Holvi Review

holvi
holvi business card
  • Easy to open online
  • All-in-one business account
  • Invoicing
  • Bookkeeping
  • Holvi Lite €6/m
  • Holvi Pro €12/m

Sole traders and small business owners in Europe don’t have a huge choice of digital bank accounts they can enrol in. But there is one, Holvi, that’s been around for more than ten years already. In our Holvi review, we’re going to find out if it’s really worth it. But first, here’s our short verdict:

Holvi is a great choice if you’re in one of the few supported countries. For €12 a month, you’ll have a capable small business account that will make invoicing, bookkeeping, and reporting a child’s play. 

holvi review infographic

About Holvi

Since 2011, Helsinki-based fintech company Holvi has been offering freelancers and small business owners digital online-only accounts. Holvi is licensed for operations across the EU by the Financial Supervisory Authority of Finland (FIN-FSA) and SEPA, providing business accounts with added money management tools. 

The fintech company has three offices in Madrid, Berlin, and, of course, Helsinki. 

Saying that Holvi is a bank isn’t correct because Holvi is licensed as an Authorised Payment Institution. This describes what Holvi is from a regulatory point of view and that it matches the strict requirements of FIN-FSA. 

The differences from the bank are that customers’ funds managed by Holvi are segregated from the company accounts, do not accrue interest, and are not covered by deposit insurance as with a traditional bank.

Why is Holvi so special?

Holvi has been helping sole traders and small businesses for over ten years now and has acquired more than 200,000 customers in the process. 

It makes invoicing and bookkeeping tasks that can be tedious and confusing, simple and straightforward—no more scrambling when the tax season arrives. By using Holvi, you will do your accounting as you go and be ready when the time comes to submit your reports. 

Holvi has two accounts that are easy to understand and offer simple fees without any hidden charges. We recommend the €12 Pro account as it provides the most bang for the buck. 

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Easy to open account
  • Free business card
  • Easy invoicing
  • Straightforward bookkeeping
  • Up to 500 free SEPA transfers per month
  • Reporting and analytics

Cons

  • Not available across Europe or UK
  • Limited accounting software integrations
  • No APIs

Fees

  • Monthly account fee
  • 2% fee to use the card abroad
  • 2%/2.5% to withdraw from ATMs

Who can open a Holvi account?

Holvi is available for sole traders and small businesses in Finland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, and the Netherlands. Your business has to be fully registered and has to have all required documents available at the time of opening the account. 

Holvi also doesn’t support complicated ownership structures, for example, if another one owns your company. 

How to open a Holvi account?

Opening an account with Holvi is a very straightforward process. To become a Holvi customer, simply provide some personal details, including name, address, and business name, and then provide verification for your identity and business. 

Holvi uses video chat for identification. Once the information is fully verified, you’ll receive a unique European bank account number and can start making transactions.

Holvi accounts 

Holvi recently transformed its account system and is now offering two accounts instead of four. There’s no more a free account, and the pricing currently starts at €6 per month. 

Finnish users also have exclusive access to the so-called Zen account, which costs €79 per month. This is basically a real accountant doing your taxes and bookkeeping. We’d like to see this feature expand to other countries as well as it seems to be a cost-effective way to do your complete bookkeeping. 

The top Unlimited Account is now also gone as we presume there weren’t enough takers. It was offering an unlimited number of accounts, cards, transfers, and free ATM withdrawals. As Holvi targets sole traders and small businesses, we can see why it probably wasn’t that popular. 

The new Holvi accounts offer plenty of features at very reasonable prices, and the €12/m account is really a no-brainer. 

Holvi Lite (€6/m)

  • 1 business Mastercard included
  • Free SEPA transfers (up to 500/m)
  • 2.5% ATM fee
  • Receipt scanning & storing
  • Additional users
  • Use card abroad
  • Business insights

Holvi Pro (€12/m)

  • 3 business Mastercards included
  • Free SEPA transfers (up to 500/m)
  • Add non-Holvi transactions to your account
  • Full VAT breakdown
  • Invoice clients
  • Receipt scanning & storing
  • Additional users
  • Use card abroad
  • Business insights
  • 2% ATM fee

Holvi Zen (€79/m)

  • Only for sole traders in Finland
  • All the features of Pro
  • Personal tax support
  • Books done by accountants
  • Preferential customer support
  • VAT declaration and payment on your behalf

Receiving income to Holvi account

Holvi accepts bank-only payments in EUR and GBP, which means you cannot deposit cash, cheques, and other currencies into a Holvi account.

Payments to and from a Holvi account are made using FPS (Faster Payment Service), and BACS is not yet supported. This means direct debits are not yet possible to make through Holvi.

Invoicing

If you still don’t have invoicing feature in an existing software or app you’re using, Holvi makes it easy to create custom invoices directly from the app. You can choose to display English, German, or Finnish language, add your logo, add attachments, and even include a personalised message. You can then proceed to save invoices as PDF files, send them via email or e-invoice. 

Bookkeeping

Holvi is looking to simplify your bookkeeping, making you categorise your income and expenses and payments so it’s easy to stay on top of your cash flow and be ready for tax season.  

You can easily sync invoicing to cash flow & taxes to get a real-time overview of your finances. The Dashboard lets you see all income and expenses in a visual report to have an end of month balance to make future decisions straightforward. 

Export data in XLS or PDF directly to your accountant via Dropbox or connect an existing accounting software you’re already using. Unfortunately, Holvi only supports Briox and Lexoffice, with more integrations on the way. 

Holvi Business MasterCard

Holvi moved away from prepaid cards and is now issuing its own Mastercard debit cards. Your card will be on its way to you once you verify your Holvi account. You get one card for free with the Lite account and three cards with the Pro account. 

You can order additional cards that will cost you €3 per month. Holvi’s card acts as any Mastercard debit card would, and there’s nothing special about it. If you own a debit card, you’ll know how to use it. 

Holvi mobile app

The mobile app works with your Holvi business MasterCard, so it will automatically keep your account up to date. Receipts are easy to scan and save, and documents are simple to share with your accountant or bookkeeper.

You can set limits as to where and when your Holvi account can be used to make payments, and freeze a card payment if necessary, which adds valuable security to your account.

To make it easier to prepare for tax season, Holvi lets you categorise transactions and add simple notes for easier bookkeeping and VAT reporting. 

Savings, loans, and cashback

Holvi doesn’t offer any specific savings account options, but as the overall aim of the service is to help you manage your money better, it can make saving money less complicated by making your business finances more clear.

Holvi doesn’t currently offer any loans or overdrafts as it isn’t a bank and can’t offer these features by law. 

Is Holvi good for travel?

You can use Holvi from anywhere in the world, and the Holvi business MasterCard works wherever Mastercard is accepted. There is a 2% fee to use the card abroad and a small exchange fee for non-Euro transactions outside the EU. 

Holvi also provides a pre-set expense category for travel expenses, which makes it easy to track and claim them.

How is Holvi regulated?

Holvi is authorised by the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA) to operate within the European Economic Area (EEA). It’s not a bank but a Financial Payment Institution. 

Is my money safe with Holvi?

Because Holvi isn’t a bank, your deposit won’t be insured by a government body or central bank. But, that doesn’t mean your money isn’t safe, on the contrary. 

Customers’ deposits are kept in separate accounts in European banks and can’t be used by Holvi for any purpose other than what they were intended for. That means no investing, giving out loans to other people, etc. 

In the case that Holvi goes under, your money would be returned to you by the third-party bank where it was kept.

Who owns Holvi?

Holvi is based in Helsinki, Finland and was founded in 2011 by Kristoffer Lawson, Mikko Teerenhovi, Teemu Hukkanen, Tuomas Toivonen. 

The company was acquired by Keru Fintech Investments Oy (Keru) in February of 2021. Keru, which was established with the sole purpose of acquiring Holvi, has taken Holvi ower from their previous owner – BBVA, the Spanish banking giant. 

The sole owner and founding shareholder of Keru is Tuomas Toivonen, one of Holvi’s founders. As you can see, they have made a conscious decision to bring back ownership under their belt with the added experience of working with BBVA.

Customer reviews

Holvi has a 4.2-star rating out of 5 on Trustpilot, with 75% of 1,200+ reviewers giving it an excellent mark and 13% a bad one. With a score of 4.2 stars, Holvi is worse than Revolut (4.4) but better than N26 (3.9) and bunq (3.1), for example.

Customer service

The best way to contact the company would be through live chat in the app itself. You can alternatively send a message through their website. And that’s basically it. There’s no phone number to call, and that’s something that we dislike. 

But then again, phoning customer support is usually a process that can last up to a couple of hours as you’re stuck on hold. 

Customer support is only available on weekdays between 10 and 16 in Finland and other countries and 9 to 15 in Germany and Austria. 

Holvi alternatives

Revolut 

revolut

Revolut is the best choice for businesses that work with more than one currency and offers an unlimited number of accounts for your business, no matter the size. They have more than 500k businesses under their wing already and are continuing to grow and expand worldwide. 

N26  

n26 bank

N26 offers four tiers of business accounts including a free account for undemanding business users. It has more benefits and features than we could list here and is a serious choice for all aspiring entrepreneurs. 

bunq

bunq review logo

bunq is a challenger bank from Netherlands that was founded in 2012 and is only available in the EEA countries. It’s a real bank and has deposit insurance up to €100k. Bunq’s notable features include a special VAT vault where 20% is automatically set aside in a separate sub-account, ready to be paid as soon as the tax office demands.

The bottom line

Holvi is a good choice for freelancers or small business owners who need to manage a range of clients and online payments throughout each month, and the financial tools provided by Holvi are great and definitely worth paying a monthly fee.