Tomorrow Bank review: are green credentials enough to sign you up?
As there are more and more options for the English-speaking crowd in Germany, doing a Tomorrow Bank review really needs to answer this question:
Is being a bank with a sustainable conscience enough to win you over, especially comparing it with other banking options in Germany?
This review of Tomorrow Bank will try to help you make a decision about this & all the rest.
Tomorrow Bank review: TL;DR
While we cover all aspects of the service in this long post, here is a list of the main take-aways for now. Read onto the different sections for more details:
- Tomorrow Bank is safe & convenient for people that need a current account and a payment card to get started.
- Sign-up is quick, but not all nationalities qualify because of passport verification issues.
- Each payment with the card funds projects contributing to climate protection. Tomorrow Bank has legitimate credentials in that regard.
- Service & customer support available in German or English.
- There are no free account option anymore.
- Cheapest tier (Now) is poor on features, prefer Change or Zero.
- Zero account comes with unlimited ATM withdrawals, regardless of location & currency & a Visa card made of wood. Offset your carbon footprint too.
- Be aware: No credit card option. Transfers outside the Eurozone not possible. It’s a current account & that’s it, no other banking features for now. Mobile-only comes with its drawbacks sometimes.
- Most Tomorrow Bank users recommend it, but they complain about unreliable or slow customer support in difficult situations.
- A great option for a start, but probably best to combine with a more full-fledged account somewhere else, after a while.
What’s different about Tomorrow Bank?
Year on year, banks invest billions in problematic industries such as fossil fuels and the arms trade – using their often unwitting customers’ money to fund damaging corporations without their explicit consent. But with climate change nowadays being extremely prevalent within the public consciousness, a growing movement is pushing for financial institutions to be held to account and divest funds to support sustainable and social projects.
This is exactly what Tomorrow Bank aims to achieve. The Hamburg-based Fintech company directs a substantial portion of its profits towards renewable energy, protecting the rain forests and clean water initiatives. And while there is a small handful of green banks in Germany offering comparable incentives, Tomorrow is the only one whose services are solely accessible via app.
In September 2020, Tomorrow became the first European mobile bank to become a certified B Corp, joining the ranks of Bank Australia, Banque Raiffeisen, and many more. The prestigious B Corp certification indicates that a for-profit company uses a portion of its revenue to invest in social projects with a strong focus on sustainability. Although achieving B Corp status in itself cannot guarantee that a company will really uphold its promise to protect people and the environment, it does mean that Tomorrow is beholden to thorough and continuous assessment.
They must provide evidence of their environmental impact, as well as demonstrate a safe and fair corporate structure.
Tomorrow Bank’s main features
Since Tomorrow Bank is not actually a licensed bank, but a Fintech company supported by Solaris AG, it provides a somewhat limited portfolio of financial products. If you’re looking for a bank that can provide large loans, overdrafts and investment options, this isn’t the one for you. However, with its sleek interface and round-the-clock access, Tomorrow Bank makes a convenient alternative to an established bank if you’re after a simple free current account.
Here are some of the bank’s main features at a glance:
- Easy registration: All digital. No Meldebescheinigung (residence certificate) or SCHUFA required.
- Funnel part of transactions fees into sustainable projects every time you use the debit card (more info on that later).
- Seamless integration of payment platforms – Tomorrow Bank customers can link their account to Google Pay, Apple Pay or Paypal at their own convenience.
- Categorize spending automatically: the Insights feature, which allows you to manage your spending by grouping payments into categories
- Easily create savings goal: Pockets are sub-accounts where you can store savings.
- Instant push notifications with every transaction – This allows users to keep an eye on their spending with ease.
- Free Visa card – Customers receive a free debit card within 3-5 business days of opening an account.
- Free ATM withdrawals – Enjoy up to 3 free cash withdrawals from any ATM every month – there’s also the possibility to upgrade to unlimited free withdrawals too.
- Available in English and German – Non-German speakers can breathe a sigh of relief, as setting up and managing your account can all be done in English.
The features listed above are available free of charge. A premium account exists with more benefits.
Tomorrow Zero review: Premium account benefits
For 15€/month, the premium Tomorrow Zero account has the following extras:
- Unlimited free cash withdrawals.
- Unlimited Pockets.
- Unlimited ATM withdrawals abroad, also in foreign currencies.
- Offset your carbon footprint (11,3t CO₂, the average monthly German footprint) by funding climate protection projects such as supporting small farmers in Peru, bringing clean drinking water to Uganda, and planting Biogas in Vietnam.
- Your debit card comes in wood (yes, wood).
Tomorrow Bank review – What are the weaknesses?
It’s a bit bare bones for now
While Tomorrow Bank’s simplicity is one of its greatest strengths, it also creates a more limited banking experience. Since the company does not have a banking license (instead using the digital infrastructure of solarisBank), its stripped-back range of functions offers customers little beyond the basics.
This means no credit cards, interest rates, overdrafts and loans remain a pipe dream. Also, since Tomorrow Bank is still in its relative infancy (the app only launched in November 2018), it hasn’t yet managed to make a comparable impact – although that’s not to say that they won’t!
Transferring abroad is very limited
Tomorrow Bank only supports transfers to account abroad with IBAN numbers (within the EU). It does not support transfer to non EU countries. Also, unlike N26 for example, it does integrate with a transferring platform to save on fees.
Other sustainable options exists
With such a narrow focus, it’s quite difficult to compare Tomorrow Bank to traditional eco-banks such as GLS Bank, as it lacks the comprehensive lending and investment options associated with established banks. Even DKB, one of the best online banks puts some of its money to work on sustainable projects in Germany.
Naturally, Tomorrow Bank is the only bank that combines English-speaking service, sustainability and a free current account into one.
Limited customer service in emergencies
Another potential issue is the loss of access to your account if your phone is lost or stolen. Customer support is only available during standard office hours, complicating matters further. Tomorrow have outlined the steps customers need to take in this eventuality, but it seems it takes some time for access to accounts to be reinstated, particularly if you have changed your phone number.
No credit card available
Although credit cards are not that common in Germany, it’s a nice option to have when travelling the world, especially for car rentals. Tomorrow Bank only provides a VISA debit card.
How much does Tomorrow Bank cost?
Now account costs:
- Monthly fee: 3€/month
- 2€ per ATM withdrawals per month
- No shared account possible
Change account costs:
- Monthly fee: 7€/month
- 5 free ATM withdrawals per month, 2€ each after that
Tomorrow Zero costs:
- Monthly fee: 15€/month
- Unlimited ATM withdrawls
- Withdrawing money for free abroad, regardless of the currency.
- Co2 footprint is compensated
How do I open a Tomorrow Bank account?
No Anmeldung or Schufa required! This is how you open a Tomorrow Bank account:
- Make sure you are eligible: Tomorrow Bank is only available to residents of some countries in Europe. The verification process does also not support all citizenships. More on that later.
- Download the Tomorrow Bank app on your device. Android 5 or iOS 11.0 required.
- Provide basic user information: you’ll need to provide an email address and password, and enter some personal information, including your age, birth place, nationality, and somewhat unusually, gender and job.
- Pick the account you want: Tomorrow standard, or Tomorrow Zero
- Verify your identity: This is happening within the app. You will be connected with a verification agent that will ask you to hold the passport to the camera at different angles.
- Start using the account: You account is available to use right away.
- Receive your Visa card at home: It takes a few days to receive your card at home. You will then need to setup your PIN code.
Tomorrow Bank has created a streamlined sign up process that could see you with a fully functioning bank account within 10 minutes.
Things you should know before opening a Tomorrow bank account
How does Tomorrow Bank finances sustainable projects?
A Tomorrow bank review would not be complete without talking about its unique selling proposition: everytime you pay with your debit card, you Tomorrow Bank channels some of that money to projects fighting climate justice.
Many people don’t know that every time they use their credit or debit card, a small portion of the payment goes directly to their bank. This is known as an interchange fee. Of this fee (0.2% of the total amount paid), 0.07% covers the processing of the transaction, while the rest goes directly towards the bank’s profits and investments.
Tomorrow funnels the leftover 0.13% into sustainable projects around the globe, which means that every single transaction you make directly contributes to these projects.
The company also uses capital from customer deposits to provide ‘micro-loans’ for people in developing nations, as well as supporting Green Bonds, which provide renewable energy and housing solutions closer to home. Tomorrow is very transparent about the projects it supports, and you can find out more here.
How are climate protection projects selected?
This part of the process is fully controlled by Tomorrow Bank and it is not subject to a 3rd party intervention. With internal evaluation criteria they answer the following questions:
- Does it fit into one of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations? Only projects falling in at least one of those goals can be candidates for funding.
- How does this project do on the ESG scale (Ecological, social, ethical footprint)? Is this project reducing carbon emissions, paying well & improve life of communities?
- How transparent is this organisation? Where does the money go? How much of it used for overhead instead of front-line work?
All projects are evaluated against this framework. Only the best performing ones will receive funding.
How secure is Tomorrow Bank?
Reviewing Tomorrow Bank is not only looking at green credentials. It’s also about security. When using an online bank, you want to know that your money is safe from scammers and opportunists. To give their customers peace of mind, Tomorrow Bank has implemented a range of security features to help users protect their digital wallet. These include:
- Deposit protection – Using the infrastructure and banking license of solarisBank, customers can rest easy knowing that their money is protected up to €100,000.
- Data encryption – Everything you do with your Tomorrow Bank account – from deposits to transfers – is encrypted, ensuring that your data is kept confidential.
- Penetration tests – Tomorrow Bank regularly carries out penetration tests on their own software in order to detect vulnerabilities and eliminate any underlying bugs.
- Card security – If you lose your debit card, you can block your card or change your pin instantly via the app.
- App security – All online payments and transfers require a two-step authentication process. To complete the transaction, users are directed to generate a TAN on their device.
- Password protection – Users must enter a password to access their Tomorrow accounts, keeping your money safe from prying eyes.
Are there any restrictions to be aware of?
At present, Tomorrow Bank is only available to residents in a small handful of EU countries. The bank uses a partner, IDnow to verify identification, which also does not support all passports. To find out if your ID will be accepted, please refer to this list of eligible passports. There is also a minimum age requirement of 18.
As a data-intensive app, it requires a modern operating system beginning with Android 5 or iOS 11.0, meaning a fairly new smartphone is needed just to be able to access your account.
Customers are also limited with how much they can spend using their Tomorrow account. There is a daily limit of €5,000 for online payments and a €3,000 limit in physical stores. There is also a monthly spending cap of €10,000. This is important to bear in mind if you’re a high earner or big spender.
What do Tomorrow bank customers say?
Now you have a solid idea of Tomorrow Bank’s capabilities and functions, but how is the user experience itself? To answer that question, we’ve taken an overview of three of the biggest review platforms so you don’t have to. With over 5,500 reviews and ratings across Trustpilot, the Google Play Store and the App Store, Tomorrow Bank comes out with an impressive average rating of 4.8 stars, but does this really reflect how their customers feel?
We look at Tomorrow Bank reviews across the board.
Overall, the 149 Trustpilot respondees awarded Tomorrow Bank an average of 4.1 stars. The vast majority (79%) offered positive reviews, with nearly all the four and five star-ratings applauding the concept and the app’s usability.
There were, however, some valid complaints. While some customers marked the bank down because they experienced disruptive glitches, others complained of long waiting times for their transactions, to which customer service was reportedly very slow to respond.
Google Play Store
Over at the Google Play store, we saw almost 3000 ratings with an average overall rating of 4.8 stars. The vast majority of these reviews seem to find the app quick and simple, and many note that they found the sign up process efficient, with friendly and reliable customer service.
However, some users complained that they had trouble registering an account thanks to the limits of their verification partner, IDnow. Others lamented the app’s limited range of functions and major glitches that ruined their overall banking experience.
The App Store provides the greatest amount of ratings and reviews, giving us a clear picture of just how popular this app is among its users. Of the thousands of people leaving feedback on the app store, the majority had positive things to say about Tomorrow’s transparency, its stylish and sleek design and the sustainable projects they support.
Some were aggrieved by very long wait times for their payments to be registered and the limited access to customer service. Other Apple users were annoyed by the fact that the bank was initially slow to offer Apple Pay, despite their reassurances that it is indeed coming.
Tomorrow Bank review conclusion: who should consider this?
Fundamentally, Tomorrow stands for transparency, responsibility and sustainability, making it one of just a few banks providing tangible solutions to the climate crisis. This makes it a solid banking option for ethically conscious consumers looking for smart ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Moreover, thanks to its efficient registration process, customers can sign up to Tomorrow Bank within minutes, enabling you to get started in Germany without the hassle of first acquiring paperwork. In addition, its streamline, pared-down banking service also makes it a great option for newcomers to Germany who just need a secure and reliable current account to get going.
As the bank is still in the development stages, it does not offer a very comprehensive range of functions, so if you need a joint account or any kind of loan or investment option, you would be better off looking at an institution that holds its own banking license. However, the overall feedback from its customers are extremely positive, suggesting that while the bank’s portfolio is still very limited, the services they do provide are generally quite reliable.
I hope this review of Tomorrow Bank for Germany helped you to reach a decision. Feel free to ask questions in the comments.
Tomorrow Bank review Germany – FAQ
Tomorrow Bank does not require any SCHUFA score or Anmeldung in Germany. The only limitation is the acceptance of your passport by their identity verification partner.
Tomorrow Bank is a FinTech company built upon the infrastructure by the bank Solaris, which is a very legitimate bank. It offers the same deposit guarantees for your account (up to 100 000€) and the same level of security. Solaris has a banking license, Tomorrow Bank doesn’t. Also it does not compromise on security, it compromises on the amount of features available.
Customer support is friendly & reactive in most cases but it can be sometimes slower to respond to more serious issues.
No, only debit cards.
Tomorrow Bank is available to residents of the following countries: Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Cyprus.