Online banking can be scary for some people at the start. There are a lot of factors to consider, and you may have many questions that come to mind when considering an online banking solution. It’s important to compare all your different options, and most importantly, know that your bank is completely safe and offers an efficient service for your needs including sending money abroad. We break down the most commonly asked questions below.
What type of documents do I need to open an online bank account and why?
For your own security and for the compliance needs of your online bank, you will need to provide a form of identification documents such as passport, local residence cards, license, etc. Specifically banks that offer remittance services, that deal with large sums of funds moving across countries regularly, need to comply with AML laws (Anti Money Laundering) to make sure their customers are genuine. They also check your identity documents to verify that it’s in fact you, this is to protect you from online identity theft and fraud. Most banks will also ask for proof of address especially if you order a credit card to be delivered. It’s possible some banks may additionally require proof of funds/salary slip when involving “high limits.”.
What type of fees do online banking services charge?
When comparing banks a really important aspect to consider is the fees the banking service charges. Some of them can be costly and add up quickly, so it’s advised to look closely at the, sometimes, hidden fees. Some fees that many people don’t know about our maintenance fees, which usually involve a monthly charge. Sometimes, this fee is waived for different conditions such as having a minimum amount deposited each month.
Another common fee is overdraft charges, which occur when withdrawing below the amount/limit in your account. These fees can be quite high and can also involve added interest. Sending money abroad can often have very high fees too, especially at traditional banks. When looking at sending money abroad the best option is to consider using a banking platform that specializes in international transfers and maintains the low fees per transaction or simply charges an inexpensive flat fee per order.
Lastly, credit/debit cards have their own fees involved such as ATM fees, monthly fees, and foreign transaction fees. Shop around when choosing a card for your needs, a good option is international debit cards that keep the fees minimal and give you the flexibility to use your own money and travel the world without extra added costs.
How long does it take to complete an international money transfer?
This is dependent on many factors. Firstly, it depends on the method of remittance: wire transfer would take longer than a mobile wallet or cash pick-up. Transferring money to a foreign account could take anywhere between a few hours and up to 1- 2 business days at most, whereas other methods can be as fast as immediate or up to a few hours.
Secondly, even if your online banking solution provides a fast service, the order may take longer than expected due to receiver banks being slower. Some countries, in particular, can take longer than others. Usually, the best days to send money are not over the weekend or public holidays as this can delay the time it takes for the money to reach its destination, and local banks are usually shut.
What type of parameters should I check to make sure my online banking is safe?
Firstly, only work with completely regulated businesses. Make sure to avoid joining unauthorized banking services that may actually be involved in certain illegal activities themselves. Secondly, research the company’s data protection history for possible breaches. Lastly, it’s imperative to inspect the company’s certifications depending on the region and local regulations. For an article with further details on these regulations and expanded parameters read more here.
There are many questions to ask yourself when selecting the digital banking service that suits your needs. Once you have considered all these integral factors above, you should be able to find the perfect one.