What you need to know about using a mobile bank in Ireland.
Mobile banking puts your finances at your fingertips 24/7. There’s a host of challenger banks, digital-only banks and personal finance apps available now, designed to give you better, faster control of your cash.
We’ve rounded up everything you need to know so you can decide if digital banks are right for you.
What is digital banking?
Digital banking, also called mobile banking, is a way to control your money, usually through a smartphone app or web app. It allows you to log into your account anywhere with Internet access, giving you constant visibility of your money and helping you understand the best way to manage it.
Why should I use a digital bank account in Ireland?
There are several advantages to mobile banking:
- Banking access in your pocket
- No bank branches
- Fast and cheap international transfers
- 24/7 support
- Instant spending notifications
- Spending and saving features
Compare a range of digital banks in Ireland
What you should know about mobile banks
Here are a few things that you may not know about using your mobile as your main point of contact with your bank:
Cash and cheques usually aren’t supported
Digital banks in Ireland usually have limitations on how many ATM withdrawals you can make a month and do not offer cheque facilities.
Managing multiple currencies is easier
Digital banks tend to have better services in terms of foreign currency. Some let you hold multiple currencies in your account while others let you make international transfers faster and more cheaply than standard banks.
Your money may not be protected the same way it is with traditional banks
Not every mobile bank has a full banking licence. For example, the digital bank Monese does not have a banking licence but N26 does. The banks can still be licensed to conduct banking business in Ireland but your money may not be covered by a government guarantee. However, there are still safeguards in place as these banks are required to keep your deposits in an account with a separate bank which you can then claim back if something goes wrong.
Everything is managed on your smartphone
You generally sign up for a bank account in Ireland in a branch but you can also do so online. With digital banks in Ireland, you can only sign up on your smartphone. You also will not get access to Internet banking on your computer with most digital banks.
If you forget your pin or lose your card, most mobile banks won’t panic
A benefit of a digital bank is having full access to your account at all times. Lots of mobile banks allow temporary freezing of your account in the case of a lost card, so if you find it again it’s not as much hassle to get a replacement. If you forget your pin, the banking apps also tend to have access to a pin reminder after you complete a couple of security questions.
The fees can be higher
Some mobile banks charge higher monthly fees for premium accounts which offer features such as insurance, discounts and more. This means a higher cost at first which will negate your ongoing costs.
What digital banks are available in Ireland?
There are a number of mobile banks available in Ireland. These include:
- Revolut. Revolut is a global banking app that offers budgeting tools, international currency exchange, travel insurance, cryptocurrency facilities, virtual cards and more.
- N26. N26 is a digital bank account that lets you save and budget, transfer money to other N26 users, optional travel insurance and cashback.
- bunq. A bank account designed for global citizens, bunq lets you create up to 25 bank accounts with unique IBANs. You can also benefit from savings and budgeting tools, money transfers through TransferWise and no foreign exchange fees.
- Monese. Monese lets you open a UK current account and manage it from anywhere in the world and get a secondary IBAN account. You can also use the app in multiple languages and make foreign transfers in up to eight currencies.
How to get started with a digital bank
You can sign up with a digital bank in Ireland by downloading your chosen bank’s app onto your smartphone. You will need a few of your personal details to sign up, including your full name, date of birth, address and email address. You will need to confirm your identity and may need to deposit funds into your account to make it active. Then, your bank account will be created.