Globcoin – The Digital Wallet that all Expats and Travellers Should Tryby Fintechnews Singapore August 12, 2016
Managing your finances in a foreign country can seem impossible, especially if you don’t speak the language. It’s hard enough figuring out the local exchange rate, let alone choosing the best way to store your money as you travel, the cheapest way to withdraw and move cash, how to keep your money secure, etc.
There are so many variables that your trip can sometimes seem more trouble than it’s worth. Travel to amazing places, see amazing things, but be totally confused every time I even think about getting my wallet out? Ahhh, it’s ok I think I’ll just stay at home with my cat and my bank card.
The financial side of travel or expat life is never straightforward, but in reality, there are many fintech apps, services and guides out there to make different aspects of your adventure easier – for most people a trip abroad without some kind of financial technology seems strange, if not foolish. You can find the best exchange rates with Currenseek, carry money with modern-day traveller cheque, Revolut, minimise wallet space with Curve, etc. And here is one app, possibly our favourite E-wallet solution ever, that does pretty much everything all in one tidy place.
What is Globecoin?
Globcoin is pretty much the world’s most comprehensive multi-currency E-wallet. Think of it as your own private financial assistant, bank and foreign exchange agent all in one. You can store your money in your Globcoin account like you would in any other bank account, E-wallet, travel card, etc, transfer it into a range of different currencies, pay people, receive money, withdraw cash and buy things online. The beauty of this particular app is its ability to cater to pretty much everything you could need, all within a traveller budget.
Pros and Cons?
If you want to save money, time, energy and wallet space, then you need Globcoin. Simple. It’s biggest pro is in how lazy you can be once you’ve got it – no more queueing at local banks to get your cash changed, no more finding the best atm with the lowest withdrawal fee, no more lengthy research on the best place to store your money as an expat in your given location, etc.
You just get out your laptop and browse your account, or flick out your MasterCard and make a purchase. Easy. But there are some other pros too, and quite a few cons. As with any app on the market, Globcoin still has plenty of opportunities to improve.
It’s online: you could literally stay inside your hotel room, never even open a window, and still make all the transactions you’d usually make in a day but from the safety of your fluffy bed – everything at Globcoin is done online. Though we wouldn’t necessarily recommend this since the whole idea of travel is to get out and explore, the general concept still stands – this app makes banking and finance very, very convenient.
Foreign Exchange is Cheap and Easy: at Globcoin you can store your money in up to 6 currency wallets – Euro, US Dollar, GBP, Swiss Franc, Canadian Dollar and Polish Zloty (with more to come) – and you can spend it in over 90 currencies, and converting your money between all of these currencies is super-cheap. Globcoin does not charge a service fee so your rates reflect the best live exchange rates with no extra cost attached, which will easily beat any local cash exchange service ten to one!
You can get paid! Globcoin has an IBAN, allowing your employer to pay you straight into your Globcoin wallet rather than going through a bank account. No matter where you are in the world.
It’s so cheap: one of the best bits about Globcoin is how transparent they are with their rates and fees – pretty much everything is stamped with a nice, big FREE sign and handed to you on a plate. It is completely free to open a Globcoin account and register your new MasterCard. You can load your Globcoin account for free by bank transfer, debit card or credit card, and can withdraw cash for free at any MasterCard ATM worldwide. All Globcoin customers get a free bank card and card delivery, and you have the option of ordering a backup card just in case. Which, as every seasoned traveller will agree, is very useful!
It is secure: gone are your days of cash-filled wallets and 8 or 9 credit cards for various accounts and currencies. Your Globcoin card is your new metaphorical magic wand – it does everything! You don’t need more than one card anymore because all of your currencies can fit in the one place, and since it is free to withdraw cash there is little need to be carrying around huge wads of it as you travel – just take a little bit out as you need it.
You can be flexible: time is money, and it can take so much of both resources to manage your money as an expat or traveller in a foreign country. But with such a user-friendly interface, Globcoin is easy to manage, saving you a lot of time and energy. You can access your money online 24/7 from your laptop or phone, from anywhere in the world.
It’s not really a bank account: Globcoin is perfect for travellers who want a way to navigate their cash while they are away from home, but it is not perfect for the expat market as it doesn’t really replace the services of a local bank account. You can’t load Globcoin with cash and though you can be paid straight into your Globcoin account (it has an IBAN), the currency you live and work in may not be available for storage in that account. Globcoin is almost there! But it doesn’t do everything yet, and for now, most expats will still need a local or foreign bank account.
You can’t store your currency: since Globcoin only supports 6 currencies mostly from around Europe and the US, chances are you may not be able to store your local currency in your account. This could be irritating for anyone travelling away from home, but applies especially to expats. The Globcoin team says they are working on building more currencies into their software, but at the moment you may still need to store your money in a different currency to the one you live with, which means losing money.
You’ve got to be old enough: the only official restriction that Globcoin lists is age – you must be over 18 to open an account. This could be a pro or a con depending on your age, putting limits on younger travellers and expats but at the same time saying something about the quality of the app – only serious customers can use Globcoin.
There’s no face-to-face: digital banking may be convenient, but what about when something goes wrong? It can be so frustrating to not be able to go into a branch and talk to someone face to face about a problem, and instead have to figure it out online or via the phone. There is a FAQ section to the Globcoin website and there are a few options for contacting the team, but customer support is not yet what it could be.
How Do I Get It?
Globcoin is super-easy to set up – it’s all done online via their website. Just create an account, follow the prompts, set up your wallets and load them with money, then get out there into the big bad world and start spending! If you register for a mastercard to your account your card will be sent to you within 7 working days.
Featured image credit: http://www.travelandescape.ca