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It means that the customers get to have all the accustomed features, safety, regulation and service of the regular big banks, but in a modern, lightweight, and handy digital form-factor of a mobile application.
What to look for in an online bank
Despite operating fully online, most of the players in this niche are fully licensed and authorized as banks or financial institutions, meaning they meet the same requirements and fulfill the same highest standards as classic banks. Including the mandatory funds’ insurance. Choose authorized and insured companies only.
Top Online Banks choose not to reinvent the wheel, but rather outsource some services to the established experts. For example, despite being a relatively new service, N26 has established partnerships with the top-notch financial companies such as TransferWise (foreign exchange), Raisin (savings), Clark and Allianz (Insurance), Auxmoney (credit) and others, to be able to provide its customers with best & sterling products.
Many Online Banks will still provide you with a real international debit card, sometimes with free ATM withdrawals worldwide or within some region. It means that you can pay, withdraw money, block or unblock your card, set permissions or limits, and make other security changes — in other words, do everything you can do with a traditional bank, except easier & directly from the app or a desktop web-account. Look for features fitting your needs.
Fees and rates
Having a fully online business model means operating at a much lower cost than classic “bricks and mortar” banks. Thanks to huge savings on frugal organizational structures, no IT legacies and no expensive branch network, customers are getting outstanding value for their money by receiving higher interest rates and lower fees for transactions and account management. Choose the best cost-effective solution.
A fully online company doesn’t necessarily mean a small local business. For example, N26 is called one of the fastest growing banks in Europe and has more than 1 million customers across 17 European markets and over 430 employees. Choose a solid and established company.