Digital nomads are ever more numerous. They have special needs, notably in terms of financial services.
Thankfully, fintech startups are coming up with clever solutions that are not just only cheaper than those provided by traditional banking and financial services companies, but also more convenient and accessible from anywhere in the world.
We’ve listed some of the most digital-friendly products and services targeted at digital nomads, small business owners, and freelancers that cover anything from banking, international money transfers, and personal finance management, to accounting, investing and bitcoin.
There are a few things to consider when choosing which banking services to use, notably the currency the account will be based on.
For a EUR banking account, German N26 is a good fit. N26, a licensed banking institution, offers free bank transfers and foreign currency purchases via its Mastercard debit card.
For those that are looking for a multi-currency account, TransferWise’s new Borderless account offers proper bank account details in the UK, Germany, and the US. It also lets users hold 15 other currencies and convert between them at mid-market rates.
Revolut is another multi-currency banking account that supports GBP, EUR, USD, CHF and PLN. It comes with a Mastercard debit card.
International money transfers
For international money transfers, a popular choice is TransferWise, which is known for being very easy to use and which offers mid-market conversion rates. TransferWise charges between 0.5% and 0.7% of the transaction’s amount.
For currencies that TransferWise doesn’t support, a good alternative is Azimo, another money transfer app. Azimo covers Europe as well as some Asian markets such as the Philippines.
Other options include CurrencyFair, an online peer-to-peer currency exchange marketplace from Ireland.
Personal finance management
PocketGuard is an all-in-one bank account tracking and budget management app that shows users how much they have in their accounts as well as how much they can afford to spend for the day.
Combine is a mobile financial assistant that analyzes user transactions targeted at travelers. The app gives users personalized expense forecast and let them keep track of accounts across Europe. Combine is a Startupbootcamp alumni, and was one of the finalists of Visa’s Everywhere Initiative 2017.
Trail Wallet is a mobile budgeting and expense tracking app for iPhone and iPad. Trail Wallet is free for up to 25 items.
For accounting and bookkeeping, Xero is a popular cloud-based service. It comes with impressive features such as robust payroll, contact management and inventory management software features and capabilities.
Intuit QuickBooks is another well-known solution in the accounting and personal finance space. QuickBooks Online offers double-entry accounting with advanced reports and accounts charts, as well as customizable invoices, inventory capabilities, payroll support, multiple currencies, and over 400 integrations.
For those looking to invest their money, Betterment is one of the largest and most popular robo-advisory companies in the space. There is no minimum investment, but users need to have either US$10,000 or a US$100 a month scheduled deposit to avoid the US$3 per month fee.
The Robinhood app is a completely free trading app available in the US and Australia. Robinhood lets users buy and sell US-listed companies, ETFs, and many of the largest companies.
Hong Kong’s 8 Securities is the Asian equivalent of Robinhood. The company provides users with a mobile app that lets them trade over 15,000 US and HK stocks and index funds for no commission.
For bitcoin users, there are several companies that offer bitcoin payment cards that run on either the Visa or Mastercard network.
Xapo’s debit card was the first to market. It is available in most European countries but not in the US. The card itself costs US$20 and also has an annual fee of US$12.
Wirex offers a bitcoin debit card running on the Visa network that supports USD, EUR and GBP. The card costs 1 EUR/GBP/USD per month.
Featured image kohub, co-living space in Thailand, via http://kohub.org/