Accessing funds from global locations has long been an issue for consumers and businesses alike. However, that’s changing as the financial boundaries separating the jurisdiction of banks and other institutions are dissolving.
Aggregated banking apps enable users to collate their financial assets in a single place regardless of jurisdiction. Consequently, users are saving money and streamlining the management and accessibility of their financial assets.
What’s more, this aggregated banking revolution could profoundly impact businesses beyond those user benefits. With so many options available, it might be time to consider new methods of payment. Which raises this important question: What are the most popular aggregated finance apps?
Revolut: best overall service
One of the best-known aggregated banking apps is Revolut. The company has spearheaded the aggregated finance boom and is probably the most accessible service to users in terms of simplicity.
The services provided are considerable. For international travelers and cross-border transactions, the app offers a way to transfer money between accounts regardless of country, with only the regular interbank fee to be paid. Furthermore, you can use the Revolut card in local ATMs regardless of your location and without paying extra costs.
Revolut enables you to have unlimited accounts in up to 28 different currencies. From a business perspective, this lowers the cost of international trade. Using a central admin console, users control cards and accounts, to set spending limits and other factors. It’s worth noting that Revolut’s services are only available to users and organizations in 36 countries.
Other benefits include financial analytics and budgeting tools, rewards schemes, and ‘vaults’ (Revolut’s version of a savings account). Interestingly, Revolut makes it easy to purchase and trade cryptocurrencies and commodities from the same digital space.
In the future, this could have some profound use cases. For example, businesses might accept payments in crypto and commodity assets in the same way they do fiat currencies because all transactions are instantaneous.
Wise: best for international coverage
Wise, formerly TransferWise, is available to users in 59 jurisdictions. The number of currencies available to trade with Wise is lower than with Revolut. However, Wise is primarily a dedicated international transfer service and there are further benefits of using it to complete large transfers. This means it might appeal more to users who primarily require this feature, although there are other use cases.
In terms of aggregation, Wise enables users to ditch the traditional banking system altogether. It provides users with all the banking requirements, such as IBAN and routing numbers, without needing a bank account.
You can connect Wise to service providers and use it to make bill payments at meager costs. And with Wise, you can pay up to 1,000 employees at a time regardless of their location. This means you can avoid all of the added banking costs you would usually incur for international payments.
You can also use the Wise card in ATMs worldwide with no hidden fees. In a post-Covid world, an international account like Wise could be a valuable service for teams no longer constrained by borders.
Wirex: best for crypto assets
We touched on the availability of crypto assets and commodities in the round-up of Revolut. Wirex takes this a step further, essentially leveling the playing field between crypto and fiat assets.
Wirex provides a multicurrency card that enables users to make purchases in numerous currencies, including cryptocurrencies. It piggybacks on blockchain technology to make the service cheaper for users. For example, there is no markup on interbank transfers.
The Wirex card also converts cryptocurrency into local currencies, further blurring the lines between crypto and fiat. Essentially, users can have all of their assets in a single space. What’s more, there isn’t a requirement to toggle between the two. The company also provides rewards in crypto assets when you make payment using the Wirex card.
The Wirex app goes further in its effort to promote and legitimize crypto assets by providing crypto-only X-Accounts. With these savings accounts, users can earn up to 16% interest on crypto assets. It’s also possible to transfer assets between other contacts without the requirement for a crypto wallet address.
Although we haven’t arrived there yet, a future of international, non-traditional bank accounts is on the horizon. The lines are already blurring between fiat and other financial assets, and this amalgamation will only increase with time.
Early adopters will realize savings immediately and avoid many fees that come with working through existing international finance systems. They will also be the first to recognize the benefit of accepting non-traditional payment methods.