7 Best Digital Bank Accounts for eCommerce & Online Businesses – 2021
Looking for the best digital bank account for your eCommerce business? There are so many options these days, it can be tricky knowing which bank to choose.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best digital banking services for digital nomads, online businesses, and eCommerce entrepreneurs. With these services, you can manage your money easily wherever you are in the world.
During the last five years or so, we’ve been experiencing a revolution in banking. Previously it could be a huge hassle to open and operate a bank account. But there’s recently been a surge of new “branchless” banks that operate solely online.
These banks make it much easier to sign up for an account. You no longer have to go into a branch in person. No need for hardcopies of your ID and proof of address and salary. Instead, you can register for an account online in minutes.
Digital bank accounts also offer many advantages on a day-to-day basis.
The Benefits of Online Bank Accounts for eCommerce Entrepreneurs
Making sure you can get paid is a vital part of any business. But it’s especially important for eCommerce businesses that may take thousands of payments from customers every day.
You want to make sure it’s easy and convenient for your customers to pay you. Nobody wants to send a check or wire a transfer when they’re shopping online.
Most eCommerce businesses use a payment gateway like PayPal or Stripe to accept credit card payments from their customers. But these services are not fully functioning bank accounts.
Choosing a payment gateway that meets your needs is important for running an online store. But you should also think carefully about the service you choose for your business bank account.
The best digital bank accounts offer several benefits over traditional banking for eCommerce businesses:
- Lower fees and higher interest rates – as these banks don’t have branches, their overheads are lower. This means they’re able to pass the savings on to you in the form of lower fees and higher interest rates.
- Quicker and easier transfers – no more waiting days to get your money or transfer it between accounts. Digital open banking now means transfers happen in seconds. Online accounts come with apps that make it very quick and efficient to send a transfer.
- Manage multiple currencies with ease – Many eCommerce businesses operate all over the world. Several digital bank accounts allow you to maintain balances in multiple currencies. They also offer lower fees and better exchange rates for sending money overseas.
- Flexible residency requirements – One of the perks of operating an online business is that you can do it from anywhere. So you’ll need a bank account that’s happy to work with digital nomads. Most online banking services will let you open an account in the country your business is registered in, even if you don’t live there.
- More convenient – As everything is online, there’s no need to waste time going into a branch to manage your banking.
- Better record keeping – You can usually link your online bank account directly to accounting software. This makes it easier to keep track of your income and expenses.
Now you know the benefits of digital bank accounts, you’re probably keen to make the switch. Let’s move onto the best digital bank accounts for eCommerce businesses in our opinion.
Payoneer is technically a financial services company, not a bank. However, the difference between Payoneer and other services like PayPal is that they can provide you with an actual account number for local banking in various countries.
Previous to Payoneer offering this service, it would only be able an account in the US, for example, if you were there. Traditonal US banks require a physical address and tax number there. You also need to open the account in person. But with Payoneer, you can get your own US account number for receiving payments within minutes.
Payoneer is an official partner for dozens of eCommerce marketplaces including Amazon, eBay, and Rakuten. This means you can get your payments from these platforms quickly and without incurring additional bank transfer fees.
You can also pay your suppliers, contractors, and other business expenses directly from your Payoneer account. Ecommerce businesses can pay VAT in multiple countries from their Payoneer balance for free.
Available in: Payoneer is available in over 150 countries. You can get a local bank account number for the US, EU, UK, Japan, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Mexico.
Currencies: USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, and CNH
Fees: It’s free to open an account with Payoneer. Payments received from other Payoneer accounts are free, while credit card payments are subject to a 3% fee. Transfers into local accounts in USD are charged a 0-1% fee, depending on the country. Withdrawals to a bank account are charged a flat fee of $1.50, €1.50, or £1.50 if they’re in the same currency and up to 2% above the market exchange rate to withdraw to an account in a different currency.
Revolut is a UK-based digital bank that has been around since 2015. The company has since expanded into Europe, Australia, Singapore, and the USA.
Revolut offers a business account that allows you to receive card payments directly, hold and exchange funds in over 28 currencies, make payments in over 150 currencies, and integrate with other business apps such as Xero, Quickbooks, and Slack.
Using Revolut’s payment plugins for WooCommerce, Prestashop, and Magento means you can start taking credit card payments on your eCommerce store in multiple currencies with lower fees than most other payment gateways:
Available in: Revolut Business is available for companies and sole traders registered in the UK, the EEA, Switzerland, and the USA
Currencies: Merchant accounts can receive funds in EUR, GBP, USD, CAD, CHF, JPY, AUD, HKD, SEK, DKK, NOK, NZD, PLN, and ZAR.
Fees: Revolut Business accounts start from free with some limits on features. However, free accounts are charged a £3 fee for each international payment. Paid accounts start from £25 a month with an allowance of free local and international payments and foreign exchanges each month. Receiving card payments attracts a fee of 1.3% for UK and EEA cards and 2.8% for other cards.
3. Wise (Previously TransferWise)
UK-based Wise recently underwent re-branding to reflect its status as a financial services company rather than just an international transfer service.
Like Payoneer, Wise is an electronic money account rather than a full bank account, so you won’t earn interest on your balances. However, it’s attractive for global eCommerce business owners as you can send, receive, and convert currencies with low fees and market exchange rates.
With a Wise Business account, you get an IBAN, routing number, sort code, and debit card without having a physical bank account. You can pay invoices in over 70 countries with the real market exchange rate, pay employees all over the world with low transaction fees, receive money in multiple currencies, and move money between different accounts without paying high currency conversion and withdrawal fees.
Available in: You can set up a Wise Business account for companies registered in countries all over the world. However, there are a few countries and US states where you can’t open balances. Check here for the full list. You can get a local account number for the UK, US, EU, Hungary, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Romania
Currencies: Currency wallets are available in over 55 currencies
Fees: It’s free to use Wise for currency transfers. To get a full Business account with a bank account number and the ability to receive payments, you’ll pay a one-time fee of $31. Fees for receiving money, sending payments, or converting between currencies depend on the currencies you’re working with but are typically much lower than standard bank fees.
N26 is a European bank that was founded in 2013. While the bank is based in Germany, its website and support are in English (Spanish, German, French, and Italian are also supported).
The N26 Business Smart bank account is aimed at freelancers and the self-employed to help manage their business payments, make free payments in any currency, and manage their finances from anywhere.
Available in: All Eurozone countries as well as Poland, Sweden, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Iceland.
Currencies: All N26 accounts are in EUR.N26 Business accounts don’t support transfers in foreign currencies but they have partnered with Wise if you need to make an international transfer.
Fees: N26 business accounts are free to open, with no management fees. There are also no foreign transaction fees
Bunq describes itself as “the bank of The Free” and “the fully mobile expat bank account”. This Netherlands-based bank is designed to make it easy for digital nomads to open a European bank account without a tax number. It overs several benefits over traditional banking, particularly for Europeans who travel between countries.
Available in: Bunq is available in all EU countries. To open a business account with Bunq, you’ll need a business registered in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, Portugal, or Ireland. You must also be a permanent resident of the country where your business is registered.
Currencies: Bunq currently only offers EUR accounts but you can make foreign currency payments.
Fees: Bunq offers 3 types of accounts. Business accounts start from €2.99 a month. It costs 2.5% + € 0.20 to receive credit and debit card payments. Transfers and currency exchanges are managed via Wise and cost € 0.10 per payment on top of the real exchange rate. Money transfers in euros are free.
Mercury is a US-based bank that was designed specifically for startups. It links with most US payment processors so you can take payments from your site directly, and you can send global payments to anywhere in the world.
Available in: You’ll need a company registered in the US to open an account with Mercury but you can open your account from anywhere in the world.
Currencies: Mercury currently only offers accounts in USD.
Fees: Mercury accounts are free and there are no monthly fees. Domestic wire transfers cost $5 and international wires are $20. If you deposit $250k, you’ll be eligible for a Tea Room account, which offers free domestic and international wire transfers.
Skrill is a virtual wallet service that allows you to receive payments in multiple currencies, make local payments directly from your Skrill account, and send money to international bank accounts.
The platform has partnered with all the major shopping carts and eCommerce platforms to make it easy for you to take payments in multiple currencies. Shopping cart plugins are available for Wix, Magento, WooCommerce, Shopify, Prestashop, and more.
Available in: You can accept local payments in over 100 countries using local payment gateways and methods.
Currencies: Skrill supports over 40 currencies and you can manage them all in a single account.
Fees: Skrill fees to receive and withdraw funds depend on what country you’re in. International transfers are free and you can also receive money from any other Skrill account for free. In the US, it’s free to receive funds by card or bank transfer and you’ll pay a flat fee of $5.50 to withdraw funds to your US bank account.
What is the Best Digital Bank Account for Your eCommerce Business?
If you’re looking for a convenient and low-fee way to accept international payments and withdraw them to your local bank account, Payoneer, Wise, and Skrill are all good options, with Payoneer offering the closest thing to managing actual bank accounts in multiple countries.
For a full banking service, you’ll need to consider one of the actual digital banks. This is limited to where your business is registered and where you live, with UK and Europe taking the lead.
However, currently, Revolut is one of the few options that allow you to hold funds in USD and other options and has the most options for business banking. It’s certainly worth considering if you’re based in the UK, USA, or Europe.
The US has been slower to embrace open banking, and so purely digital bank accounts are pretty thin on the ground right now. Those that do exist are targeted to personal banking.
We can expect to see more “disruptor” banks like Mercury cracking the US business banking market over the next couple of years. But for now, Revolut is one of the best digital bank accounts that allow you to hold a USD balance.