Best Virtual Banks 2019 – Smartphone Accounts

The first smartphone accounts were by so-called fintechs – young companies that bring together the world of finance and technology. They are called Transferwise, N26 or Revolut and have no less goal than to stir up the banking market.

In the meantime, however, they are no longer alone in the smartphone account market. Established companies are also developing corresponding offers: the savings banks, for example.


The start-up founded in 2013 began with a free current account model. N26 now offers a premium account and a premium credit card in addition to the free standard account. Through cooperation with other Fintechs, N26 has expanded its offering, for example with fixed-term deposits.


The British start-up has been offering its accounts in certain other countries since 2017. Similar to N26, there is a free account and a premium offer. With the additional service Revolut sets among other things on the purchase and sales of Bitcoins.


this is also a young company from Great Britain. The company started by sending money via app on the smartphone (English “peer to peer”). The main focus was on money transfers in foreign currencies. Transferwise now offers the so called borderless account including bank accounts in many different countries.

O2 Banking

O2 cooperates with the Fidor Bank for the smartphone account. The provider is trying to score points with the connection to the telephone contract. For example, O2 customers receive more data volume from the turnover they make with their credit card.


For Yomo, various savings banks have joined forces to offer a smartphone account of their own. The app is still in the development phase. Since savings banks work regionally, Yomo looks the same for everyone, but the fees depend on the bank the customer chooses.


With Reisebank, a member of the Cooperative Financial Group has also launched a smartphone account on the market. Bankomo customers can use their branch offices and ATMs.


The Maltese Ferratum Bank is better known in Germany for its short-term loans, but also offers a smartphone account.


This money transfer service is quite popular among people working trhough the internet for clients from different countries. Payoneer makes it especially easy to get payed including automated invoices.

There are even more money transfer services that target freelancers and the self-employed and optimize business accounts for smartphones, such as Penta or Holvi, for instance. They offer real-time tax assessments, accounting tools and expense management.

Security for Virtual Bank Accounts

bank buildingsUntil now, the two-device rule applied to online banking: for security reasons, you should not receive the TAN on the device on which you carry out your banking transactions. The TAN is a six-digit number that is required to release a booking.

With many banks, it was not possible to have the TAN sent to the same device on which you previously created the transfer. In the case of smartphone banks, however, banking only takes place on one device.

Smartphone banks usually secure accounts and banking transactions using different methods. You first have to log into the app, for example with a password or fingerprint. An additional PIN is then required for transfers. The fixed link to a specific smartphone, push messages for transactions and self-defined limits (to prevent unauthorized transfers beyond the limit) can increase security.

However, it is not only the bank’s behavior that is important for the security of your banking transactions. Keep the operating systems of the end devices on which you conduct your banking transactions up-to-date. Secure the devices additionally with antivirus programs. These are also available for smartphones.