Virtual bank accounts in the UK allow you to conduct all of your transaction activities online, without the need to visit a physical branch. This can be a great option for people who want to be able to manage their finances from anywhere. If you are interested in opening a virtual bank account in the UK, we will show you some of the best online banks in the UK to choose from.
Benefits of Virtual Banks in UK
You can open a free virtual bank account in the UK in a few minutes. You do not need to visit the bank and no paperwork is required. Moreover, most virtual banks in the UK also offer zero monthly fees or lower fees compared to traditional banks, virtual cards, multi-currency account, cost-effective money transfers, USD and Euro accounts in UK, and a European IBAN number. Some of these banks are also crypto-friendly. It’s important to note that UK virtual banks are subject to the same regulatory standards as traditional banks.
Best Online Bank in UK
The days of the old-fashioned banks are counted. If you want a better experience with more control over your cards and expenses, then some of the best virtual banks and fintechs in the UK are Wise, Monese, Revolut, Monzo and Starling. Find below a comparison of the best features of these virtual banks in the UK.
Monese is a well-known UK virtual bank account that is a great option for individuals and small businesses looking for a UK multicurrency account. You can open an instant bank account online whether you are in the UK or within the Eurozone, and you do not need to have a fixed address in the UK. This makes Monese a good option for people who are homeless or who do not have a permanent address.
The bank offers the following:
- EUR or GBP current accounts: You can open an account in either EUR or GBP, and you can easily switch between currencies.
- Joint account: You can open a joint account with another person, making it easy to manage your finances together.
- Monese business account: If you have a business, you can open a business account with Monese to separate your personal and business finances. This account comes with features that are designed for businesses, such as invoicing and expense tracking.
- Physical and virtual cards: You can get a physical or virtual card with your Monese account. The physical card is Mastercard-enabled, so you can use it to make payments online and in stores.
- Monese insurance: Protect your monthly expenses from unexpected events like an accident, sickness or involuntary loss of employment.
- UK bank account with no address: You can open a UK bank account without proof of address with Monese.
Revolut is one of the leading e-money service provider in the UK. Revolut app offers a range of features, including multicurrency accounts. With a Revolut multicurrency account, you can hold and exchange over 28 currencies, including EUR, GBP, USD, and CHF. You can also get a physical or virtual Revolut card that lets you spend money in any currency at the interbank exchange rate.
Revolut bank offers the following in the UK:
- Revolut multicurrency account: You can hold and exchange over 28 currencies.
- UK IBAN: You can get an IBAN number for international transfers.
- SEPA: You can make SEPA payments to other Revolut users and to people with bank accounts in other SEPA countries.
- Stocks: You can buy and sell stocks with Revolut.
- Revolut insurance: It offers a range of insurance products, including travel insurance and mobile phone insurance.
Monzo is a UK digital bank that offers a range of financial products and services. It is a popular bank among millennials and young adults, as it offers a virtual GBP account with a number of features that are designed to make banking more convenient.
Monzo online account offers the following:
- Current accounts: It offers a range of virtual current accounts, including a basic account and a premium account.
- Savings accounts: Open savings accounts via Monzo Savings Pots and Cash ISAs.
- Overdrafts and loans: They are only available to customers who have a good credit history.
- Monzo business accounts: The bank offers business accounts that are designed for small businesses.
- Monzo joint accounts: Monzo allows you to open joint accounts with your partner, family, or friends.
- Get your salary a day early: Customers can get their salary a day early with no extra fees.
- Crypto-friendly: You can buy or sell crypto on crypto exchanges using your Monzo bank account or card.
Wise, formerly TransferWise, is a digital multicurrency account that allows you to open a no monthly fee account in the UK and hold over 40 currencies in a single account. You can use your account to receive, spend, and transfer money to over 160 countries.
Wise offers a range of financial products and services, including:
- Wise multicurrency account: This account allows you to hold over 40 currencies in a single account. You can use it to receive, spend, and send money to over 160 countries.
- Physical and virtual card: Wise offers both physical and virtual cards that can be used to spend money in multiple currencies.
- Wise business account: Wise also offers a business account, which include banking for ecommerce businesses to accept payments from Amazon customers and other online marketplaces.
- Wise money transfer: Wise is one of the cheapest money transfer services available. You can send money to over 160 countries at a low cost. Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate, so you get the best possible exchange rate when you transfer money.
- Interest on your balance: Its new interest feature allows you to get 4.54% variable rate on your GBP balance.
Atom Bank is a digital-only bank that was founded in 2014. It is the first digital bank in the UK to be granted a banking license. The bank has low fees, and there are no monthly fees for most accounts. Furthermore, it does not have a minimum deposit for instant savers. However, Atom Bank does not offer virtual current accounts.
Here are some of the features and products that Atom Bank offers:
- Instant and fixed savings accounts: Atom Bank offers a range of savings accounts with different interest rates and terms.
- UK business loans: Atom Bank offers loans to businesses of all sizes.
- UK mortgages: Atom Bank offers mortgages to homeowners and first-time buyers.
- Near Prime Mortgages: Atom Bank is one of the mortgage lenders for bad credit in the UK through its Near Prime Mortgages product.
Starling Bank is a UK online bank that was founded in 2014. It is a UK-based bank that offers a range of financial products and services to individuals, businesses, teens and kids.
Here are some of the beneficial features you can expect from Starling Bank:
- Current accounts: Starling Bank offers a range of current accounts, including a euro bank account in the UK that can be used to hold and spend euros.
- Starling joint accounts: It allows you to open a joint account with other people.
- Starling teen accounts: The bank offers teen accounts that are designed for 13 – 17-year-olds. These accounts come with a debit card and a mobile app that allows teens to manage their money.
- Starling Kite: Starling Kite is a debit card and app that is designed for 6 – 16-year-olds. It allows kids to learn how to manage their money and make purchases online and in stores.
- Starling business accounts: It offers US dollar and euro bank accounts for limited companies and self-employed.
- Loans and overdrafts: Starling Bank offers loans and overdrafts to businesses and individuals.
The Best Virtual Banks in the UK
Virtual banks are becoming increasingly popular in the UK, as they offer a number of advantages over traditional banks. They are often more convenient, with mobile apps that allow you to manage your account on the go. They also tend to have lower fees, and some offer innovative features like multi-currency accounts, cheap money transfer, cryptocurrency trading, virtual cards, and euro accounts in the UK.
If you are looking for a convenient and affordable way to bank, a virtual bank in the UK is a good option.
Wise, Monese, and Revolut all offer virtual 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 but also through the Wise website.
Online Bank Account in UK FAQs
What is a virtual bank account ?
A virtual bank account is a type of bank account that is managed entirely online. You can open a virtual bank account without having to visit a physical branch, and you can manage your money online from anywhere in the world.
How can I open a virtual bank account in UK?
It's easy to open a virtual bank account in the UK: choose one of the virtual banks listed in this review that meets your needs, visit their website or download their app and start the account opening process, provide your personal information and go through the identity verification steps. After approval, fund your account, and you can start using it for various transactions.
Are online banks safe in the UK?
Yes, online banks in the UK, including those that are listed in this article, are generally considered safe and secure. They are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). This means that they are subject to the same rules and regulations as traditional banks. Online banks also use the same security measures as traditional banks, such as encryption and fraud detection.
Which is the best online bank in the UK?
Generally, the best online bank in the UK depends on your individual needs and preferences. However, some of the highly-rated online banks in the UK include: Revolut, Monese, and Wise. Generally, the best online bank in the UK depends on your individual needs and preferences. However, some of the highly-rated online banks in the UK include: Revolut, Monese, and Wise.
Can I open a free online bank account in the UK?
You can open a free online bank account in the UK with several banks, including Revolut Standard Plan, Monese Simple Plan, and Starling Personal and Joint Accounts.