Freelancer Banking: Best Bank Accounts in 2023
Comparing the best bank accounts for digital entrepreneurs
Recent trends suggest that as a freelancer, you most likely feel somewhat underbanked. Choosing a bank account feels like going for "the lesser evil" due to inadequate service provided, and it definitely poses challenges - naturally, banks are way more interested in larger scale enterprises as the hassle of dealing with an individual entity incurring a lot of overhead is not exactly a lucrative option. However, digital-only mobile-first banks are usually much more efficient in their operations: for example, providing customer support via an in-app chat is just that much cheaper than maintaining a dedicated phone line, while slimming down your product portfolio to exclude more complex product helps the company stay focused on their core offering. As such, they have learned to service so-called "digital nomads", frequently offering specific products exactly for this market segment.
We previously selected our best banks for personal banking of 2022. Today, we will dive deeper into the specific requirements freelancers and self-employed workers have, then review all the available options to select the best ones.
Freelancers' Specific Banking Needs
Accepting multiple payment methods
Your customers may be paying you in a lot of different ways, with some of them also having a strong preference for the payment method because of the costs they'd otherwise incur. This can easily translate to losses on your end!
Receiving funds in multiple currencies
Similarly, being able to provide your services for Australian Dollars as well as for Polish Zloty might win you a contract you'd otherwise never get!
Easy-to-grasp cash flow overview
This is especially important if you frequently find yourself with multiple income streams on varying schedules. Being able to have a one-stop-shop for all your finances is invaluable for people who are self-employed.
Personal bank account right next to the business one
An ability to manage your personal finances right next to, but both legally and UI-wise separately, is extremely convenient. This is especially true in case you frequently claim parts of personal costs as business expenses.
It might be possible either natively through the bank's app, or by using tools like Zapier, or even using the bank's Open API to write a script yourself - needless to say, automating recurring payments or setting aside VAT on sales is an invaluable time-saver.
Bookkeeping software integration
Accounting software can save you a lot of trouble when dealing with the tax services, and connecting something like Xero to your bank account can save you even more time on boring money admin tasks.
Top Digital Banks for Freelancers: Rating
Dutch online bank that gives you the freedom to bank like a local all over Europe. The bank's mobile apps are packed with exciting and unique features, and the fully fledged banking license bunq has ensures your money are 100% safe at all times.
- Free plan available✔️
- Joint accounts✔️
- Business accounts✔️
- Sign-up bonus30 days free trial
- Official Websitebunq.com
Who said business banking can not be exciting? The latest Dutch fintech unicorn, innovative mobile-first bank bunq is known for taking a stand on sustainable and ethical investment practices by allowing users to choose how their funds get invested, as well as planting over 7 million trees as part of their "Become CO2-neutral in 2 years!" initiative. This innovative neobank provides tech-savvy entrepreneurs with a powerful open API that lets you automate most of the routine day-to-day operations, while features like Invoice Scanning, Batch Payments and Auto-VAT can save you an astonishing amount of time. With sleek iOS and Android apps and a brand-new desktop app, bunq is a strong contender for your attention. bunq is available all over Europe for both individuals and businesses in 7 different languages.
- Automatic payment categorization and spending insights
- Open API and powerful integrations out-of-the-box
- Personalized links for easy payment collection, for free
- Spend in foreign currency at a low cost, hold multiple currencies
- Three physical & 25 virtual cards included for no extra costs
- New app features launch so fast, they frequently lack polish
- No cheque deposit options nor overdraft available
- Limited daily ATM withdrawal allowance
Europe's biggest neobank, Revolut is a pioneer of mobile-first banking. Offering a wide range of financial services and banking products, including (but not limited to!) trading stocks and crypto, Revolut is a safe option regardless of customer's country of residence.
- Free plan available✔️
- Currencies30+ currencies
- Personal accounts✔️
- Sign-up bonusSave 20% paying annually
- Official Websiterevolut.com
Easily manage your finances and get paid for your work with Revolut for Business app. Revolut allows you to set up an account in less than 10 minutes, track your cash flow, and get paid in multiple currencies. You can also use the app to manage your invoices and track your payments. The world's biggest neobank has feature-packed apps that are available all over Europe, as well as in the UK, US and Canada.
Additional note: If you are looking for a bank account that comes with a free metal bank card included in your subscription, Revolut's premium plans are definitely worth your consideration.
- Hold, exchange, and transfer money in multiple currencies without any fees
- The app is user-friendly and makes managing your finances simple and easy
- Set up direct debits and standing orders, as well as access a variety of financial products and services
- Some of the features are only available to users on an expensive subscription
- Your bank accounts would have an IBAN from Lithuania
Qonto is a French neobank for businesses that is equally suited for freelancers, micro-businesses, SMEs and startups. Diverse in its product portfolio and capable of satisfying business needs of any caliber, Qonto now offers a one-month free trial for new users.
- Monthly costStarting from €9.00
- Personal accounts❌
- Sign-up bonus30 days free trial
- Official Websiteqonto.com
An incredibly popular digital bank Qonto from France offers a wide range of plans, ranging from a sole proprietorship-focused "Solo" all the way to a respectable "Corporate" tier that is capable of fulfilling all of the banking needs your company might have. The plans vary greatly in both price and the features available, so you can easily expect to find a plan that perfectly suits your company's current (as well as future) banking needs. Additionally, Qonto is the perfect "middle ground" between traditional and mobile banking, so you get to enjoy all the benefits of mobile-first banking while simultaneously enjoying the privilege of having a dedicated account manager you can call any time.
- Free 30 days trial on a "no strings attached" basis
- An impressive set of features to have full control your business expenses
- Easy to switch - first-ever bank mobility service for companies of any scale
- Dozens of "out-of-the-box" integrations readily available
- An ability to contact your personal account manager
- Technically, Qonto is not a bank, rather a payment institution supervised by the Banque de France
- Costly - no doubt Qonto has a serious proposition, but it comes with a price
Mobile Banking: Good choice for a self-employed worker?
As a freelancer, your time is valuable – it literally is equal to money most of the time! Which is why we suggest freelancers treat their bank account choice as an investment. Shaving off even an hour a month previously spent on calling your traditional brick-and-mortar bank or sorting through paper mail these "legacy" banks send you is absolutely worth an additional €10 spent on a better bank. The same also goes for various new fintech services and apps that help automate the administrative tasks, manage your business expenses and generate invoices.
The risks are also not really there - these entities, despite being digital-first and, mostly, very young (compared to, for example, Barclays and their 130+ years of history) are subjects to just as much (if not more!) regulatory scrutiny as their "physical" counterparts. Audits, constant reporting to authorities, very strict reviews of processes and policies, as well as their financial health - you can definitely rest easy knowing that your money is deposited at a digital bank.
This, combined with almost non-existent switching costs (you can get a bank account in some digital banks like bunq in just 5 minutes!), creates a perfect opportunity for you to get hands-on right now! So what are you waiting for?