The 23 Best EU Digital Banks

digital banks europe

Becoming a customer at a digital bank means that you get to be one of the first to try the latest innovations in fintech, as digital banks are continually testing and rolling out new products, features, and services.

By researching dozens of mobile challenger banks from the EU and from around the world, we have come up with a list of the best digital-only banks in the EEA/EU. We’ll start with the best banks for each category and move on to see what are the best digital banks in general.  

With so much competition in the European banking market, the customer is finally the king. We can pick and choose what bank account suits us the most. 

When choosing a mobile bank, always make sure to check websites such as TrustPilot to see what the existing users are saying and what are the pain points of these banking apps. 

Most of the following challenger banks also have a standalone review on our website that you can check out as well.

Digital Banks in Europe

  • Best free personal account – Wise
  • Best paid personal account – Revolut Metal
  • Best digital bank for metal cards – N26
  • Best digital bank for cashback – Curve
  • Best digital bank for investing – Lunar
  • Best digital bank for international money transfers – Wise
  • Best digital bank for bitcoin and crypto – Revolut
  • Best digital bank for freelancers – Holvi
  • More digital banks in Europe

Best free personal account – Wise

wise

Wise has the best free personal account in our opinion. You only have to pay a one-time-fee of €7 for a physical card. You can, of course, use the account without the card by using the app. 

Their personal account gets you 10 local account details, including the USD, EUR, and GBP, that anyone can use to pay you just like they’d pay a local. You can use your card in more than 200 countries and withdraw money from 2.3 million ATMs. And use Google Pay and Apple Pay in supported countries. 

But Wise is best known for their currency exchange and money transfers. They help you avoid sneaky fees and unfair foreign transaction fees.

>> Go to Wise review

revolut

Revolut’s top account offers everything and then some. The price of the Metal Account is €13.99 in Eurozone and the express delivery is free.

You can get your sleek Revolut Metal Card in 5 different colors that look amazing, although a bit understated. They are, of course, contactless and the whole Metal account offers a wide range of features.

You get access to 5 Junior accounts, cashback on metal card payments, up to £10,000/y purchase protection, ticket protection, returns protection, unlimited disposable virtual cards, and up to 0.65% AER daily interest rate on savings.

That Revolut is a jack of all trades is apparent in that it’s also offering crypto, stock, and precious metal trading.

Other Revolut Metal benefits include the ability to spend in over 150 currencies at the interbank exchange rate, exchange in 28+ fiat currencies with no monthly limit, fee-free ATM withdrawals up to €800 per month, overseas medical insurance and delayed baggage and flight insurance, free lounge passes for your and up to 3 friends if your flight is delayed for 1 hour plus, and many more.

>> Go to Revolut review

Best digital bank for metal cards – N26

n26 bank

You can get the N26 metal card if you sign up for the premium account with a €16.90 membership per month. There are three colors: Charcoal Black, Slate Grey, and Quartz Rose. Same as Revolut, N26 metal cards have this understated design that will appeal to a broader audience. 

The N26 Premium account is a financial powerhouse as well and is offering many features and perks. 

Frequent travelers will enjoy free and unlimited payments in any currency, wherever they are, medical travel insurance, up to €10,000 compensation in case of trip cancelation or curtailment, up to €500 for flight delays over 4 hours, and up to €500 for baggage delays over 12 hours, and up to €2,000 if it goes missing. 

Their “lifestyle” insurances also cover winter sports accidents, car rentals, phone insurance, and shared vehicle coverage.

>> Go to N26 review or see the best metal cards from around the world.

Best digital bank for cashback – Curve

curve banking

Curve has a rewards program that they simply call Curve Cash. The program consists of a variety of cashback programs, and you can benefit from more than one program at once:

  • Welcome Cashback, where you earn 1% cashback on almost every purchase made with your Curve Card for at least your first 30 days 
  • Curve Cash program where you pick 3-6 favorites from a list of over 100 popular retailers, including Amazon, Deliveroo, TfL, and more. Each purchase will give you a 1% cashback.

All you need to do to earn points is spend at one of the selected retailers. Once you’ve collected points, you can use them to make purchases anywhere you’d normally use your Curve Card, except at ATMs.

>> Go to Curve review

Best digital bank for investing – Lunar

lunar bank

Lunar has cut the investment experience to the bone and made it easier than ever to buy stocks. There are no hidden fees, and you’ll pay 19kr per trade. Invest in your favorite brands from all over the world across different sectors. You’ll find them easily in the Lunar app by searching for the company’s name or by finding their logo.

There are no minimum deposits or minimum trade amounts, and they’ll even issue you an automatic tax report. 

Best digital bank for international money transfers – Wise

wise

Since its launch in London in 2011, Wise has focused on making international money transfers cheaper and more transparent.

Wise simply uses the best exchange rate that you can get and adds a minimal fee on top. This contrasts with big banks and other money transfer services like PayPal that add a massive markup to their supposedly “free” transfers. 

Wise use their technology to link their bank accounts all over the world. In practice, that means that you’re not sending money directly to the recipient but to a Wise account that then transfers money in local currency to its destination. 

The sender saves on fees, and the recipient gets the money for free in their local currency.

>> Go to Wise review

Best digital bank for Bitcoin and crypto investing – Revolut

revolut

Revolut is an excellent tool for beginners to get exposure to the all-encompassing BTC and other, to the general public, lesser-known cryptos. Revolut marks up a flat fee of 1.5% or 2.5% (depending on your account) to account for trading volatility for buying and selling cryptocurrencies. So, although it’s easy to invest in crypto via Revolut, it might cost you quite a penny.

The following cryptocurrencies are available on the platform: 

  • Bitcoin (BTC), 
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH), 
  • Ethereum (ETH), 
  • Litecoin (LTC), 
  • Ripple (XRP), 
  • Stellar (XLM), 
  • EOS (EOS), 
  • OMG Network (OMG), 
  • 0x (ZRX), and 
  • Tezos (XTZ).

Besides cryptocurrencies, you can buy stocks and commodities in some countries with the same ease. This can make you a full-fledged investor in a couple of minutes. 

>> Go to Revolut review

Best digital bank for freelancers – Holvi

holvi

Holvi is indeed a modern digital-only banking account for freelancers and entrepreneurs. Holvi offers a complete set of business management tools in one powerful current account.

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

>> Go to Holvi review

Best digital banks in Europe

Anytime

anytime bank

About Anytime:

  • Founded: 2012
  • Founders: Dupouy Damien (CEO), Thierry Peyre
  • Parent bank: Orange Bank – SA
  • Personal accounts and business accounts

Features:

  • A quick and convenient application process
  • Online payments in France and abroad
  • A wide range of account types to suit different business needs
  • Accept cheques
  • As many MasterCards as necessary, for both personal and business use
  • Budget management tools
  • No fees on international transactions
  • Partnership with SumUp makes it easy for merchants to accept card payments anywhere

Anytime is a neobank based in Belgium and France that offers banking services to individuals, professionals, companies, and associations. Their service is designed to replace your current bank account or be used alongside holding licenses with the ACPR (Bank of France) and the FCA (Bank of England).

Anytime offers one of the most sophisticated and elaborate business banking services currently available from neobanks. There is a wide range of features designed to make the management of finances much more accessible.

>> Go to anytime review

Bnext

bnext

About Bnext:

  • Founded: 2018
  • Founders: Guillermo Vicandi (CEO), Juan Antonio Rullán
  • Personal accounts

Features:

  • Easy to open online
  • Available in Spain
  • Trade BTC and ETC
  • More than 400k users
  • Financial marketplace (loans, insurance, mortgage…)
  • No hidden fees

The biggest independent mobile bank in Spain – Bnext, has more than 400,000 customers. It offers a free Standard account and an €8.90/m Premium account. 

Apart from bank accounts, this Spanish fintech also has an extensive marketplace where you can find financial products from partner companies that offer mortgages, loans, insurance, savings and investments, and more. 

Bnext also ventures into crypto trading, where it offers its customers access to Bitcoin and Ethereum. 

Bunq

bunq review logo

About bunq:

  • Founded: 2012
  • Founder: Ali Niknam (CEO)
  • Personal and business accounts 

Features:

  • Easy to open online
  • Monthly fees from €7.99-€19.99
  • Great for traveling
  • Available only in EEA
  • Plants trees for every €100 you spend
  • Three different cards to choose from

bunq is a hip challenger bank trying to attract young people from all over Europe with its green message and travel features. It did some great things in this regard, but some security and app issues still weigh it down.

Bunq expanded to all markets in the European Union, Norway, and Iceland in 2019. Users of its Green Card can contribute to reforestation with Bunq planting a tree for every €100 spent.

Bunq bank mobile-first accounts can be opened in minutes online. Unlike many other banks, you don’t have to be based in the Netherlands to open an account with bunq, meaning that all residents of the European Economic Area can sign up for bunq.

>> Go to bunq review

Curve

curve banking

About Curve:

  • Founded: 2015
  • Founders: Anna Mostyn-Williams, Shachar Bialick (CEO), Tom Foster-Carter
  • Personal accounts 

Features

  • Combine Your Cards in One
  • Curve Customer Protection up to 100,000€
  • Up to €600/m Fee-free foreign ATM withdrawals
  • 1% Cashback
  • Worldwide Travel Insurance
  • Rental car collision waiver insurance

The Curve app is available in 31 countries in Europe – from the United Kingdom to Spain and Sweden.

Curve Blue is free with no monthly subscription. You will enjoy benefits such as 1 percent cash back from retailers such as Amazon and Netflix for the first 90 days of your plan. Curve Black costs €9.99 per month and offers 1 percent cash back from three selected retailers for an unlimited time.

Curve Metal will set you back €14.99 to get you a metal card, mobile phone insurance, rental car collision waiver insurance, worldwide airport LoungeKey access, and fee-free foreign ATM withdrawals up to €600/m.

>> Go to Curve review

Ferratum

ferratum bank

About Ferratum:

  • Founded: 2005
  • Founders: Jorma Jokela
  • Personal accounts 

Features:

  • Easy to open online
  • Multi-currency accounts
  • App with tools to help hit savings target
  • No hidden fees
  • New app out in 2021

Ferratum Bank is active in 25 countries, spanning Europe, North America, South America, and Asia-Pacific. It offers fast bank services such as savings accounts and loans online and a mobile banking app’s convenience.

While Ferratum Bank has its headquarters in Helsinki, Finland, it is a PLC registered in Malta and licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority as a credit institution. Ferratum Bank is a Depositor Compensation Scheme member, which can provide compensation of up to €100,000.

Ferratum Bank can offer a handy way of managing finances with a mobile banking package that offers easy access to your funds.

>> Go to Ferratum review

Fidor

About Fidor:

  • Founded: 2009
  • Founder: Matthias Kroener
  • CEO: Boris Joseph 
  • Personal and business accounts 

Features:

  • Easy to open online
  • Available in Germany
  • Loans
  • Investing
  • Crypto
  • Overdraft

Fidor is a German digital-only bank that was founded all the way back in 2009. They ventured into the UK market in 2015 but withdrew in 2019 because of Brexit.

They offer both personal and business accounts. And you can earn a monthly €5 activity bonus on both accounts if you make more than 10 transactions. 

Together with bitcoin.de and Kraken, Fidor created the first bank for cryptocurrencies. They’ve enabled their customers to integrate crypto wallets directly into the Fidor account via an API. In addition, you can have your crypto wallet status displayed on your dashboard.

Holvi

holvi

About Holvi:

  • Founded: 2011
  • Founders: Kristoffer Lawson, Mikko Teerenhovi, Teemu Hukkanen, Tuomas Toivonen
  • CEO: Antti-Jussi Suominen
  • Business accounts

Features:

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

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

They currently operate in Finland, Germany, Austria, and also in Belgium, Ireland, and the Netherlands.

>> Go to Holvi review

Lunar

lunar bank

About Lunar:

  • Founded: 2015
  • Founder: Ken Villum Klausen (CEO)
  • Personal, teen, and business accounts 

Features:

  • Easy to open online
  • Available in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway
  • An interest rate of 0.5% up to 50.000 kr.
  • Autosave function
  • Investing
  • Travel insurance
  • Metal card

Lunar is a Danish mobile bank with more than 200,000 users in the Nordic region and offices in Aarhus, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Oslo. They offer free and paid personal accounts and paid business accounts for solopreneurs and multiple owners. 

Lunar has taken the queue from similar banks and is now offering an exclusive metal card with their Pro account. 

They’ve also launched Project Blue. Every time you use your Visa card, you support Seabins, which clean the sea in Denmark, Sverige, and Norge. The Seabins filter water and remove plastic and waste from our oceans.

Monese

monese

About Monese:

  • Founded: 2013
  • Founder: Norris Koppel (CEO)
  • Personal accounts 

Features:

  • Available in the EEA
  • Users do not need proof of a physical address, utility bills, or credit history to open an account
  • Easy to use
  • Complete electronic transactions 
  • Link MasterCard debit card for in-person purchases
  • Multi-currency options (€ or £)
  • Free cash withdrawals

Monese became one of the first all-digital challenger currency institutions in the UK in 2016. Over one million customers within the EEA (European Economic Area) rely on Monese for their banking needs, with over three billion transactions completed each year.

Monese allows users the option to open a currency account without having to provide proof of address and submit a credit check. Although many people refer to Monese as a banking solution, it is not a bank in terms of federal regulations.

>> Go to Monese review

N26

n26 bank

About N26:

  • Founded: 2013
  • Founders: Valentin Stalf, Maximilian Tayenthal
  • CEO: Nicolas Kopp
  • Personal and business accounts 

Features:

  • Free online sign-up
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance
  • Early paycheck
  • Cashback and exclusive discounts
  • Instant N26 transfers

N26 is a German bank that was founded in 2013 by Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tayenthal. The company has headquarters in Berlin but offers banking services across the Eurozone, the US, and Switzerland.

N26 has more than 7 million customers in 25 markets and over 1,500 employees. The German mobile bank offers many competitive aspects to its service, from the freedom to use your card anywhere without worrying about fees to the quick and easy online application system. 

The app is enjoyable to use, and the added features that help you manage your finances are effective.

>> Go to N26 review

Nuri

nuri bank

About Nuri:

  • Founded: 2015
  • Founders: Benjamin Jones (CEO), Jan Goslicki, Jorg von Minckwitz
  • Partner bank: Solarisbank AG
  • Personal accounts 

Features

  • Available in the EEA
  • Cryptocurrency investing
  • Up to 5% interest per year on Bitcoin
  • Unlimited free ATM withdrawals

Nuri is available for residents of the European Economic Area (incl. Switzerland and UK) and accepts identification documents from 70+ nationalities. They were also known as Bitwala until 2018, when they had to shut down because of their card provider.

Nuri was launched the same year in partnership with Solarisbank. They offer a no-frills bank account and crypto investing (BTC and ETH). When you invest in cryptocurrencies, you earn up to 5% interest per year on Bitcoin. 

Orange

About Orange:

  • Founded: 2017
  • CEO: Paul De Leusse
  • Parent institution: Orange S.A.
  • Personal and business accounts 

Features:

  • Easy to open online
  • Available in France
  • Personal loans
  • Savings accounts

Orange Bank is a subsidiary of a French telecom company by the same name. They offer three personal accounts:

  • Standard (Free)
  • Premium Card (€4.99/m)
  • Premium Pack (€9.99/m)

This French digital bank already has more than 1.1 million customers. Apart from personal accounts, it also offers a business account for freelancers and SMEs. 

Payoneer

payoneer

About Payoneer:

  • Founded: 2015
  • Founders: Yuval Tal
  • CEO: Scott Galit
  • Business accounts 

Features:

  • Easy to sign up online
  • Good choice for SMEs and freelancers
  • Free prepaid Mastercard
  • Connects to a wide range of marketplaces
  • Flexible withdrawal options
  • No account fees if used fairly regularly

Payoneer is a popular option for businesses and freelancers. They offer a prepaid Mastercard so you can spend your money directly from the account.

They’ve partnered with so many e-commerce marketplaces that it’s easy to get paid for your services, products, or rentals, for example. Airbnb, Amazon, Booking.com, Fiver, Upwork – you name it, Payoneer has got it.

Payoneer is universally accepted that nearly everyone that has some kind of business online has a Payoneer account. The Payoneer app works great, and if you need a debit card, you can order one free of charge, although the card is not the cheapest one to use in some cases.

>> Go to Payoneer review

Paysend

paysend

About Paysend:

  • Founded: 2017
  • Founders: Abdul Abdulkerimov, Ronald Millar (CEO)
  • Personal and business accounts, money transfer 

Features:

  • Easy to sign up online
  • Transfer money to over 90 countries
  • Fixed fee
  • Paysend link
  • Instant processing
  • Paysend Global account
  • Paysend Smartcard
  • Business accounts

First established in 2017, Paysend has quickly made a name for itself as one of the latest generations of modern money transfer services on the market. By offering a card payment service to other cards and bank accounts, the company has only grown in strength and users thanks to its innovative approach to transferring money.

>> Go to Paysend review

Penta

penta bank

About Penta:

  • Founded: 2016
  • Founders: Aleksandar Orlic, Igor Kuschnir, Jessica Holzbach, Lav Odorovic, Luka Ivicevic, Matteo Concas, Sir Gabriel Holbach
  • CEO: Dr. Markus Pertlwieser
  • Business accounts 

Features:

  • Company account within 48 hours instead of waiting for weeks
  • Online account opening with German IBAN
  • VISA debit cards for all employees
  • Deposit insurance of up to €100,000
  • Preparatory accounting for easy expense management
  • Accounts from €9/month  
  • No hidden fees

Penta is one of the new online business bank accounts on the block – it offers fast online banking to small businesses and startups. There is a quick turnaround on sign-up and the opportunity to fine-tune your expense management with corporate cards for your employees.

  • The free Basic package, the most popular option that offers 50 outgoing transfers per month, one business Visa card, and one Penta user 
  • Advanced plan for €9 a month, 100 outgoing transfers per month, two Penta users, and two business Visa cards, as well as accounting integrations
  • Premium package at €19 per month, including 300 outgoing transfers per month, five Penta users, five business Visa cards, Premium Support, international payments, and accounting integrations.

Penta is currently only available for companies located in Germany.

>> Go to Penta review

Qonto

qonto

About Qonto:

  • Founded: 2016
  • Founders: Alexandre Prot, Steve Anavi
  • Business accounts 

Features

  • Accessible to companies registered in France
  • A complete solution for controlling your expenses
  • Automate bookkeeping
  • No hidden fees, 
  • No transfer commissions

Qonto is an excellent solution for businesses that want to streamline and hasten their banking processes without paying exorbitant fees. There are multiple packages designed to suit businesses of various sizes. The web app offers a range of excellent services to help with bookkeeping and budget management.

All accounts offered are current accounts, so there isn’t much to speak of in terms of interest. Fees for accounts and cards range from €9 to €300 a month for bigger accounts, depending on whether you opt for a solo account as a freelancer or an account for a large business.

>> Go to Qonto review

Rebellion

rebellion

About Rebellion:

  • Founded: 2017
  • Founder: Sergio Cerro (CEO)
  • Personal accounts 

Features

  • Available in Spain
  • Aimed at a younger crowd
  • Crypto investing
  • Adult and teen 14+ accounts
  • Flash and bank transfers

Rebellion is only available in Spain and is targeting younger customers that belong to Generation Z and Millenials. They were the first challenger bank in Spain to gain a banking license and offer IBANs. 

This neobank is also offering a crypto wallet that is ready to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin. 

Their account is free with no monthly fees or minimum balance.

Revolut

revolut

About Revolut:

  • Founded: 2015
  • Founders: Nikolay Storonsky (CEO) and Vlad Yatsenko
  • Personal accounts (spending, saving, junior, crypto), business accounts

Features:

  • Budget & Analytics
  • Get paid early
  • Crypto trading
  • Savings Vaults
  • Up to 4.64% interest rate
  • Donations

Revolut is a challenger bank that made a ripple effect in the stale banking markets across the world. It has now expanded to all corners of the world and is finally profitable.

With their groundbreaking app, you can transfer money all over the world, invest in crypto, stocks, and commodities (gold and silver), get travel insurance, exchange money with no hidden fees, and so on.

Revolut has become a global player in the neobanking world and has introduced many features that other challenger banks have started copying. While the company has to work out some kinks, it does offer plenty of incentives for you to switch to their slick app.

>> Go to Revolut review

>> Go to Revolut Ireland review

Tomorrow

tomorrow bank

About Tomorrow:

  • Founded: 2017
  • Founders: Inas Nureldin (CEO), Jakob Berndt, Michael Schweikart
  • Personal accounts 

Features:

  • Easy to open online
  • Available in the EEA
  • Sustainable banking
  • Sustainable investing
  • Wooden card for €15/m

Tomorrow is a unique bank from Germany that is focusing on sustainability, climate, and a greener future in general. It’s available across the EEA and has three types of accounts:

  • Free
  • Together (€5/m)
  • Zero (€15/m)

Tomorrow say that they combine the comfort of mobile banking with true sustainability. They are investing your money exclusively in sustainable projects. It’s your easy and free contribution to a better future. With their bank account, you actively protect the climate with every purchase. 

For every euro paid with your Tomorrow card, you’ll save 1 m² of rainforest from deforestation. 

Vivid

vivid money

About Vivid:

  • Founded: 2019
  • Founders: Alexander Emeshev, Artem Yamanov
  • Personal accounts

Features

  • Available in Italy, Spain, France, or Germany. 
  • Free Metal card (for now)
  • Futuristic digital or shiny metal card designs
  • Vivid Pockets
  • Budgeting and analytics
  • Stocks and ETF investing without commission
  • Crypto investing
  • Instant money transfers and payments without fees
  • Bill splitting
  • 107 currencies in free separate pockets

Vivid Money is a German challenger bank that was founded only in 2019. Its headquarters are in Berlin, Germany, and the company is rapidly expanding. 

For now, you can only open a Vivid free or paid account if you live in Italy, Spain, France, or Germany. Their metal card is also free for now. You get it by default when you sign up for an account, as well as three months of their premium membership for free.

If, after three months, you decide to downgrade to the free account, the metal card will still stay with you! The Prime membership is €9.90 per month.

With the Vivid Standard account, you’ll get up to €20 cashback per month, 15 free pocket accounts, 40 currencies in separate accounts, free global payments, free money transfers, free direct debits, no exchange limits, free worldwide ATM withdrawals up to €200/m, and more.

The Prime account adds even more features and has higher limits than the Standard one. 

Wirex

wirex

About Wirex:

  • Founded: 2014
  • Founders: Dmitry Lazarichev (CEO), Georgy Sokolov, Pavel Matveev (CEO)
  • Personal accounts

Features

  • Open an account online in minutes
  • Available in Europe and worldwide
  • Instant crypto transactions
  • Notifications for all incoming and outgoing transactions
  • Send money to your contacts in seconds
  • Free ATM withdrawals up to €400 per month
  • No account maintenance fees
  • Zero exchange fees

Wirex was the first in Europe to offer cryptocurrency accounts linked to free physical debit cards. They already have more than 3 and a half million users worldwide. This comes as no surprise as it offers many benefits to, not only crypto enthusiasts but regular users that have no idea what BTC or XLM even are.

The company’s mission is to make crypto more accessible and open to everyone by giving “people the power to seamlessly use their digital and traditional currency wherever they are in the world.” 

If that sounds good to you, check out what features and benefits it offers to people like you, but also what cons are hindering its success.

>> Go to Wirex review

Wise

wise

About Wise:

  • Founded: 2011
  • Founders: Kristo Käärmann (CEO) and Taavet Hinrikus (CEO)
  • Partner bank: Community Federal Savings Bank
  • Personal and business accounts, money transfer

Features:

  • Free online account
  • International bank details
  • Send money to more than 70 countries, always with a low and transparent fee
  • Direct Debits in the UK, Europe, and the US
  • Spend in local currency with your card
  • Receive your salary, pension, and more
  • Pay at the real exchange rate
  • Pay online securely with instant notifications
  • Use your card in more than 200 countries and withdraw money from 2.3 million ATMs

Since its launch in London in 2011, Wise has focused on making international money transfers cheaper and more transparent. 

By charging extremely low fees compared with high street banks and other online payment providers and using the real exchange rate when converting currencies, Wise has quickly become a top choice for both personal and business international bank transfers.

>> Go to Wise review

Wittix

wittix bank

About Wittix:

  • Founded: 2018
  • Founder: Hanan Assis (CEO)
  • Personal and business accounts

Features

  • Available in EEA
  • Multi-currency IBAN accounts
  • Free and paid personal accounts
  • 75 currencies supported
  • Debit card and virtual cards
  • SWIFT Payments across the globe

Although Wittix is based in Las Vegas, it’s licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Lithuania, and so its services are available for citizens of the EEA/EU. There are three personal accounts available:

  • Free for EEA citizens, 
  • €15/m for non-EEA citizens, 
  • €50/m for people from high-risk countries. 

If you want a physical card, it will set you back an additional one-time fee of €9 and a monthly fee of €4.9.

Businesses will have to pay from €250 to €2,500 application fee and from €50 per month up to €250.

Which countries are in the EEA?

You might have noticed that we’re mentioning EEA countries in the context of opening a digital bank account. 

If you’re unsure which countries belong to the EEA, it’s Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.

Benefits of digital banking

  • Low to no fees
  • Higher interest rates
  • Easy to apply
  • Convenient
  • Budgeting and analytics
  • Cashbacks

Digital banks are also called mobile banks, neobanks, challenger banks, online banks, and other similar versions of names. 

Digital banking has been a more recent addition to the financial landscape. Europe was one of the first regions to see such massive growth in digital banks that challenged traditional banks’ status quo. 

Digital banks are banks that offer an entirely digital service through apps and online, which means they do not have physical bank branches. However, the 24/7 customer support services provided through the apps and the vast array of automated features mean that physical branches are unnecessary for customers to fulfill the banking experience. 

Digital banks are challenging traditional banks’ services to make banking more convenient and transparent for their customers. However, people are still reluctant to sign up for one of the challenger banks. So, let’s see what mobile-only banks bring to the table and try to discern some of the worries.

Low to no fees

Digital banks also aim to uphold far more transparency in their service than traditional institutions. Many of the challenger banks offer free current accounts and more advanced options that come with a monthly fee. 

The majority of these banks pride themselves on providing a service with no hidden fees. This “fee-free” service also extends overseas, with many challenger banks appealing to keen travelers with offers of no fees on international transactions and free cash-withdrawals abroad.

Digital-only banks still make money, but their business model doesn’t include ripping off their customers with excessive fees.

Higher interest rates

It’s a recognized fact that big banks will give you appalling interest rates if any. How does 0.05% sound to you? Digital banks can provide their customers higher interest rates on savings accounts because they save on overhead costs like retail space and bank cashiers. 

You can even get an interest rate on your checking account balance in some cases.

Easy to apply

Is there anything worse than going to the bank? I put it up there with visiting the dentist. Luckily, with mobile banks, you get to open your account online without visiting the bank office and paying for fuel and parking. 

Simply fill out the online form, upload your ID, take a selfie, and you can start banking. 

Convenient

The ability to apply for a bank account online is not the only convenient thing. Pretty much everything else that involves your finances can be done from your sofa as well, including applying for a mortgage. Open your banking app, find the menu, and you’re halfway there.

Most European digital banks allow new customers to sign up simply by downloading an app, entering some personal details, and authenticating their identity before being approved within minutes. 

Not only is the process far quicker than with traditional banks, but it also makes their financial services more accessible to those who are often not applicable to traditional banks.

Budgeting and analytics

European digital banks place a significant emphasis on helping their users stay on top of their finances. They do this through monthly reports, forecasts, notifications, budgeting goals, saving tools, etc. 

Real-time spending notifications mean that customers can stay up-to-the-minute on their finances. At the same time, automated advice helps customers figure out what is safe to spend and what they can afford to save. These features have attracted many users to open an account, whether as their primary bank account or secondary.

Cashback 

You don’t need a credit card anymore as some mobile-only banks offer cashback on everyday purchases. It was about time you got something back! You can even get cash back rewards in cryptocurrency now. 

Drawbacks of digital banking

  • Customer service
  • Fewer financial products
  • Fewer options for depositing

Digital banking isn’t perfect, and most of the independent fintech companies were only founded less than 10 years ago (some only a couple of years ago). So, there are still some teething problems.

Nevertheless, let’s look at some of the drawbacks to digital banks in the EU. 

Customer service 

This is arguably the most significant disadvantage over big banks. Because there are no physical branches, you have to do all your troubleshooting online. This can be a less than perfect solution, especially if you have a time-sensitive and costly problem to deal with. 

Although all the apps have a chat function, sometimes there might be a substantial waiting period, or there’s only a chatbot available to answer your questions. Granted, some big banks are offenders as well.

Fewer financial products 

Some digital banks have a barebones account with just a few add-ons and that’s it. That doesn’t necessarily have to be bad. Not everyone needs savings, investing, mortgages, loans, and so on from their bank account. Sometimes, simpler is better.

Fewer options for depositing

This one comes down to the lack of physical branches. If you have cash on your hands that you want to deposit into your account, you might find yourself at a dead end. The same goes for cheques, as all neobanks can’t scan a cheque with your phone.

How safe is digital banking?

Security is predominant when it comes to banking, and some may be concerned about how secure digital banks are. However, digital banks are at the cutting edge of innovation, and this includes security. 

Digital banks go to great lengths to ensure they provide a safe and secure service to their customers. When finding the right digital bank for you, you may want to check what kind of license the bank holds, whether it has a full banking license and what institution has granted it. It is also a good idea to check any bank guarantees, such as whether deposits are guaranteed by the European Deposit Guarantee Scheme.

Digital banks are proud to be at the forefront of technology, including privacy and security innovations. These banks use the latest methods of authenticating user identities, whether by voice, face, or fingerprint. 

Traditional banks are often following the lead of challenger banks when it comes to innovation, so this should provide digital bank customers with some peace of mind about their security.

What features do digital banks offer that traditional banks don’t?

  • Quick and easy online application
  • Approval within minutes 
  • No tedious paperwork required
  • Advanced analytics features
  • No hidden fees
  • Fewer to no fees for transactions and ATM withdrawals abroad
  • Savings accounts or non-savings accounts with interest
  • Monthly reports and forecasting
  • In-app customer service
  • Bill splitting

How to get started with digital banking

The best thing about digital-only banks is that you can apply for most online accounts in 5-10 minutes or even less. Visit your mobile bank’s website and click or tap ‘Get Started’. You can also download the banking app from Google Play or Apple’s App store yourself. 

To open an online personal banking account, in most cases you’ll have to have an ID or passport and be a resident of the country where the particular digital bank is offering its services. Some mobile banks don’t require you to be a resident in the country.  

The bottom line

The European digital banks each offer a unique service that will appeal to different people with different financial goals. The majority of the banks hold a fully-fledged banking license or are on their way to attaining one, meaning that these banks can offer their customers a full bank account and a debit card. 

Although some digital banks might offer a credit card, they are certainly not prevalent or even in high demand. 

European digital banks are usually protected by the European Deposit Guarantee Scheme, which protects customer deposits up to €100,000 – although this may be something you want to check before choosing the right bank for you.

If the money isn’t covered by the Scheme, it’s safeguarded and ringfenced in a separate institution and can’t be used for anything apart from its main use case. That means that the e-money institution can’t invest your money elsewhere and potentially lose it. 

In terms of current accounts, most European digital banks offer a free standard current account option. However, some also provide more advanced plans for a small fee that offer extra benefits such as exclusive partner offers. All current accounts come with integrated budgeting technology, monthly reports, and advice, designed to help customers be more clued up about their cash.

Some of the European digital banks offer savings accounts with competitive rates of interest, while others limit their saving and interest features within the current account. Some banks offer spaces or pots to section away funds, whether for short-term savings or longer-term savings goals. 

You can opt for one of your saving pots or spaces to receive a good interest rate, with many banks offering withdrawals that will not cause you to lose your interest. 

Another common feature is the round-up tool, which allows customers to turn their spare change in everyday transactions into savings that earn interest. Customer growth and financial stability are a priority in European digital banking.

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As a Current mobile banking app affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.