New app enables Brits to open bank accounts abroad
Ipagoo is aimed at people with second homes abroad, expats who want to send money back to the UK, and foreign and gap year students.
U.K. customers can have as many accounts as they like in France, Italy and Spain with more countries to be added later in the year.
Users can make cross border transactions and make and receive payments in sterling, euros and US dollars instantaneously.
“Physically it is relatively easy to travel around Europe. Financially it gets tricky if you want to spend money in multiple countries. This is made even more complicated if you have to pay bills, a mortgage or send money abroad,” said Carlos Sanchez, CEO and co-founder of ipagoo.
“With so many people owning second homes abroad sending money back to the UK, we believe ipagoo could be a godsend for them.”
Customers pay a fixed fee of £5 a month per account, which gives them one debit card, three faster payments to other banks a month (additional transfers cost £1 each) and unlimited free transfers between ipagoo accounts.
ATM withdrawals cost £1 each in the UK and Europe, and £2 each in the rest of the world. There is no fee for paying by card.
Each foreign exchange transaction costs 0.5%.
“ipagoo has been designed to make spending and sending money abroad easy and instant,” said Sanchez.
“It minimises the impact of exchange rate fluctuations as you can hold money in different currencies. 25 million people from the UK travel to Europe every year yet people still have to pay exorbitant charges to use their card or send money abroad.”
Sanchez said the main barrier for people wanting to open a traditional bank account abroad is having proof of address in that country, something which ipagoo does not require.
Ipagoo does not offer borrowing or overdraft facilities and does not require customers to pass a credit check when applying. Direct debit and standing order facilities will be available from September.
It has a range of security measures to help prevent card fraud, including letting users approve new retailers on transactions when a PIN is not required.