Digital disruptor banks will have as many customers with accounts in Ireland as the main banks in just five years, according to N26.
The German online bank has seen double-digit growth in the Irish market driven on by the impact of Covid-19 and the abandonment of cash by many consumers, said Sarunas Legeckas, N26's head in Ireland.
"I am confident that in five years there are going to be as many digital bank accounts as there are accounts in the incumbent banks," said Legeckas.
N26 itself has set a target of having one-third of those digital Irish bank accounts, he said.
Earlier this month competitor Revolut said it had passed one million users in Ireland. N26 passed the 100,000 customer mark here last December. The digital bank had since seen "a jump" here with double-digit growth, said Legeckas.
"We are well past the hundred thousand mark and we see very good growth in Ireland and we're very, very excited. We have very steady growth in Ireland. It is a very important market for us."
The bank, which is regulated in Germany and has five million customers across Europe and the US, launched here at the end of 2017 with a very low-key marketing campaign, so much of the growth to date has been organic, said Legeckas.
N26 recently carried out a survey that showed Irish people are the second-most stressed about their finances in Europe. The results suggested that distrust of local banks stemming back to the crisis in 2008 still remained an issue, he said.
"Instead of local banks improving their IT infrastructure they are putting that burden on their customers and charging fees but at the same time not offering Google Pay or Apple Pay, which is actually a must in today's world, right," he said.
"So Ireland is definitely one of these markets where there is this big organic growth because we see people actually actively looking for alternative accounts. This is where I think digital banks come in. I think it would be fair to say that the penetration of digital banks in Ireland is one of the biggest in the world, and certainly in Europe," he said.