Genome Blog / articles / Choosing a bank account: tips for individuals and companies
Nov. 15, 2022
For many, their financial journey starts when they open a bank account – a gateway to multiple banking services. However, today we witness an abundance of banks and fintech companies, which is overwhelming for some when picking a new bank or financial provider.
Thus, some people need guidance when they choose a bank for the first time. And Genome is here to help!
Our team is here to explain how to select a bank account depending on your needs, the types of accounts, and what features are preferable for these accounts.
How to choose the right bank: 8 principal tips
Before covering the basics of personal and business accounts, let us give you the main criteria on how to compare banks when selecting a bank account.
- The bank’s location. Take notice if the bank operates or provides services in the country/countries you work and live in. If you prefer to communicate with your bank assistant directly, check if it has physical branches is close to your home or office.
- Check if the bank has a personal account that suits your needs (saving money, daily use, etc.). And for businesses, make sure it services your industry – an important metric to compare banks on.
- Transfer options. When choosing a bank account, check which transfer systems the bank provides and which countries you can send the money to.
- Cards. Ensure that your bank can issue a card for your liking (debit/credit) and works with your preferred card brands (Visa, Mastercard, etc.).
- Additional services. For personal account users, check if your financial institution has its perks: cashback, referral programs, rewards system, etc. And companies need to make sure the bank also offers business and merchant services, which we described in more detail in the business account section. Select a bank account with the most suitable or versatile services.
- Safety is the priority. The financial institutions must follow all the banking regulations and have features in place to protect your personal and/or corporate finances.
- Customer support. The bank or payment service provider needs to be user-friendly and has multiple channels for you to contact them in case of emergency or other issues.
- The fees. Last but not least, check the prices for the services, compare banks, and select the one that is up your budget.
These are the main points you need to take into account when picking a new bank. Now, let’s compare accounts in more detail.
Choosing a bank account for personal needs
Before answering the “how to choose a bank account?” question, let’s first look at the most common personal accounts.
A checking account is also known as a current or chequing account. Demand deposit and share draft accounts are also synonymous with this term. We will use the checking account term to save time and make the article more comprehensible.
Before we start, we need to clarify what a checking account is and why it has so many synonyms.
A checking account is a deposit account with an “on-demand” option for its owner and is made for quick and frequent transactions.
The variety of descriptions and numbers of its titles may be confusing, so we have a little guide for you.
The topic’s core is fast and frequent transactions between customers and merchants, not to be confused with round-tripping transactions. So many terms are the result of different access types to the account.
How to choose a checking account
Financial companies have done an excellent job and created so many services for potential clients that you certainly will find out what you are into.
“But how to pick a bank with the right checking account” – you may ask. Here’s the answer.
How often do you go shopping? You may enjoy the cashback feature. Search for rewards checking accounts.
Maybe you want an account to pay bills and make transactions with minimum deposit requirements. A traditional checking account is for you.
Are you a student? Students’ checking accounts will save on account maintenance fees. Some banks and companies even provide ATM fee reimbursement.
Interest-bearing checking accounts will be handy if you want to get interest when using them. This type of account pays interest on balances in the same way as a savings one.
Speaking of which, a savings account is a bit of another story.
A savings account is a deposit that lets you securely store funds and usually earn interest. In this case, money is insured, so your funds are safe.
The “how to choose a bank account for savings” question very much depends on the country you invest and work in. If the amount is higher than the deposit insurance, choose a financial company with a decent reputation.
No doubt, you will find service for your taste but take notice of this thing. Monthly balance requirements for accounts may be very different in each bank.
Only some banks provide online and mobile banking access and have a decent ATM fee.
Most companies really are betting on specific segments. Thus, you will mostly find good offline service in one place, reasonable online payments in another, decent accounts service in the third, etc.
Thus, killing two birds with one stone is not always the case. Unless it’s Genome.
Yes, at Genome, you can start a personal account online and then add 14 more accounts in different currencies – EUR, USD, and GBP. Store money, or make transfers using SEPA, SWIFT, and our instant internal transfers.
In addition to that, you can order virtual and physical Visa cards and pay with them contactless and on the go. Benefit from Genome’s seamless services, referral program, and affordable prices!
How to choose a business bank account?
First and foremost, a business account is a type of account that allows companies to use services necessary for their corporate expenses and financial operations. Yes, it has some of the features that a personal account provides. But there’s so much more to the business account than a regular one. And the availability of these features is what you need to look for when selecting a bank account.
Let us describe some of the main functions of the said account using Genome’s business account as an example.
The account opening.
The process of starting a business account itself is important. As when you compare banks and financial providers before making a decision, you first need to make sure that they provide services to the specific industry your company belongs to.
For instance, some fintech companies cater their services specifically to e-commerce businesses, while others work with more common industries.
It is also important to note that financial institutions divide companies into two categories: low-risk and high-risk businesses. Why so? If the company falls under the high-risk category, it usually means that they are more likely to get a higher number of chargebacks when selling products and services to its clients.
Some examples of such businesses include adult entertainment, dating websites, subscription-based companies, telemarketing, gambling, etc. You can learn more about high-risk companies in this article.
Thus, some banks will refuse to work with high-risk businesses, and if you are a part of such an industry, you need to be prepared to face rejections. Financial institutions usually provide the list of industries they work with, so select a bank account accordingly.
For instance, Genome provides services for the following industries:
- Software as a service;
- Service providers;
- Utility bills collection;
- Travel agencies;
- Clothing and accessories;
- Home goods and furniture;
- Household appliances;
- Shipping & delivery services;
- Ticket agencies;
- Retail industry;
- Digital goods;
- Low-value goods;
Another thing you need to be ready for is the documents the financial provider will request from you to open a business account, as well as the application process. For example, if you apply for an account at a physical branch, you may need to make several trips to the bank to complete the process. However, with payment service providers like Genome, you can apply for a business account online and quickly complete the process with minimum time and documents required!
The ability to send funds is the backbone of many corporate financial operations. You need to be able to transfer money to your business partners, contractors, employees, etc., pay corporate expenses, utilities, and so on. Thus, make sure that when you pick a bank, it covers the basics in this regard.
For instance, Genome provides SEPA and SWIFT money transfers – all the main means for sending funds within Europe. We also have an instant transfer feature for payments between the Genome users.
As noted before, money transfers are crucial. But what if you need to send hundreds of them simultaneously? For such occasions, banks provide the batch transfer feature (also known as batch payments, mass transfers/payments).
With it, you can instruct multiple payments at once and schedule them. A detailed explanation of how the feature works can be found here.
Currency exchange goes hand in hand with money transfers, especially if your business works internationally. When sending and receiving money, the optimal exchange rates are crucial for keeping your business afloat, especially during mass payments using multiple currencies.
In addition, when choosing a bank account, you must ensure it supports the currencies you utilize during business transactions.
Let’s take a look at Genome once again: we allow clients to start accounts in euros, British pounds, and US dollars and exchange funds with only a 1% flat fee over the interbank rate. We also provide a currency calculator, which will show you exactly how much money you will get after the exchange.
As with personal accounts, you will need a card to make payments on the go and online. The difference – these cards will be used for corporate expenses. And some banks can issue cards for your employees to make business purchases or receive salaries.
Genome has two types of Visa debit cards – physical and virtual ones. You and your employees can pay with a physical card at any POS worldwide, as long as it supports Visa cards.
And virtual cards can be used for online payments. They, as well as physical cards, also have a contactless feature and are compatible with Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Garmon Pay.
When dealing with corporate funds, you need to make sure there are safety precautions in place before selecting a bank account.
For one, the financial institution must comply with all major regulations: PCI DSS, GDPR, and PSD2. And that your business account is secured with two-factor authentication.
Genome has all this and more! Your every outgoing payment needs to be approved via two-factor authentication. You can also get a security token, a device that allows you to additionally approve outgoing transfers. It will ensure that the wallet owner is aware of every payment that comes out of the account.
And, for our merchants, we use an anti-fraud platform to protect their income. And speaking of merchants…
A merchant account is a must when choosing a bank account if you need to accept payments from your clients. At some banks, these accounts go hand in hand with the business once, and other banks provide business or merchant accounts separately.
For instance, at Genome, you can apply for a merchant account right after you start a business account. You can even start multiple merchant accounts if you have many companies or your enterprise is widespread. Our merchant account allows accepting over 20 currencies and provinces customers with 40+ payment methods.
Merchant account services.
A merchant account is not enough to utilize its potential to the fullest. So, when choosing a bank account, you need to pay attention to the additional merchant services.
For instance, which alternative it provides, as it may be very relevant to the markets you work with.
And how about payment pages – which options does it have? At Genome, we provide both host-to-host and hosted payment pages and an SDK for shops exclusively in the apps.
We also have multiple integrations with e-commerce platforms(Shopify, PrestaShop, OXID, WooCommerce, OpenCart, Magento, Drupal, etc.), so you can use our merchant account and the platforms’ interface to run your company. And, of course, advanced merchant analytics to track all your metrics from anywhere, anytime.
Does it matter which bank you use?
Yes, it does, but not because of its name or reputation. For you, as a customer, it is crucial to compare banks and their alternatives before carrying out a decision. As the company will be dealing with your money, so we advise you to follow the tips we shared.
How to find a good bank?
Nowadays, the market is oversaturated with great financial providers. So, a definition of a good bank is something that works for you. When selecting a bank, just make sure it meets your criteria.
How to choose a bank for the first time?
When choosing a bank account, we advise you to follow the tips listed in the article, as well as consider what you need from your provider – from multiple accounts to cards and merchant solutions.
What factors to consider when choosing a bank?
First and foremost – does it comply with major banking regulations, and what are the fees for its services? Then take notice of which features it offers when you pick a new bank.
What are the main features to look for when choosing a bank?
The type of accounts it provides, transfer options, and the availability of debit or credit cards. And additionally, for the business clients, the services for merchants.