Fidor Bank is introducing a new fee model. What’s behind it?

Many banks only offer the free giro card under certain conditions.

Et is part of growing up: at some point difficult decisions have to be made. And so one can also say that the Fidor Bank, founded in 2009, is slowly growing up and outgrowing the status of a fintech. Fidor has been offering an account for business and private customers since 2010.

It should offer the standards such as credit cards and investments in precious metals, savings bonds or foreign currencies and at the same time be more innovative: Investments in digital currencies are possible directly, even with topics such as social lending or social trading, she was always good at it. Here, the swarm – i.e. many Internet users – is relied on, who then make supposedly smarter decisions than the individual, for example when it comes to borrowing money or managing the depot.

All of this was free up until now, and that is about to change. The bank is introducing a base price of 5 euros for the current account. Customers can be exempted from this as soon as they carry out 10 transactions on their account. This includes incoming and outgoing transfers, cash withdrawals or payments by credit card or other mobile payment methods such as Apple Pay. Speaking of which: the Fidor Smartcard, a merger of credit card and giro card, will soon be priced at 2 euros per month.

Where does the change of heart come from?

Officially, Fidor board member Stefan Spannagl says: “We want to offer contemporary professional services and expand them further. At the same time, we want to reward our loyal and active customers. With the new bonus model, we achieve exactly that. ”So it sounds through between the lines: It’s about the lovely money. Because, of course, offering an account also costs money.

With the new pricing, Fidor wants to kill two birds with one stone: On the one hand, the bank would like to say goodbye to those who have not been listed. Fintechs in particular are struggling with the fact that many customers register to try out the product for free – and then move on to try the next one. On the other hand, less users should be persuaded to use the Fidor account more often. Whether this will work out or Fidor will lose many paying customers is at least uncertain.

Other fintechs also keep experimenting with the right pricing. N26 has a free basic account. But with N26 You and N26 Metal also two with partly steep prices. N26 You, which offers free withdrawals all over the world or an insurance package from Allianz, costs just under 10 euros a month. N26 Metal even costs 17 euros a month in order to be able to use the stylish metal card to pay.