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Digital nomads: why neobanks might be the best solution for you


The digital nomad life is a life that an ever-growing number of people aspire to. Indeed, many of us dream of switching their 9 to 5 office job for a life of freedom.

But this modern lifestyle requires modern financial solutions, as the traditional banking system could limit a digital nomad.

Some problems digital nomads can face if they use traditional banks

1. Currency exchange and transfer fees: Traditional banks often charge high fees for currency exchange and international money transfers. Also, withdrawing money can cost you more if the ATM you are withdraw from does not have a partnership with your local bank.


This is especially important in countries like Germany, where paying with cash, Bargeld, is still very frequent.

2. Expense tracking and budgeting: Managing finances across multiple currencies and tracking expenses can be challenging if your bank doesn’t offer you the right tools for it.

3. Bureaucracy: Coming into a new country often means having to face its bureaucracy. For example, it is often needed to have a bank account in said country to rent a house but needing a permanent address to open a bank account.

4. Customer support: In some situations, you have no other choices than to contact your bank. For example, if you get your credit card stolen, you will have to face limited accessibility if their bank does not have physical branches at that location or if they do, they might be confronted with language barriers. Time zone differences might also lead to delays in resolving issues or obtaining assistance when needed.

Neobanks: An opportunity for digital nomads

In order to avoid those problems, the digital nomad lifestyle requires banking solutions that are as agile as the digital nomads themselves.

One solution might be for digital nomads to create an account in so-called neobanks.

Those fintech companies that became really popular in the last decade are direct banks, which means they only operate on a virtual basis, which means that the only thing someone would need to have access to their bank is an internet connection.

Digital nomads can greatly benefit from opening an account with a neobank due to the flexibility and convenience these financial institutions offer.

Neobanks allow users to manage their finances seamlessly from anywhere in the world with just a smartphone or laptop and a reliable internet connection. This enables them to access their accounts, transfer funds, and make transactions without being tied to a physical branch.

Neobanks often boast lower fees and transparent pricing structures, providing cost-effective solutions for frequent international transactions, currency exchanges, and withdrawals.

Additionally, many neobanks offer innovative features such as real-time expense tracking, automated budgeting tools, and integrations with popular accounting software, empowering digital nomads to efficiently manage their finances on the go.

Some even allow you to make an ecological gesture. It is for example the case with the Easy Green plan from bunq bank. Indeed, thanks to this plan the bank of The Free helps their users offset their carbon footprint together with their friends by planting a tree for every 100 euros spent.

In essence, a neobank is an essential companion for modern, location-independent professionals, streamlining financial tasks and offering the freedom to focus on their work and adventures without the hassle of traditional banking constraints.

This article was written as part of a collaboration between bunq, bank of The Free and the BDAE:

Find out more about the collaboration here.

Sign up for a bunq account in less than 5 minutes

This article is from the 1/2024 issue of the magazine "Life Abroad".

The magazine is published four times a year free of charge with many informative articles on foreign topics.

It is published by the BDAE, the expert for protection abroad.