Many e-residents choose to use a payment institution (fintech) for their business banking needs as they can be opened entirely online and often offer more flexible terms. This category is where the widest variety of choice for business banking has emerged in recent years and where more choice is expected in the future.
Payment institutions can offer accounts with many of the same features of traditional banking, including IBAN (the International Bank Account Number you provide to your clients when they need to pay you), online.
As there are a large number of these companies operating globally and disrupting the banking industry, they often focus on more niche features that benefit specific types of companies, like payment processing for e-commerce companies or invoicing and accounting tools ideal for freelancers, consultants and solo entrepreneurs.
Unlike banks, these companies are not authorised to lend out the money paid into your account. For this reason, the way they operate and manage risks is different. Payment institutions are not covered by typical deposit insurance schemes, but they are required to protect customer funds using other means, such as by segregating each client’s deposits.
Who to use
The variety of choice is so wide, complex and ever-changing it is difficult to map out all options available to e-residents. You will find the current list of services we've identified and established communication with in our Marketplace, but this does not mean you cannot use other payment institutions if they meet your needs.
We are continuously engaging new payment institutions to encourage them to serve the e-resident market, from ensuring they are compliant with Estonian business rules to helping them integrate authentication with your digital ID card. We appreciate feedback if you do find a new solution that might also work for other e-residents.