Founded in 2016, Iban Wallet is a European platform for investing in loans with a projected annual return of up to 6%. Iban Wallet is a limited company registered in Latvia under the legal name New Generation Market SIA but is headquartered in Berlin with offices in other European cities.
Iban Wallet is considered medium to high risk because it does not hold an activity licence, does not provide investors access to loan contracts, stores uninvested client funds in an EMI (rather than a bank), and does not disclose its owners and management team on its website. Moreover, loan originators are not revealed, meaning investors do not know where their money goes.
Negatives aside, Iban attracts users worldwide by offering daily paid out interest rates, fast account opening, multiple account funding methods, and an easy-to-use platform with automatic investments.
Iban Wallet review
Launched in 2016, Iban Wallet is an investment platform for automated investments into loans, offering between 2.5 – 6% annual returns. Highlights include zero fees, fast account opening, and hands-off investing. Positive aspects aside, Iban Wallet lacks transparency and fails to disclose fundamental aspects of its business to users.
What is Iban Wallet?
Iban Wallet is a European startup that offers fixed-term investment accounts for their users. The company has four different account types with returns ranging from 2.5% to 6% per year depending on the product.
As such, their investment products share several similarities with traditional savings accounts, but they’re actually not the same.
As opposed to regular savings accounts, Iban Wallet investment accounts invest in a variety of automated crowdlending products that offer individual terms and guarantees for investors.
Interest rates are paid daily, and you can withdraw and deposit money at any point.
Projected fixed returns in combination with immediate liquidity makes Iban Wallet an interesting choice for investors interested in reaping immediate rewards.
Iban Wallet Main Features
|Country of operation||Multiple|
|Average projected net profitability||2.5% – 6% (scalable)|
|Medium term (asset holding period)||Immediate availability (depending on plan)|
|Minimum investment||1 Euro|
|Deposits and withdrawals||Credit card and bank transfer|
Investing as an Alternative to Bank Savings Accounts
Traditional bank loans are notoriously difficult to qualify for. The process involves mounds of paperwork, an extensive check of your credit history, and an interview process with the bank itself. If even one hair on your head stands out of place, there’s a good chance your loan application will be rejected.
Iban puts a spin to the lending/investing process. While it can still be challenging to obtain a loan (only borrowers with impeccable credit are approved), practically anyone can join the platform as an investor. Simply invest your money in the lending app, and Iban will take over from there.
That said, Iban is not a savings account, and there are risks associated with allowing the service to invest and access your money. However, these risks are no greater or no less than what you should come to expect when engaging in any investment venture.
It’s your job as the investor to gauge the risk level of the investment and determine whether or not you wish to stake your money.
How Does Iban Wallet work?
If you made if this far in the Iban Wallet review, you might be wondering: How does the platform actually work? It’s actually more complicated than it appears on the surface. Iban is an online investment platform that unites borrowers and lenders.
Borrowers apply for loans by staking collateral and their personal credit through Loan Originators, who then select the best loans and present these to Iban to be approved.
In turn, Iban Wallet users i.e. lenders can invest in a variety of asset-backed investment products with a range of terms and interest rates. Once the investment has been made, users can sit back and collect a steady cash flow.
Iban doesn’t allow users to invest in individual loans. Instead, they aggregate numerous loans together and make investments on your behalf. While this takes away a measure of control from the investor, it also allows them to passively earn interest daily without putting in much effort.
Iban Wallet Investment Accounts Comparison
Iban has four investment account types that allow investors to earn interest daily. Each account tier offers different interest rates, with the lowest projected rate at 2.5% and the highest at 6%.
Let’s take a closer look at each account type:
The lowest tier option is the Iban account. This is the account you should sign up for if you’re feeling the app out for the first time. Because the minimum investment is only €1, the risk is practically nonexistent.
The Iban account offers a projected fixed interest rate of 2.5% AER and is the only account that doesn’t require a set term. You can deposit or pull out your money at any point, hassle-free. Once you’ve become comfortable with the app, you can invest more money to start seeing more significant returns.
One, Market and Dynamic
With the next three accounts, you will get increasingly higher returns, as you can see from the above screenshot.
This comes with a tradeoff, however, as you will have to agree to a minimum term of 1, 3, or 5 years respectively.
While this may seem like a negative when compared to the Iban account, you can greatly increase the potential of growing your money over a longer period of time, especially if you’re investing a more substantial sum.
Let’s say you sign up for the Dynamic account and invest $50,000 for five years. At a 6% return, you’ll be seeing a significant profit by the end of the term.
The dynamic investment account, however, is for investors who have access to significant capital. The average Iban user likely won’t have that type of cash on hand and thus would be better served by either the Iban One account or the Iban Market account.
These accounts require a €1,000 minimum investment, but provide great options for investors who are looking for moderate returns.
Iban Wallet Review: Pros and cons
As with any investment platform, there are pros and cons for you to consider before depositing your money. For this Iban Wallet review, we want to mention the most important ones to help make up your mind:
- Can start investing with €1 with no term limit
- Offers significant investor protection (we’ll get more into that later)
- Simple to use app
- Alternative to savings account
- Daily interest
- Fast liquidity
- Much lower rates than competitors like Mintos, Swaper, and PeerBerry
- Unsecured deposits stored with an electronic money institution.
- Severe lack of transparency
The main selling point of Iban Wallet are the daily paid interest rates that outperform rates offered by most savings accounts.
The chief drawback, however, is the reported lack of customer service and plain lack of transparency.
Several users have left negative reviews of Iban Wallet on TrustPilot, which shows the company still have a lot to prove and work on.
One of the key questions is this: Why is Iban using an electronic money institution instead of brick-and-mortar bank with proper insurance schemes?
Equally important: In the fine prints of their Terms & Conditions it is stated that the company is registered in Latvia under the name New Generation Market SIA under the ownership of an anonymous French individual.
That is to say, why place the legal entity in the Baltics, which has no P2P regulation, rather than in Western Europe, where platforms are closely audited and licensed?
On top of that, the website fails to mention its key people and office locations. Who is the owner, CEO, etc? What are the actual locations of this company?
Why are financial statements for the previous years not publicly available?
Also, there’s no indication of what kind of loans you’ll be investing with, as the loan originators remain unknown.
These problematic user impressions coupled with the comparatively low interest rates and transparency issues should be kept in mind before proceeding with their services.
Personally, I prefer to wait and see whether they improve and become more competitive before making any deposits. For now, I prefer more profitable alternatives that offer similar safety measures for my money, such as Mintos or Swaper.
Now that you understand how Iban Wallet works and what it has to offer, let’s jump into the website and app and walk through the sign-up process step-by-step.
The app installation is straightforward, which will immediately lead you to the sign-up process. After that point, you’ll have free reign over the various features of the app.
However, as most people will be signing up through the website, that’s the option we’ll be covering in this tutorial.
Let’s jump in.
How to Verify Your Iban Wallet Account
While it may sound time intensive, the verification phase is fast and painless.
First, head over to the Iban Wallet website and hit “Signup” in the top right corner.
You will be required to enter your email address like so:
To finish the verification process, enter the rest of the prompted information.
After receiving a confirmation text, you’ll finish the verification process by entering your personal details, additional account protection information, and eventually, you’ll upload your ID information for identity verification.
Make sure you have ID or residence card of the countries Iban already has launched, otherwise your registration will probably be rejected. They are on the website.
Who can invest on Iban Wallet?
Iban Wallet currently accepts investors following countries:
- All EU countries, except the United Kingdom
- United States of America
How to Top Up Your Iban Wallet Account
Once you’re inside the app or logged in to the website, you’ll want to top off your investment account to start investing. To add funds to your Iban account, you can use either your bank account, debit card, or credit card.
To top up your account, click “Accounts” in the top bar menu.
Scroll down and hit the dark-blue button “Top up my account”.
Select the desired amount and choose either “Debit/Credit card” or “Bank Transfer”.
? Bonus tips: Use Revolut to make free Euro-transfers to any investment platform, including Iban.
Accounts are currently offered in EUR, USD or MXN. You can’t can’t have a
multi-currency account, but you’re free to choose between these three currencies.
Making transfers in euros is generally easy and will be free in most instances for countries within the SEPA region (Single Euro Payments Area).
The same can’t be said for individuals using a different type of currency. You’ll still be able to transfer funds using the same methods, but your bank may require additional fees. Check with your bank before making a transfer to avoid any surprises.
How to Invest on Iban Wallet
After your account has been set up, you can deposit as much money as you would like to invest, a process that can be either completed via the mobile app or on the website itself.
After depositing money into your account, you’ll gain access to a range of savings products, many of which that will require a minimal investment of at least €1,000.
You can invest in as many products as you want. Just be aware that each has its own terms and conditions.
How to Withdraw Money From Iban Wallet
Withdrawing from the app or website is as easy as investing. Navigate to the “Withdrawal” button in your Iban Account transaction page. From this point, you should see an option to enter the amount you wish to withdraw and send it to your linked bank account.
Is Iban Wallet Safe & Legit?
Iban Wallet provides numerous layers of security, but as always you’re encouraged to proceed with caution and do your own due diligence before investing.
Your invested funds will be deposited in the Spanish Electronic Money Institution (EMI) Pecunia Cards authorized by the Banco de España and regulated by the European Central Bank. This is only one safeguard amongst many, however.
Iban protects investor funds through the following measures:
Asset-backed loans offer investors an asset-secured investment, making it safer and more enticing to invest money. All loan investments on Iban Wallet allow investors to receive fixed returns over a set investment term, with the capital being returned at the end of the investment period with interest that’s paid daily, secured by additional financial assets.
All loan originators have a Buyback Guarantee on all loans to protect investors. The Buyback Guarantee ensures that if it takes more than 90 days for an investor to be paid back, the Buyback Guarantee will repurchase the loan for the nominal value of the principal and the accrued interest until the date of repurchase.
Safeguard Trust is a provision capital account with reserve funds, which provides another layer of protection for investors if a Loan Originator fails to administer an investment. Safeguard Trust is funded by a proportional monthly balance that’s set to the side.
Overall, should a loan or Loan Originator default for any reason, investors have three layers of protection in the form of a Buyback Guarantee, asset-backed loans, and a Safeguard Trust provision capital account.
Alternatives to Iban Wallet With Better Returns
Iban Wallet has many appealing features. However, its below industry average interest rates make other lending platforms a more appealing option for some.
Investing in personal loans online is a growing trend that’s growing in popularity with each passing year.
Let’s take a look at three alternative platforms that offer similar services to Iban Wallet.
- Mintos: Mintos is a leading marketplace for investing in loans. The platform allows you to start earning passive income and connect with thousands of opportunities around the globe. As of this time, the platform reports 215,186 investors from 69 countries, 70 lending companies from 31 countries, over €3 billion invested, and more than 20 million loans funded.
- Swaper – Swaper makes investing easy. This platform allows you to invest in consumer loans. To date, more than 88 million loans have been funded, and more than 1.5 million in interest has been paid to investors. On average, investors see returns of 12-14% interest.
If you’re looking for more alternatives to Iban Wallet, you definitely need to check out our list of the best peer-to-peer lending platforms in Europe.
Concluding the Iban Wallet Review: Is it Worth Your Time and Money?
Iban’s biggest strength is the fact that its investment accounts combine daily interest payments with immediate liquidity. That means if you have immediate needs, they can be taken care of right now and not some time distant time in the future.
Though Iban has low-interest rates compared to its competitors, this balances out with the immediacy of the service. As such, this is an excellent option for those who want fast access to cash on short notice.
That said, some competitors offer more than double the interest rates of Iban’s top tier investment account. If you’re interested in growing your money over the long-term, Iban Wallet may not be the best option for you.
However, you’re still highly encouraged to give the service a try to make your own determination.