Having an virtual bank account in UK is convenient as it helps you to transact from anywhere around the world because you do not need to visit banking premises. If you want to open an instant virtual bank account in UK, this article will show you the best online banks in the UK and the process of opening an instant online account.
German virtual bank, N26, stopped operating in the UK in 2020 because it was not able to operate in the UK under its European banking licence following the Brexit.
Having an online bank is an advantage compared to conventional banks. You tend to enjoy more benefits. Some of them include:
- Receive salary and pay bills online
- Saves time since you do not need to visit a banking premises
- Convert money into different currencies at your convenience
- Spend money abroad and make ATM withdrawals
- Most online bank such as Wise allow people to open online bank account in UK for non-resident
Wise Borderless, formerly TransferWise Borderless, allows customers to create multi-currency virtual UK bank account and start paying bills and receiving salaries through the account immediately. Once you have opened an account online, you need to verify your identity. You can send a selfie while holding your ID. This way, one can open an online account before moving to the UK, since they haven’t yet bills paid.
With Wise Multi-currency, you can:
- Send and receive money from across the world
- Hold up to 56 currencies and get excellent exchange rates
- Get a MasterCard debit to allow you to make payments across the Globe
- Pay your bills
Wise delivers balance in British pounds and comes with a UK bank sort code. It also gives your account number which you can share with people to send you money in British pounds. Then you can move money between the European IBAN and British account. Wise does not have any hidden fees and uses mid-market exchange rates.
Monese is a mobile bank that helps users to open UK online bank accounts. You can transfer money into 15 currencies using mid-market rates. You can also use it to receive a salary, pay bills and send money abroad.
To open an account, you only need to upload a photo of your ID and a selfie. You do not need proof of address if you are opening the account while in the UK. Monese offers three types of accounts:
- Simple. It does not have monthly fees and comes with a free debit card and a £200 ATM withdrawal. Any ATM withdrawals after £200 attract a 2% fee of the amount. Also, foreign exchange transfers after £2000 attract a 2% fee.
- Classic. It costs £5.95 per month and offers 6 free ATM withdrawals in the UK. Thereafter, each ATM withdrawal costs £1 until the month ends. Foreign exchange transfers attract a 0.5% fee. It comes with a free debit card.
- Premium. It costs £14.95 per month and comes with free foreign exchange transfers and unlimited ATM withdrawals within the UK. It comes with a free debit card.
Revolut is an online bank that allows customers to open current accounts. You do not need proof of residency and a debit card. You can use it to receive a salary, pay bills and send and receive money abroad. You can hold money in over 20 currencies and convert them using the mid-market rate.
Revolut offers three types of accounts:
- Standard. It offers a free IBAN UK current account that comes with a free debit card. There are no fees for ATM withdrawals for up to £200 every month while in the UK. Any ATM withdrawal above that attracts a 2% fee.
- Premium. It costs £6.99 per month inclusive of the debit card. There are no fees for ATM withdrawals of up to £400 every month. Any ATM withdrawal above that costs 2% of the withdrawal value.
- Metal. It costs £12.99 per month inclusive of the debit card. No fees for ATM withdrawals below per month £800 while in the UK. ATM withdrawals above that will attract 2% of the withdrawal value.
Sending money to non-SEPA countries in the same currency attracts a 0.3% fee with a minimum fee of £0.3 and a maximum of £5. Revolut delivers bank balance in British Pounds. It comes with a UK bank sort code and your account number. You can share the account number with people who want to send you money in British Pounds.
Read: Revolut vs Monese
Monzo is a fully mobile bank and all banking activities are controlled through Monzo app. They offer a UK current account that comes with a debit card. They offer free £200 withdrawals within and outside of the UK. After that, any withdrawal costs 3% of the withdrawal value for the rest of the month. However, payments through debit cards are free and you can use them to shop. Monzo offers only a single account.
Fineco is a bank that allows UK residents to open multi-currency accounts as well as trading accounts. Fineco trading services support shares, stocks, CFDs, ETFs, etc.
Fineco bank account in the UK comes with the following beneficial features:
- Current account. You can open Fineco multi-currency current account that comes with a debit card.
- Trading. Fineco online trading platform helps you quickly trade in FX, futures, CFDs, etc.
- Fineco bank ISA. Any investment growth or interest earned within the ISA is free from UK Income or Capital Gains Tax.
Starling bank is a virtual UK bank that operates on your smartphone. The bank offers current accounts, business accounts, loans, and money transfer services. Some of Starling bank features are:
- US dollar and Euro account for UK businesses
- Money transfer to over 30 countries around the world
- Overdraft facility
- Accounting and bookkeeping toolkit for your business
- Mobile check deposits
Revolut and Wise are well-known virtual bank accounts in the UK. When you open an account with any of the two banks, you will receive a standard European IBAN account at first. You can then open a special British account. With Revolut, you can open a British account from the app. For Wise, you can open a British account from the app or the website.