This September, just like every September of every year, thousands of 18+-year-olds are being sent off by their parents in pursuit of “Higher Education endeavors” across Europe and/or generally all over the world.
This September, just like every September of every year, millions of parental monies €/£/$ are wasted on money exchange/commission payments/ transfer fees/ account opening fees/ housing deposit payments – and the list goes on and on and on…
Similarly, many are those who have to realize that there’s really no need to get involved in any of that.
I might have already written an article about them (How to save money during your summer holiday) but Electronic Money Institutions (“EMI”s) can only but spare us the hassle (and cost!) of transferring and/or using our traditional bank accounts and cards in a country other than the one they originate from.
Revolut, Transferwise, Monzo , N26 and Starling Bank are only a few of the most prominent EMI’s available to be mentioned. All very popular amongst not just the Millennials and Generation Zs but millions of other users around the globe trusted to make finances a hell lot easier!
All of the aforementioned, whether they have opted for a “full bank license” or not, make everything simpler and easier by enabling their customers to create an online “bank” account usable for all their online or over the counter transactions. Users can also request to be issued with physical (i.e. VISA or MasterCard) or even visual cards – mostly preferred for online transactions since their underlying algorithm is altered after every online transaction made-.
They work solely through their individual apps, on which you can access immediately all your respective accounts (be it your Euro / GBP / USD / any-other-available-currency account) giving you an instant view of your finances and also helping you keep track of how much you’ve spent (or earned) in each of them. All physical cards (some being made available for a small shipping fee) can be used universally in shops or online – just like you would do with any of your other bank cards.
Parents no longer need to worry about “making it to the bank” to send some extra cash to their “weathered” children abroad. Payments and/or transfers within the app and/or direct bank transfers (meaning straight to their bank account with BoC / HSBC etc) can be performed all through the application of each EMI. At no cost. Or transfer fees. Or commission. You (and by you I mean parents-) can even pay your child’s landlord directly to their bank account on the app. At a different currency too (at least with Revolut and Transferwise). All you need is their bank account details. Yes, recurring payments are available too-every 1st of the month it is!
With the super-handy “Split the Bill” functionality (offered by Revolut and Monzo) you no longer need to worry about splitting that humongous electricity bill with your flatmates (all coming out of YOUR account!). You can instantly request the bill to be split with your flatmates, sending a notification to everyone who can pay their share just by clicking “Accept“.
And that Ski & Snowboard Society trip coming up in January? That’s made simpler now as well. By activating your “round-up spare change” function on your app you can save without even realizing. For every penny spent the app will automatically round up the amount and save those extra cents in your designated “Ski Triiiiiip!!” savings account (or “Vault” as Revolut likes to call them). You’ll end up with that £300 needed in no time!
Also, what makes EMI’s so great for traveling is that through the app (see Revolut and Transferwise) you have the option to exchange your € into £ or $ or any of the other 25 supported currencies at the inter-bank exchange rate. That’s the one banks offer between them and not the one offered to customers, which is usually charged with a 4% or 5% higher charge.
So, to cut to the chase cause we’ve all got some “reading” to do:
To get your Revolut/Transferwise/Monzo/N26 etc. account you simply need to download the respective app and follow the instructions as prompted to create an online account. To kick-start your account you need to follow a few simple steps and top up (using the details of your regular bank card or account) a minimum amount. There and then you will have created your online account; making university finances a piece of cake. Or jager shot, whatever goes down faster!
For more info on any of the products, services and perks of using the EMIs mentioned above you can check their websites – or give me a shout! Legalistically speaking, and before you sign/accept anything, you should always (make an effort to) read and understand the fine print.
So, go ahead – parents and students alike! – and get your new and alternative online “bank” accounts. Choose to make university life easier for both of you; they won’t even need to call and ask for more $, just a simple “Request” on the app will suffice.
P.S: Never forget that university years are indeed the best years; enjoy!