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In this guide, we’ll give you a handy list of online banks in Europe which have a large user base and lots of great features.
This includes the likes of, N26, bunq and Revolut, along with alternative money services like Wise that are tailor-made for international transactions.
It’s all to help you choose the best option, whether you’re living, working or just traveling in Europe.
There are a number of reasons why so many people are choosing to use online banks.
For starters, they’re so easy to use. You can sign up, manage your money, pay bills, check balances and do everything else online. Most have dedicated mobile apps, so you can do all of the above using just your phone.
Another perk of online banks is they tend to have lower eligibility requirements than traditional banks. So in countries where banks normally require proof of address, social security/tax numbers and lots of other paperwork, a digital bank can be an easier solution.
If you want the convenience of managing your money online, and a cheaper way to send money internationally, check out Wise.
With the Wise Account, you’ll get all these brilliant benefits:
- Bank details in 10 currencies
- The option to hold, send, spend and convert 40+ currencies at once
- Send money overseas with low and transparent fees,
- Order a Wise card for a one time fee of just $9 - for use in 174 countries
- Mid-market exchange rates on all transactions.
It’s quick, easy and free to open a Wise account online. You can set up a transfer in just a few clicks, or use the handy Wise app to manage your money on the move.
Now, let’s dive into our list of the top online banks in Europe!
The German fintech N26 has been running since 2013, and now has over 8 million customers in 24 countries.³ So, it’s safe to say that N26 is one of the leading online banks in Europe.
Like Revolut, N26 has a few different account types, including a free Standard plan. This is an app-managed digital bank account with a virtual debit card, mobile payments and a set number of free ATM withdrawals in Euros. However, you’ll only be able to take advantage of this if you pay the €10 fee to get a physical debit card.
N26’s paid plans all come with a physical debit card as standard. Let’s take a look at the costs:⁴
- N26 Smart - €4.90 a month
- N26 You - €9.90 a month
- N26 Metal - €16.90 a month.
And just like with Revolut, the more you pay, the more features you get.
The Dutch neobank bunq is a fully-fledged mobile-first bank, which launched back in 2014. It claims to be sustainable, and the only bank in the world which lets you choose how your money is invested.⁵
Unlike some of the others on this, bunq doesn’t offer a free checking account (although it does have a free Easy Savings account).
To bank with bunq, you’ll pay a monthly fee starting from €2.99. Here are the plans you can choose from:⁵
- Easy Bank - €2.99 a month
- Easy Money - €8.99 a month
- Easy Green - €17.99 a month.
However, the bank does offer a free 30-day trial of any plan, so you can work out if it’s right for you. And you can switch or cancel your plan at any time.
The German fintech company Tomorrow was founded in 2017 and is affiliated with Solarisbank in order to offer banking services.
If sustainability matters to you when choosing a bank, this could be a good pick. Tomorrow positions itself as a sustainable bank, investing your money 100% sustainably. It’s quite small, with just over 100,000 customers.⁶
It has no free accounts however. Here are your choices:⁷
- Now - €3 a month
- Change - €7 a month
- Zero - €15 a month
Each plan comes with a debit card, in a range of pretty stunning designs.
Another company located in neobank hotspot Berlin, German, Vivid Money is a relative newcomer on the scene. It only launched in 2020, but already has more than 500,000 customers.⁸
Vivid is focused on growing long-term wealth,⁸ but offers a full range of digital financial services. This includes investments, crypto, cards and services for businesses.
It also has two checking accounts, both of which are managed by mobile and come with a debit card. Here are your options:⁹
- Vivid Standard - free for active users, €3.90 management fee otherwise
- Vivid Prime - €9.99 a month (first month free).
Revolut is one of the most popular online banks in Europe and worldwide, with over 30 million personal users around the globe.¹
Revolut is a mobile-first digital bank, with a choice of four account types (in Europe) including a free Standard plan. This comes with a personalized debit card and 1 free international transfer per month.
Revolut also offers international transactions, supporting 200+ countries and 29 currencies.¹
If you don’t mind paying a small monthly fee, then there’s also the following paid plans with Revolut:²
- Plus - €2.99 a month
- Premium - €7.99 a month
- Metal - €13.99 a month.
These offer the same basic concept, but with a host of additional perks such as travel insurance and unlimited fee-free currency exchange, among others.
The UK-based online bank Monzo is pretty popular, with over 7 million customers.¹⁰
It’s a fully licensed UK bank, offering a full current account you can open in as little as 15 minutes. Everything’s managed through the Monzo app, including features like Pots to help you grow your savings and manage your budget.
The original Monzo current account is free, but you can also choose a paid plan to unlock more features:¹⁰
- Monzo Plus - £5 a month
- Monzo Premium - £15 a month.
The perks on offer include phone insurance, travel insurance, increased interest rates and fee-free withdrawals abroad.
Lastly, we have the British-Estonian fintech company Monese, based in the UK. It has over 2 million customers across 31 countries.¹¹
Monese offers what it calls ‘instant accounts’, which are digital money accounts you can open using just your phone. You can do it in a matter of minutes and only need a selfie and photo ID to sign up. You’ll get a contactless debit card, access to multi-currency services and much more.
There are three Monese plans:¹²
- Simple - free
- Classic - €5.95 a month
- Premium - €14.95 a month.
And there you have it - our list of the best online banks in Europe. But which is the right one for you? It may come down to where you are in Europe, as some of the money apps we’ve covered only operate in certain locations.
You’ll also want to compare features and fees, as well as looking at how accounts work for international transactions. You could find that many can be beaten by Wise, which offers low fees and mid-market exchange rates for transfers and spending worldwide.
Yes, one of the main benefits of choosing a digital bank over a traditional one is that you can usually do everything online. This includes opening an account. For all of the options we’ve covered above, you’ll be able to sign up online in minutes.
For traditional banks in Europe, you’ll find that many accept online applications - while others require a visit to a branch to open an account.
Revolut is a top pick for international transfers and travel.
But you’ll also want to check out alternatives to banks, such as Wise. Wise specializes in multi-currency spending and transfers, offering low fees and great exchange rates - all from one powerful online account (and app).
Both Revolut and bunq have a similar offer to N26 in Europe. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that the Dutch neobank bunq doesn’t have any fee-free accounts.
Which open banking app is best is up to you to decide (as it depends on your needs). But Revolut is the most popular, with 30 million personal users in multiple countries worldwide.
Sources used for this article:
- Revolut - About Revolut
- Revolut - Our pricing plans
- N26 - About N26
- N26 - Plans
- Bunq - Home
- Tomorrow - Home
- Tomorrow - Accounts
- Vivid Money - Home
- Vivid Money - Compare
- Monzo - Current account
- Monese - About
- Monese - Pricing
Sources checked on 07-Jun-2023.
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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