Initially thought of as a simple fast money transfer application, Lydia quickly managed to develop its offer to become a full-fledged banking application. Is this an offer comparable to the best online banks or other neobanks on the market?
Features of Lydia
|💶 Opening bonus||None|
|📃 Income requirement||None|
|💳 Bank card||VISA|
|💸 Account maintenance fees||None|
|📱App||Android / iOS|
|💲Mobile payment||Apple Pay / Google Pay / Samsung Pay|
Lydia in a nutshell
“Give me your number and I’ll give you a little Lydia», it is with this fad that the company has made a name for itself. The application launched in 2013 by two French entrepreneurs was intended to facilitate the exchange of money between individuals. It has gradually developed by adding more and more banking services until it offers a paid 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 credit deposits. However, Lydia is a successful alternative since it now has more than 3.5 million users in Europe with an average of 2,000 new daily users.
What are Lydia’s prices?
Lydia is of course accessible free of charge, it is also the basis of its offer which, let us remember, is not a bank like the others. It still has two paying cards, the advantages of which concern above all the amount of authorized transactions as well as the insurance issued by the VISA organization (Lydia Black offer only). All bank details issued by Lydia are French.
|Lydia||Lydia Blue||Lydia Black|
|Price||Free||€4.90 /month (1 month free)||€7.90 /month|
|Type of debit||Systematic authorization card||Systematic authorization card||Systematic authorization card|
|Payment abroad||Free and unlimited (depending on the ceiling)||Free and unlimited (depending on the ceiling)||Free and unlimited (depending on the ceiling)|
|Withdrawals abroad||1.5% of the amount||Free and unlimited (depending on the ceiling)||Free and unlimited (depending on the ceiling)|
|Payment cap||1000 € /month (20 operations max)||5000 € /month||€50,000 /month|
|Withdrawal limit||1.5% of the amount||3 withdrawals and €250/month max (1.5% beyond)||5 withdrawals and 1000 € / month max (1.5% beyond)|
It should be noted that the creation of cards for Blue and Black accounts is free, but that a sum of 5 euros will be requested for the edition of a physical card for paid accounts. For online purchases, we appreciate the presence of virtual cards that can be edited at will and used to pay for a single purchase on the Internet. Receiving the physical card can take 5-15 days.
How to fund your account?
You can fund your Lydia balance freely via any external account you have registered, by making a request to one of your contacts via their phone number, or by making an express loan.
The money is then deposited on the Lydia balance or on the card account you have requested. Note that it is not possible for a third party to deposit money directly into an external account, so you will have to make the transfer yourself.
How to open a Lydia account?
Everything happens from the Lydia application available on Android and iOS. To have access to the application’s basic services, there is no need to provide any information other than your telephone number, surname, first name and email. Regarding the creation of an account, you will have to provide a photo of both sides of your identity card, and that’s it! The operation only takes a few seconds.
Initial deposit and overdraft management
Since Lydia is not a real bank, there is no need to make an initial deposit, whether with a free or paid account. You don’t even have to link the card to your regular bank account to start using the service, although it will be necessary for the money transfer.
Inevitably, no possibility of having a Lydia debtor account and therefore an impossibility of overdraft.
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 content with it. However, it may happen that Lydia makes occasional partnerships with other banks, but this involves opening an account in the said bank and accompanying it with a chargeable bank card.
Non-regular referral bonuses
The referral bonus at Lydia does not seem as automatic as at other competitors. Special operations concerning this aspect are deployed on an ad hoc basis. Don’t hesitate to visit our Good Plan section regularly to be the first to know.
Lydia insurance and services
To benefit from the insurance of the VISA organization, you must necessarily go through the Lydia Black offer which is the only one to benefit from it. It includes protections for online purchases and against fraud. But it is especially for travel that this is useful since the offer includes dedicated insurance with repatriation and winter sports insurance in the event of an accident.
A little shy Cashback
By launching its paid offer, Lydia immediately bet on the interest of the cashback system to stand out. However, this part is not highlighted as much as the rest, the menu giving the reimbursement rates on compatible brands being hidden in the “Discover” part of the application. The compatible shops are also very few compared to what is done at N26, Revolut or Boursorama Banque. To see if this offer will be better developed in the future.
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.
From the application, it is not so easy to have access to Lydia support. It’s all the more unfortunate that the virtual support put forward is quite effective in its responses. Lydia still has a complete help center that answers most questions a user may have, especially given the comprehensiveness of the offer. On the other hand, we could not have access to an online chat from the application, which can prove to be very disabling when traveling abroad.
Like a certain Vivid Money, Lydia quickly understood the added value of a trading system within its application ecosystem. If it is possible to invest in company shares or in precious metals, this 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 your solvency and your investment capacity. It is also an opportunity to realize that Lydia is a partner of BitPanda which integrates its API directly into the Lydia application.
Once the trading account has been created, you have access to all the values recorded on the platform with the possibility of immediate purchase from a Lydia or other account balance.
A Super-App taking shape
If you’ve ever used Lydia from time to time as a simple quick money sharing app, you’ll be happy to see that it finally has everything it takes to be a banking app of choice to manage your money. It will however take some time to adapt to neophytes to get used to it, in particular to understand the organization of the menus. It would however be nitpicking as the general presentation is clean and the functionalists numerous. Lydia’s home screen gives access to all accounts at a glance and it is possible to transfer money with a simple swipe.
So of course there is no need to subscribe to a Lydia account to be able to transfer money, a simple link with another current account does the trick, 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 for placing ephemeral orders on the Internet in complete safety. But that’s not all since the last great novelty, we talked about it 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 via Lydia’s various partners.
Finally, the Lydia application naturally supports security functions such as blocking and unblocking accounts and especially fingerprint unlocking for compatible smartphones.
Too bad Lydia didn’t see fit to deport her application to a web platform, everything happens only on mobile.