You can open a free a virtual bank account in the UK in a few minutes. You do not need to visit the bank and no paperwork is required. Moreover, some offer zero monthly fees, virtual cards, multi-currency account, interest free overdraft, money transfers, and IBAN number. UK virtual banks are regulated the same way as traditional banks.
Some of the best virtual banks in UK are:
Wise is an online bank that offers money transfer services. It was founded in London in 2010 and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. You can open a virtual bank account with Wise. You will be issued with Wise debit card which you can use to make ATM withdrawals and make payments. Wise offers the best money exchange rates. It uses mid-market rates, ensuring that you convert currencies using the prevailing market rates.
Read more: Wise money transfer
The advantages of Wise include:
- No hidden fees
- Cheap money transfer fees
- Borderless money transfers
- Business accounts
- Currency conversion using mid-market rates
Monese is a UK virtual bank account you can use to open an online bank account. It is a great option if you are a frequent traveler. You can open a Monese virtual account if you have an email address, mailing address and ID. You can open the account whether you are in the UK or within the Eurozone.
Monese online bank account simplifies your work. It offers the following:
- You can track your spending
- Lock your card using the app if it is stolen
- Send money abroad
- Get 200 euros free ATM withdrawal every month
You can also make payments, direct deposits, online and offline shopping, money transfer and withdrawals using the app. To pay for goods and services like rent and utility bills, you can pay via bank transfers or using the Monese to Monese option.
Revolut is one of the leading virtual European bank accounts with its headquarters in London. It is the best bank for holidays. The bank is available to customers in the EEA region, Switzerland, Australia and the United States. You can transact using the bank in 35 currencies, while you can top up in 15 currencies.
You open the account online. Download the Revolut app and start enjoying banking services. You will also get a physical card which you can use to withdraw cash in ATMs. They advance personal loans, phone insurance, virtual cards and travel insurance. This makes it the best bank for travelers.
You can use Revolut virtual bank for:
- Managing wealth like stocks and cryptos
- Sending and receiving money
- Manage your finances by setting up budgets
- Set recurring bills and split bills so that you can pay different people at the same time
- Earn rewards and redeem rewards
Read more: Revolut vs Monese
Monzo is a UK online bank with its headquarters in London. It is the best bank for budgeting and offers personal, joint and business accounts. They also advance loans to their customers just like traditional banks. You can open a current account to be receiving your salary through it. You get to access its services through an app or a debit card. You can deposit money to your Monzo account through a bank transfer, cheque, or cash.
You can also open a business account to manage your business’ finances. With the business account, you enjoy:
- Free bank transfers within the UK
- Have access to Monzo saving pots
- Get digital receipts and invoicing through an app
When you open an account, you will be issued with a free MasterCard debit card you can use the card to make free purchases and withdraw cash in ATMs.
Atom Bank is an online UK bank that offers savings accounts, mortgages and business loans. It does not offer current accounts. It is only available to UK customers only. It does not have a minimum deposit for instant savers. The maximum savings balance is 200,000 euros.
Starling Bank is a UK online bank that offers personal, joint and business accounts. It was voted to have the best current account in 2020. You can use the online bank to:
- Send money abroad
- Split bills
- Track your spending habits
- Lock your card on the app in case it is stolen
- Get notifications in case of payments
In general, most of these online bank accounts work in a similar way. Creating an account is usually relatively easy. All you need is your email address, phone number, and a physical address you can verify. In most of them, you can create an account using their mobile applications. Others, you can only create an account using their desktop apps.
After you register, you will receive a Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) account. This is a bank account that you can receive funds in. You will also be given a debit card, which you can use to withdraw money at any ATMs. You can also use the ATM to transact where Visa and Mastercard are accepted.
A common question we often hear is whether virtual banks are safe. The answer is that most of these banks are safe. There has been no major collapse of an online-only bank. However, this does not necessarily mean that these banks are 100% safe. According to media reports, most new online-only banks are unprofitable. This is because they are spending a lot of money on growth. Saving money in a company that is unprofitable can have some risks.
As you decide whether you want to save money in an online bank, you might ask on the benefits of doing this. There are several benefits of having an online-only bank account:
- Accessible worldwide – You can access and manage your account anywhere you are.
- Cheap to maintain – Online banking in UK has lower fees compared to traditional banks.
- Easy to create an account – You don’t need to visit a bank branch to create an account.
- Insured funds – Most virtual UK banks insure your funds like other traditional banks.
- Discounts – Most UK virtual banks partner with other digital companies to offer them with discounts.
- Manage spending using budgeting tools
Having a virtual bank account in the UK is a great deal. It not only saves your money but also time since you do not need to visit a banking hall to make a transaction. Many people are adopting virtual banks to allow them to spend money while traveling. Also, many of these virtual banks have spending trackers to help people manage their finances. Ultimately, you should consider a virtual bank account UK.