If you love traveling the world but want to keep your career on-track, then the digital nomad life might just be the thing for you. Living abroad in different countries might sound all fun and games until you need to sort out all those dozens of bank accounts in all these different countries you step foot in – which is a lot (honestly who got time for it am I right?).
But don’t worry, we’ve got your back with a list of some of the best banks (and non-banks) for digital nomads
What are Digital Nomads?
Digital nomads are basically remote workers that often travel to different countries around the world. You can work in a coffee shop, co-working space, or basically anywhere that has a WiFi connection.
You can even work on a boat if you want, provided there's wifi.
It’s literally the most flexible job out there. Here are some of the most common nomads’ jobs people take:
- Editing and Copywriting
- Design and UX/UI
- Marketing & Advertising
- Project management
- Web development
- App development
Here are, in no particular order, 10 different banks for digital nomads to easily handle the "money issue" abroad while focusing on working (or having fun).
Being the largest international digital banking platform, PayPal provides global currency exchange services that allow money transfer across the globe. You can accept or send payments easily in different currency settings with a little extra exchange fee.
Click here to check out our latest article Fees & requirements for your HK PayPal business account to work your way out around PayPal accounts
The good thing about PayPal is that you can send, receive, withdraw money in over 200 countries in 25 different currencies in one single account. It only takes about 1-2 business days to get the money transferred.
To make your life easier, you can use these sure-fire ways to get the money sorted:
- Use a shareable PayPal link
- Instant messages
- Website Checkout
However, there are still some fees attached to it. For Hong Kong-based customers, you’ll need to pay for 3.9% + $2.35 HKD per transaction.
For international customers, a 4.4% + fixed fee will be charged.
For withdrawal, it is free only if you’re withdrawing money more than HKD1,000.
If you withdraw money any less than that, you’ll be charged a 3% withdrawal fee for that matter.
Contrary to PayPal, Payoneer is actually quite a new digital bank. It handles money transfer and digital payment services.
Payoneer supports 150 local currencies. Only a $3 flat rate would be charged per transfer.
You can withdraw money through bank transfer, ATM, or point-of-sale. Similarly, you can also do it over the mobile app or card they provide.
Compared to PayPal, Payoneer costs slightly higher than that in that department.
Their card can be used in any ATM in the world but then they do have this maximum daily limit of $2,500 which might be a concern for you.
Other than that, if you’re doing a foreign exchange, they’ll charge you for an average of 1% in the transaction as well.
If you’re an European resident, then this might be it for you.
Like Payoneer, Revolut also has an app for you to manage your nomad bank account. It is mostly an app-based bank targeting young users.
There’s also a pre-paid debit card for you to withdraw money in 120 countries. You can transfer money in 29 currencies.
You can also convert currencies into Bitcoin, XRP, Litecoin if you’re into crypto-currency that sort of thing.
Although they might have a help desk available for customers, there has been reports on the poor customer support they provide.
Also, they don’t have a standing orders or deposit guarantee so you can only make direct debits in EUR
4. Charles Schwab Bank
Many US digital nomads have a deep love for this bank due to its low rates and charges.
Charles Schwab Bank is primarily used as an investment platform but then it also provides savings and checking accounts for those of you out there who are thinking of getting one that’s more multifunctional.
In terms of fees, Charles Schwab Bank is slightly more competitive compare to other banks. There are no foreign transaction charges and that they refund your ATM fees across the world. There are also no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements.
The bad thing about CSB is that you can’t really deposit money directly and that the interest rate for the savings account is rather low.
Monese mainly provides accounts in these two currencies – GBP/EUR. For now, it is only available for European citizens.
Similar to other banks above, they provide a mobile app for you to manage everything online.
You can also easily sign up without any of those physical addresses nor credit checks, making it super convenient for those of you who need to constantly travel. There are quite a few integrations it does:
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
Since it is a rather new player in the field, therefore the security of the app isn’t exactly 100% guaranteed. Again, it is only available in the UK and Europe. So, if you work around the Asia area, then this might not be the one for you.
N26 is a German banking platform that only serves digitally on their banking app. They have now slowly expanded in the U.S. market. After your signup process is done, a Mastercard will be sent to your European address, and you can pretty much use that card anywhere that accepts Mastercard payments. Quite convenient, is it?
The N26 accounts are pretty straight-forward, there are not many additional costs. If you sign up with their free accounts, you can do most of the basic transactions that you want. There are also no markup fees. But the free ATM withdrawals are only up to 5 for each month.
- No monthly maintenance fees
- No charges for overdrafts
- Categorize your purchase on their N26 app
The bad thing about it is that it only offers basic checking accounts for now. If you want more functions or features for your account, you might want to look at their European accounts instead of the U.S. ones since they have just recently launched their business in the U.S. market.
- Only 1 basic checking account available;
- For domestic ATM withdrawal, a $2 will be charged per transaction;
- For foreign ATM withdrawals, you will need to pay a $2 + 2% for it
- Canadians do not have access to registration for now
If you’re looking for an easily-managed, efficient, and affordable option for your business accounting that wraps up all the major currency balances you need, then Statrys might be the one for you.
Statrys is a payment platform that offers banking accounts for you to trade/transfer money in different currencies while also managing your currencies from market shifts.
Not only that, offers EUR, GBP, USD, and 8 other international currencies available for your account, the diversity and low-cost for transaction fees definitely make it one of the top options to go for.
It pretty much covers all the basics: sending and receiving money on the online platform without wasting any time having to physically visit the bank. Just a few taps on the phone and you can sit tight on the couch and the transaction will be taken care of for you quickly.
There's also the option of opening a Foreign Exchange account as well as a Local Currency Account if you do business in other countries and want to have a business account presence there without actually needing a bank account.
- You can manage currency risk with the Forex exposure hedging function to protect your profit in case of market volatility.
- Real-time exchange rate: access to mid-market rate with a low spread fee
- Zero Forex fees
- No payment card available until 2021
- No mobile app until Q1 2021
Essentially, Monzo is a UK bank that offers a type of pre-paid visa debit card which basically functions like an Octopus card: you top up the amount of money you want inside the card with an existing banking account you have. Sure, it’s not the most convenient option you have since you have to manage a few banking accounts at the same time, but the good thing about it is that there are no additional fees if you spend it abroad.
- Have a mobile app for customers to manage their accounts
- No monthly costs
- Free ATM withdrawal within the UK
- Only available to residents in the UK
- If you don’t have IBAN number, no international payments can be received
- 0.35-2% of currency exchange fees for International transfers will be charged
Azimo is a UK currency-transfer platform established in 2012. allows you to transfer money from different countries.
Their Android and IOS apps are also convenient for users. They also offer 10 languages on their platform as well.
- Send money to 190+ countries
- 24/7 cash delivery
- Intuitive user interface
Now, their customer support isn’t exactly, well, satisfactory. Although they do have a customer line for you but chances are often when you call, nobody would really pick it up and answer your queries, so that could be a problem for you.
- Transaction fees up to $11.99
- Includes a spreading fee
- No phone support & poor customer service
- Only available to UK & EU residents
10. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)
Of course, we didn’t forget our Aussie and NZ friends. Honestly, there aren’t many bank options available for digital nomads in Australia or NZ.
However, ANZ might be your best shot for it. You can handle your transactions either in: (1) mobile app; or (2) debit card.
- Use credit cards to store up Airline miles
- A 2.5% foreign exchange transaction fee
- High foreign ATM withdrawal fees ($25 out of $1000 will be charged overtime)
- Inconsistent customer service
Looking for a smarter way to handle your money, do business in other countries, and all while being digital? Consider applying for a Statrys Business Account and get your nomad lifestyle the digitalized financials it deserves.