launch in Britain later this year.