New technologies are disrupting the financial services industry. Individual savers are among the winners of this transition, whether traditional financial institutions are ready for it or not. From banking and payments to crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending, Fintechs are smashing old business models on its way to crowning new rulers in the financial world. And there is no turning back.
The Best Digital Fintechs to Manage your P2P Portfolio
Did you know that every time you swipe your card in a foreign country or make an international transaction your bank is charging you exorbitant fees and giving you a terrible exchange rate? Yet, you can save thousands every year by choosing the right fintechs to work with.
If you travel abroad for a week or two per year, 3–5% in various fees and bad exchange rates for international card use is not really a big problem. But as a frequent traveler or performing a great number of international operations, these fees add up quickly. In fact, you might be donating hundreds or even thousands of euros yearly to your bank. I’m sure you could think of a better way to spend that money.
But what if I told you that there are banks and fintechs out there that charge no monthly fees, 0% foreign transaction fees, 0% currency exchange markup, 0% ATM withdrawal fees and even refund fees imposed by ATM owners worldwide? Sounds like some sort of black magic right? Well, it’s not. Check the information below regarding N26 , Revolut and TransferWise to learn why they are my personal choices to manage my savings and investments and how you can open a free account with them today.
My favorite fintech in Europe is definitely N26. By now it’s one of the most mature of the user-friendly and innovative challenger or neo-banks that have revolutionized the European banking market in the last few years.
Things to note: They only support bank transfers within Europe (through the SEPA network) — but for other transfers, you can just use TransferWise or similar services, which is the preferred way of sending money across borders/currencies anyway. Like with many (most?) checking accounts these days you will not accrue interest on your deposits. But that’s a small price to pay with what you save on using the card abroad. Instead, they do offer an option to invest your money in one of three simple investment plans, which over time should give you a much better return than the interest offered by most banks anyway. Finally, not all features and plans are available in all countries yet.
Revolut is a digital-only banking app and card that sets itself apart from traditional banks with a focus on technology, low fees and flexibility. It’s especially aimed at those who travel a lot, offering spending abroad and international money transfers with no hidden fees.
As well as all the usual things you can do with a current account like send money to friends and withdraw money from an ATM, you can use an impressive range of other features, including free international money transfers, fee-free global spending and access to cryptocurrency exchange.
If you’re a small business you can learn about their Revolut Business offer.
Transferring money between banks
Transferring money between different monetary areas can be challenging and expensive. Usually, the fastest and easiest way is to use TransferWise and is what I would recommend in most cases. Even if your bank supports international transfers, you’ll most likely get a terrible exchange rate, plus loads of fees, especially if the transfer goes via the SWIFT network.
Europe has been the bright spot for challenger banks and neobanks over the past decade. Since 2011, European neobanks’ customer base has grown by more than 15 million, according to a research by AT Kearney. It’s projected that by 2023, the region’s neobanks will win up to 85 million customers.
The European banking industry is undergoing massive changes, and the companies above are among the biggest driving that transformation.