Best Online Bank for Expats [European Online Banks]

When searching for the best online bank for expats, most people are searching for digital banking options in Europe.

With this in mind, we will be focusing on European banking for both European expats and non-resident foreigners.

Of course, there are non-digital banking options available to expats in Europe as well, including banks in Serbia and many other European countries.

But, in this article, we’re going to be focusing on online banking. So, if that’s what you’re specifically looking for, you’re in the right place.

Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.

Table of Contents

  1. Online Banking for Expats 101
  2. Benefits of an Online Bank Account
  3. How to Open Expat Bank Accounts Online
  4. Frequently Asked Questions

Online Banking for Expats 101

Being able to send and receive transfers internationally is critical to supporting the financial activities of an international expat. That said, sending and receiving international transfers can be costly, especially if you are using standard retail banks in foreign markets.

Fortunately, there have been a number of advancements in terms of the available options for both expats and residents, when it comes to sending and receiving international transfers. These advancements include popular international transfer services like Wise, integrated digital banking and payment options, as well as specialized platforms that cater to niche client segments.

In fact, even if you have a high-risk client profile, a high-risk source of income, or live in a high-risk country, there is probably an online bank that will accept you. You just need to know where to look and how to apply.

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Benefits of an Online Bank Account

When it comes to the benefits of an online bank account, one of the most obvious is the cost savings that can come from using online banks over traditional banks. For instance, savings can come in the form of reduced transaction fees, no monthly maintenance fees, and even reduced (or zero) minimum balance requirements.

That said, there are downsides as well, such as the requirement to pay an account opening fee or ongoing compliance fees. Though these fees typically only apply in the event of high-risk clientele who require additional due diligence and will only be able to apply for an expat account at one of the platforms that cater to higher-risk clients.

How to Open Expat Bank Accounts Online

When it comes to openingaccounts with the best online bank for expats, you can expect that the entire account opening process will be done 100% remotely. This process is completed through the banks website or the online bank’s mobile application.

That said, opening an account is not always a straightforward process, even with online banks. In most cases, even the best online bank for expats will have difficultly navigating requirements.

For example, most online banks have restrictions on the specific nationalities and residencies that they accept. And, even when they can accept specific nationalities and residencies, they may still require that the applicant has a local address or a local phone number.

With this in mind, it can be difficult for traditional expats to apply for accounts even with the best online bank for expats. This is because in most cases the expat will not have a local address or phone number to complete the application.

To help you navigate this entire process our team has published a dedicated report called European EMIs for Non-EEA Individuals. This report details the entire process of opening accounts remotely as non-European residents, it includes lists of the specific platforms that you can access as well as the account opening process and client preferences.

European EMIs for Non-EEA Individuals is immediately available after you join GlobalBanks IQ, which you can learn more about below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are two of the most common questions that we receive from people looking to open an account with the best online bank for expats in Europe. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

Which Jurisdictions Offer the Best Bank Accounts Online for Expats?

The jurisdictions that offer the best bank accounts online for expats are typically those with the strongest online banking infrastructure in place. In Europe, these countries include the United Kingdom, Lithuania, Malta, and several other jurisdictions. In each of these countries, there are several online banking platforms that expats can choose from. That said, the specific account opening requirements in each will vary, especially for non-resident expats.

How Difficult Is It to Open a Bank Account Online as an Expat?

When opening a bank account online as an expat, you will face several difficulties. These include being able to provide the necessary local contact information, including address and telephone number. Additionally, certain platforms may restrict the IP Addresses that they allow to apply to their platforms. With this in mind, if you are outside of the country, you may have limited online banking options to choose from.

Ready to Explore Your Options?

If you would like assistance navigating your banking options at home or abroad, we can help.

You can access GlobalBanks IQ, our international banking intelligence platform, in just a few clicks. Unlock our bank database, individual bank profiles, account opening strategies and reports, banker scripts, and more.

But, if you want a 100% personalized account opening service that taps into our team’s expertise and provides direct banker introductions, you can get started with GlobalBanks Insider.

Of course, if you have any questions, please contact us directly.

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