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Traditional bank account or e-wallet/neobank

Here you will find short key features on bank account opening.

Banking

Business Set up and Structuring Services

Bank account and e-Wallet accounts

Getting paid - bank account, e-wallet, payment providers

How would you expect your clients to pay you if you don’t have some kind of way of taking payments? Although the choice largely depends on the types of services or products you are selling, at the end of the day, you will still need a bank account.
 
You may have heard familiar names such as Shopify, Stripe… but some payment platforms like PayPal require your company bank account to be in the same country (of registration). So, in the case of PayPal, you need to ensure that your company can open a bank account in the incorporation jurisdiction.
 
There are, of course, alternatives such as Stripe, which does not have the same restrictions.
 
You should always have more than one bank account for your company. Banks differ in how they operate, in their transfer charges, exchange rates etc. Therefore it is better to have a choice. We would generally recommend setting up one e-wallet account and one traditional bank account.    

 
e-Wallet & Bank Account Opening

Choice of a bank or an e-wallet? or both...

E-Wallets/Neo Banks or e-Money operate similarly to PayPal, which is perhaps the best-known example. In essence, they provide a stored value facility outside the general banking system and often provide, depending on the provider, some or all of the following services:

  • A virtual account number
  • A bank account number(s)
  • Pre-paid debit cards
  • Merchant services
  • Foreign exchange

In brief, e-wallets is an online digital ‘bank’. The main difference between banks and e-wallets is that the traditional banks have a banking licence and e-wallets hold a money services licence.

How much does an e-wallet account cost?

Traditional banks are suitable for keeping most of your money and receiving payments from platforms like PayPal. E-wallets tend to offer cheap transfers and have low maintenance fees. However, an e-wallet account is much easier to open than an account with traditional banks.

 

Summary of e-Wallet account offerings:

An online ‘virtual’ account, often operated by a mobile phone app, provides a dashboard from which all the provider’s other services are performed. You will also have the ability to make and receive payments to other account holders – usually completely free of charge.

One or more bank account numbers (with a recognised bank) into which payments can be received (receiving accounts). These accounts can directly be used for outgoing payments in some cases, although this is much less common.

One or more pre-paid debit cards often in US$, € or £. These can be topped up from the dashboard, used just like a regular bank card, e.g. Internet, shops and ATM withdrawals, or are effectively debit cards against the relevant currency account.


Foreign exchange. Most providers offer excellent rates for converting currency. In almost all cases, these rates are better than those provided by the banks.

 

 

Merchant services – the ability to collect payments from your customers by:
a) shopping cart
b) pay-by-link*

*Pay-by-link is offered by some providers, whereby you send an invoice, and a payment link (by email) to your customer, and they settle by clicking the link and entering their credit card details.

Which e-Wallet account do we recommend?

It is rare for one provider to cover all your needs, and we would often recommend opening two accounts with different providers to get the best combination of services. In terms of costs, it is almost always free to open a basic e-Wallet account, although some services, e.g. a pre-paid card, will incur a modest fee. Although no minimum balance is required, it is necessary to use the account periodically to avoid dormant account charges.

For companies formed by TaiPan, we offer the option to receive a detailed report summarising the various e-Wallets. Please contact us for consultation.

Types of e-Wallet accounts

There are two types of e-Wallet accounts:

1. Corporate and
2. Personal

Some e-Wallet accounts require you to open a personal account to enable you to apply for a Corporate one.


If the information requested is complete, you can expect a corporate operating account in less than a week.

 

Corporate e-Wallet account

The advantage of e-Wallets / e-Money accounts over banks is that they can be opened in a matter of days (rather than weeks). Like all financial institutions, they need to identify their clients and verify company information. Customer verification is usually done via dashboard/mobile app and in stages.

Personal e-Wallet account

Personal accounts are even easier and are often confirmed almost instantly, subject to proof of ID being supplied.