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The Best Online Banks in Europe: How to Choose a Bank Account Provider for Your Company?

Mar 25, 2022 · 5 min read

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Since you’ve got a company registered in one country but operating in another one(s), you’re not tied with the traditional banking system anymore. In recent years, online banking has risen rapidly in Europe, and many entrepreneurs find it more convenient to use alternative providers of financial services.

Now there are multiple prominent online banks in the EU/ EEA zone that makes it a challenge to choose which one suits your needs the best. We did a comparative analysis of the main six online banks. In this article, we’ll share our key takeaways that help you to make the best choice.

Advantages and One Disadvantage of Online Banks

Why traditional banks are inferior to Fintech providers? A short answer is because of the EU's strict regulation to prevent illegal activities. It requires a pile of paperwork, a time to check it, sometimes personal visits to the bank. And by the end of the application process, you’ve got high fees and longer compliance checks for your out-of-region transactions.

In contrast, Fintech providers charge less international transaction fees, have better exchange rates, and have cool apps that make everything easier. Eventually, you’ve got the same IBAN bank account for secure transactions. The only disadvantage to note is that online banks don’t give you access to overdrafts and loans. Read the full comparison of traditional and online banks here.

Top 6 Fintech Providers in Europe

For the comparison we surveyed:
  • Paysera Lithuania
  • Wise Belgium (former Transferwise)
  • Revolut
  • Bankera
  • Verifo
  • LHV

As long as low-cost fees and time of the opening of the account are the main advantages of online banks, we started from these indicators and then reviewed other tech- and client-friendly factors.

For a sample, we took fintech providers for a company registered in Estonian jurisdiction. If you’re considering company incorporation in Estonia, you can get the information from this article.

Timing and Pricing of Opening an Account in Online Bank

Basically, if it’s an emergency, you could direct your attention to the Revolut or Wise solutions. For Revolut, it requires a physical presence on your business in the country, where it is registered. In our sample, an entrepreneur would need to prove, that her/ his business is connected with Estonia.

If not, proceed to Wise. Regarding a compliance check, the information about shareholders is a must. Wise can ask you for some additional information and company documents. In case you incorporate your company in Estonia with Enty, we’ll add the required info on your Contol Panel.
To summarize, opening an account in Revolut and LHV would cost you nothing provided that your company has a presence in Estonia or you could once visit a bank in person accordingly. If you’re trying to reduce setup costs, consider Paysera or Wise.

It is not actually such expensive to open an account in Bankera or Verifo if you’re doing some low-risk business in some safe jurisdiction. If not, it would be worth paying more at the beginning to have secure transactions in the future.

To be loved and noted: a review of Top 6 online banks’ features

Further, we made cards with edges and pitfalls of each of the Top 6 Fintech providers presented in Estonia. Look through and find out which Fintech provider to choose using our tool.

Paysera


  • Low fees
  • Wide range of available countries
  • Rather straightforward verification
  • Multi-user accounts with separate limits


  • A mobile application is required
  • Additional verification of high-volume transactions is required

Wise


  • Many currencies available
  • Friendly interface
  • Rather easy and fast compliance check


  • Limits on card spending ~ €50000 per month
  • Limits on card emission for clients living out of EEA
  • Wise doesn’t work with ‘high risk’ businesses such as Finances, Crypto, Forex

Revolut


  • Great product UI
  • Additional features for SMEs
  • Payments via links


  • Proving physical presence may be tough for an online company
  • The monthly subscription is more cost-efficient, when your company is medium-sized, rather than small

Bankera


  • Suitable for companies operating in high-risk industries
  • Suitable for founders from high-risk jurisdictions


  • The application fee will not be returned in most cases
  • It takes longer to stay in touch with the provider to complete the application
  • The license may be required to apply in the first place

Verifo


  • Suitable for high-risk companies
  • Careful compliance that allows demonstrating the willingness of the company to work in a regulated environment


  • It is not cost-efficient for low-risk companies

LHV


  • Suitable for Estonian businesses with a high volume of transactions
  • Well-connected with Estonian governmental services


  • The process of getting an account takes a lot of time
  • A board member of the company may need to visit Estonia in person
  • LHV works with clients, whose activities are directly connected with Estonia
Please, note also that every online bank has its list of banned countries. You can easily check the current list on their websites, for instance, Wise has it like this, or with a manager in the case of LHV.

And that’s it! Once you’ve opened your bank account, don’t forget to connect it to Enty to ease up management of your company!
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