Amsterdam-based challenger bank bunq expands in France; deploys update 17 for mobile applications


In April, the Amsterdam-based challenger bank, bunq, expanded its operations in Germany by launching a local IBAN (International Bank Account Numbers) allowing German members to take full advantage of all the functionality of their bank accounts.

bunq in France

Today, the Dutch fintech company is expanding its activities in France with French IBANs and a new office in Paris. At the same time, the company also announced Update 17, the latest version of its mobile banking app.

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Now bunq customers residing in France can receive a French IBAN. Moreover, they can use their bunq account for all payments, withdrawals or receive a salary without worrying about IBAN discrimination.

All IBANs for euro-denominated bank accounts within the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) should be treated equally and universally accepted, but in practice discriminating against IBANs foreigners in SEPA countries is common.

bunq has a partnership with the initiative, giving users the freedom to easily and securely report IBAN discrimination to authorities.

The company plans to offer local IBANs in other countries based on reports and feedback gathered from members.

Update 17

In addition to the French IBAN, the company also announced the deployment of update 17. bunq Update 17 is now available on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

The latest update contains features and improvements, including:

Easy Bank: It offers the usual features of every bank account, including joint accounts, activities and places to explore popular hotspots, as well as real-time notifications.

Improved Design: With Update 17, the company has optimized the design of the app for a better user experience. For example, paying and requesting money can be done with just one click. Adding sub-accounts and getting new cards just got easier, the company says.

Batch Actions: This helps users to split multiple payments after a night out with friends. They can find out who paid for what.

Friends 2.0: This enhanced feature allows users to find all of their bunq friends in one place. Users can also see all the countries they have visited with their friends (in green) and the countries that their friends liked the most (in blue).

SOS Support: The bunq app now offers SOS support. With this option, users can get immediate assistance when they need it most.

Ali Niknam, CEO and founder of bunq, says: “Our product team, designers, developers and everyone at bunq are always listening and thinking about how to make life easier for our users. There is nothing perfect for us, because our mission is to constantly innovate and bring a product that our users want. With the new Update 17, we now have many new features to help users easily manage their finances and gain more control over their money.

Joined councils

In April, the Dutch challenger bank joined the TARGET Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS) service to offer instant payments across Europe. In particular, bunq is the first challenger bank to do so. TIPS was developed by the European Central Bank.

This cooperation offers bunq users instant payments with participating banks in their home country, the Netherlands, as well as in the rest of Europe. It should be noted that bunq already offers instant payments through the EPC instant payment system (RT1) between participating European banks.

User deposits reached 1 billion euros

Ali Niknam founded bunq in 2012 to radically change the traditional banking industry. According to the company, fintech reached € 1 billion in user deposits in April 2021.

bunq is currently available in 30 European markets: Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, Ireland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, United Kingdom, Norway and Iceland.

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