PayPal has become one of the leading financial platforms not without a reason. Nowadays, we tend to handle most of our finances online. Moreover, we are seeking money transfers, which are fast and cheap. Mainstream banks, which have been ruling the financial markets for decades are now slowly losing the battle against independent financial companies and online platforms. Whether it’s international remittance, stock investments or even loans, people are choosing dedicated platforms rather than their bank’s offer…
The variety of choice
Why do people tend to choose online alternatives to the mainstream oldschool solutions? Well, first of all the independent platforms try to be competitive on the market, therefore they offer much better rates and prices for these services. Why would you take a loan with a 20% interest rate at the bank if there is an online platform, which offers only 5%? Why would you send money internationally for $30, if you can use online remittance services and pay only $5?Online current bank accounts
There is also a market for online bank accounts providers. However, in most cases they still have an agreement with one of the mainstream banks to store the funds securely for them. But they are able to offer various appealing features and discounts. For example, you can get a free debit card, which can be used internationally without any fees. Or there is a convenient mobile app which makes ordering transfers faster and easier.
There is also often another advantage – less paperwork to fill and less commitment. You don’t need to sign a hundred pages long document to open a simple account. Moreover, these accounts are often international.
For example, there is TransferWise, which offers a so-called “borderless” account, which lets you store multiple currencies on one account and on one card. That way, you can save money on fees for international payments or currency conversions if you travel frequently. Simply, top up the all-in-one account with needed currency.
Other good example is Monese, which interestingly is a purely mobile banking platform. They don’t have a branch and opening the account is as easy as downloading the app. They let you open UK bank account without all of the tedious paperwork or UK residence address, therefore it has become a popular choice among exchange students and work migrants. If you are interested in how this banking app works, what are the advantages and fees, read this in-depth Monese review.
Cryptocurrencies can make banks obsolete
To add salt to the injury, there is a new technology which can literally wipe out banks from the market. Blockchain, which is the technology behind cryptocurrencies, allows for the creation of a trustless and independent financial system without any central governor. With a special encrypted digital wallets, the user is the only person who has access to it. Meaning, you don’t have to worry about being unable to withdraw your funds because of the bank being insolvent.
Moreover, the cryptocurrency transfers are instant and it costs only a few cents to move money to a wallet on the other side of the globe.
While the sole technology to provide all of the mentioned things is already developed, there are still many obstacles that crypto needs to overcome before “going mainstream”. The market itself is very volatile and the coins can lose their value by more than 50% literally in a few hours, which doesn’t make them reliable for payments and storing wealth. There aren’t also any solid regulations or laws to help retailers adopt them as proper means of payment. And what is the point of having a currency, which you can’t spend?
Governments will also need to figure out how to tax people, as you can’t take one’s crypto from his or her wallet by force. While the IRS can freeze your bank account, it is technically impossible to do it with a crypto wallet. As we’ve mentioned earlier, there is no central bank who owns it and the user is the only one who can access the money stored there.
For many people, who dislike banks because of historical and other reasons crypto seems to be the ultimate solution. We will probably see in the next 10 years how the situation evolves and how the financial market will change by then.