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How to Open an International Bank Account from Abroad

Here, at Sortter, our thoughts and prayers are with the Ukrainian people, and we hope that the war will end as soon as possible. Until then, we would like to join the effort of helping the millions of Ukrainian refugees the best way we know how.

We are aware that many of the people that have fled the country could not bring a lot of money with them for several reasons. Therefore, we have created this guide, to help those who’s money is still in a Ukrainian bank account.

We hope that this guide will help as many refugees as possible to create an international bank account which will help them:

  • Transfer money from Ukrainian bank account
  • Receive family from family and friends that live outside Ukraine
  • Exchange Ukrainian hryvnia to Euros or any other currency instantly and at some of the best possible rates
  • Get a digital debit card that you can used anywhere in the world
  • Make low-fee payments
  • Make free ATM withdrawals

In this article, we will teach you how to open an account with a digital bank like Wise or Revolut and how to properly use it.

DISCLAIMER: WHILE SORTTER USES AFFILIATE MARKETING MODEL, THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY AFFILIATE LINK.

About Revolut

Revolut is a fintech company that offers users a debit card for online, contactless, and chip payments, along with ATM withdrawals at home and abroad. It was launched as a money transfer and exchange platform that lets you hold and exchange 25 currencies, with more added all the time.

One of the great things about Revolut is that it doesn't charge any hefty fees for exchanging money or withdrawing cash from an ATM. You also get a free virtual Visa card which you can use to make online payments anywhere in the world without having to worry about foreign transaction fees!

revolut plans

Opening a Revolut Account: Step By Step Guide

  1. Go to the App Store or Google Play Store and search for Revolut
  2. Download the app and enter your mobile number
  3. Set a strong password
  4. Revolut will send a 6-digit code to your phone to verify the account
  5. Provide your bank details
  6. You will be asked to submit your selfie and a picture of your passport for verification
  7. Finally, you will be asked to choose between Standard, Plus, Premium, and Metal plans
  8. Once you have selected your plan, you are all set to transfer money

Adding Money with Revolut: Step By Step Guide

  1. Open the Revolut app on your smartphone
  2. Look for the ‘Accounts’ tab on the main navigation screen
  3. Click on the ‘Add Money’ button
  4. Input the required card or bank account information
  5. Enter the amount you want to transfer
  6. Tap the ‘Add Money’ button
  7. Your money will be transferred to your Revolut account immediately

About Bunq

Bunq is a Dutch digital bank founded in 2015 that lets you create up to 25 sub-accounts, 3 physical cards and 5 digital ones.

Bunq recently announced that is will offer its service for free to all Ukrainian refugees. Any refugee within the EEA will be able to use a free Easy Account for up to 3 months.

Opening a Bunq Account: Step By Step Guide

  1. Go to https://www.bunq.com/
  2. Insert your phone number and tap the ‘Get started’ button
  3. You will receive an invite link to download the app
  4. Once installed, open the app and set up your new account
  5. Enter personal information like full name, email address, etc
  6. Provide an identity check by using your Ukrainian passport
  7. You are now ready to deposit money via cards or bank transfer

About Wise

Wise is an international money transfer platform that is cheap, fair, and straightforward. You can finally stop stressing about moving.

Simply put, it is an online solution for managing money held in different currencies and making overseas transfers. This service charges low fees without applying any markup on the exchange rate used, which makes it great if you're constantly moving your funds around or looking to save some cash!

wise available currencies

Opening a Wise Account: Step By Step Guide

Step 1. Go to https://wise.com/

Step 2. Navigate to the Register button on the top left corner of the home page

register a new account

Step 3. Enter your valid email address to process further

register email address

Step 4. Choose the type of account you would like to open - personal or business?

account type

Step 5. Select the country of your primary residence

illustration

Step 6. Verify your phone number with a code

phone number verification

Step 7. Finally, set your Wise password, fill out the required personal information, and voila! Wise will send you a confirmation mail with a security code and a link to your registered email address. Simply click on the link to verify your contact information.

Sending Money with Wise: Step By Step Guide

  1. Log in to your Wise account.
  2. Navigate to Money Transfer. A drop-down menu will occur. Click on Send Money. 
  3. Type how much money you would like to transfer.
  4. Next, mention the type of transfer you are making. For example, if you are paying from your personal bank account, select Personal transfer.
  5. Wise will ask you to fill out your personal information to comply with finance regulations. 
  6. Then you will need to add the beneficiary to who you want to transfer the money. If they already have a Wise account, all you need to do is provide their email address, and Wise will transfer the money. In case the recipient doesn’t have a Wise account, simply enter their bank details, and Wise will send the money to their account.
  7. Before proceeding with the transfer, review the transfer details.
  8. Next, you will be asked to choose the type of transfer and how you would like to pay. The transaction fee will depend on the type of transfer you choose. It is always advised to pay from your bank account as it is the cheapest method.

And that’s it! Once Wise receives your money, you will be notified about the same. The platform will then make the arrangements for transferring the money to the recipient. You and the recipient will be kept informed until the transfer is successful.

Benefits of Using Wise for International Money Transfers

  • Send money at the real exchange rate with no hidden fees
  • You can hold multiple currencies for free
  • You can also receive your salary, pension, and more
  • With the Wise debit card, you can spend in local currency
  • Pay online securely with instant notifications
  • You can even link your account to Amazon, PayPal, and more

Conclusion

We hope this article has been helpful in explaining how to open a digital bank account with Wise or Revolut. Both of these platforms offer great benefits, such as low fees, free ATM withdrawals, and the ability to hold multiple currencies. We encourage you to take advantage of these services if you are looking for a simple and convenient way to manage your finances in these tough times.

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