our opinion on the banking application in 2023

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Written By tsboi team

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Initially intended as a simple fast money transfer app, Lydia quickly developed her offering into a full-fledged banking app. Is this an offer comparable to that of the best online banks or other neobanks on the market?

features of lydia

💶 Opening Bonus None
📃 Income requirement None
💳 bank card VISA
💰Initial deposit None
💸 Account maintenance fees None
🤝Sponsorship Yeah
📱Application Android/iOS
💲Mobile payment Apple Pay/Google Pay/Samsung Pay
🔐3D safe OUI

Lydia in a nutshell

«Give me your number and I’ll give you some Lydia», it is with this fashion that the company has made a name for itself. The app launched in 2013 by two French businessmen aimed to facilitate the exchange of money between individuals. It has evolved by adding more and more banking services until offering a payment offer from 2018 with bank cards and specific services.

But where Lydia stands out from other online banks and traditional neobanks is that it is not a “real” bank, because it does not benefit from any specific license or the possibility of transforming deposits into credit. However, Lydia is a successful alternative as it already has more than 3.5 million users in Europe with an average of 2,000 new daily users.

Lydian prices

Lydia is of course accessible free of charge, it is also the basis of its offer which, let’s remember, is not a bank like the others. You still have two payment cards, the advantages of which concern above all the number of authorized transactions, as well as the insurance issued by the VISA organization (only offer from Lydia Black). All bank details issued by Lydia are French.

Lidia lydia blue lydia black
price Free €4.90 /month (1 month free) €7.90 /month
initial deposit None None None
debit type systematic authorization card systematic authorization card systematic authorization card
Entry conditions None None None
payment abroad Free and unlimited (depending on the roof) Free and unlimited (depending on the roof) Free and unlimited (depending on the roof)
Withdrawals abroad 1.5% of the amount Free and unlimited (depending on the roof) Free and unlimited (depending on the roof)
pay cap €1000 /month (20 operations max) €5000 /month €50,000 /month
Withdrawal Limit 1.5% of the amount 3 withdrawals and €250/month maximum (1.5% more) 5 withdrawals and €1000 / month maximum (1.5% beyond)
closing account Free Free Free

It should be noted that the creation of cards for Blue and Black accounts is free, but an amount of 5 euros will be requested for the edition of a physical card for payment accounts. For online purchases, we appreciate the presence of virtual cards that can be edited at will and are used to pay for a single purchase on the Internet. Receiving the physical card can take between 5 and 15 days.

How to deposit funds into your account?

You can deposit your Lydia balance freely through any external account you have registered, requesting it from one of your contacts through their phone number or making an express loan.

The money is then deposited into Lydia’s balance or the card account you have requested. Please note that it is not possible for a third party to deposit money directly into an external account, so you will need to make the transfer yourself.

An express account opening

Everything happens from the Lydia app available on Android and iOS. To have access to the basic services of the application, it is not necessary to provide any information other than your phone number, last name, first name and email. Regarding the creation of an account, you will need to provide a photo of both sides of your identity document, and voila! The operation only takes a few seconds.

Management of initial deposits and overdrafts

Since Lydia is not a real bank, there is no need to make an initial deposit, either with a free or paid account. You don’t even have to link the card to your usual bank account to start using the service, although it will be necessary for money transfers.

Inevitably, there is no possibility of having a Lydia debit account and therefore an overdraft impossibility.

welcome bonuses

Once again, since Lydia is not a banking institution, its acquisition strategy can hardly be compatible with welcome bonuses. Opening an account is free and you have to be happy with it. However, it may happen that Lydia makes occasional alliances with other banks, but this implies opening an account at said bank and accompanying it with a bank card with charge.

Non-regular referral bonuses

The referral bonus on Lydia doesn’t seem as automatic as on other competitors. Special operations related to this aspect are deployed ad hoc. Do not hesitate to regularly visit our Good Plan section to be the first to find out.

Lydia insurance and services

To benefit from the VISA organization insurance, you must necessarily go through the Lydia Black offer which is the only one to benefit from it. Includes protections for online purchases and against fraud. But it is especially for trips that this is useful as the offer includes dedicated insurance with repatriation and winter sports insurance in the event of an accident.

A little shy Cashback

Launching her paid offer, Lydia immediately bet on the interest of the cashback system to stand out. However, this part does not stand out as much as the rest, the menu that provides the reimbursement rates on supported brands is hidden in the “Discover” part of the application. Supported stores are also very few compared to what is done at N26, Revolut or Boursorama Banque. To see if this offer will develop better in the future.

Please note that once participation in Lydia Cashback has been validated, the account is automatically credited with the sum of all discounts on the 20th of each month.

Customer service

From the application it is not so easy to access Lydia’s support. It is even more unfortunate that the proposed virtual support is quite effective in its responses. Lydia still has a full help center that answers most questions a user might have, especially given the breadth of the offering. On the other hand, we could not have access to an online chat from the application, which can be very disabling when traveling abroad.

And the cryptocurrency?

Like Vivid Money, Lydia quickly understood the added value of a trading system within its ecosystem of applications. If it is possible to invest in company shares or precious metals, it is also the case with cryptocurrencies. Everything happens from the Lydia application in a dedicated menu soberly called “Catalog”. It must be said that the system is particularly simplified and above all very attractive. All you have to do is open a trading account by providing some personal information. This is a way for Lydia to ensure its solvency and investment capacity. It is also an opportunity to realize that Lydia is a BitPanda partner that integrates their API directly into the Lydia application.

Once the trading account has been created, you have access to all securities registered on the platform with the possibility of immediate purchase from a Lydia balance or another account.

A Super-App taking shape

If you’ve ever used Lydia from time to time as a simple and fast money sharing app, you’ll be happy to see that it finally has what it takes to be a go-to banking app for managing your money. However, it will take some time for neophytes to get used to it, in particular to understand the organization of the menus. However, I would be picky as the overall presentation is clean and the functionalists numerous. Lydia’s home screen gives you access to all your accounts at a glance, and you can transfer money with a swipe of your finger.

So, of course, it is not necessary to subscribe to a Lydia account to be able to transfer money, a simple link with another current account works, the vast majority of banking establishments available in France being compatible.

It is in the “Discover” tab that we find most of the advanced features of the Lydia platform. We are thinking in particular of the generation of very practical virtual cards to carry out ephemeral orders over the Internet with total security. But that’s not all, since the latest big news, which we talked about above, allows each Lydia user to open an investment account. Finally, other products are appearing, such as the possibility of obtaining interest-bearing savings or making consumer or real estate loans through the different Lydia partners.

Finally, the Lydia app naturally supports security features such as account lock and unlock and especially fingerprint unlock for compatible smartphones.

Too bad Lydia didn’t see fit to port her app to a web platform, everything happens only on mobile.

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