The European financial services market is fragmented, just like any other B2C industry on the continent.
A new breed of financial companies, regulated under the European e-money & Payment services directives, and known as electronic money institutions, are progressively uniting people, while giving them freedom beyond national borders and regulations.
What does e-money mean for you?
It’s a new way to keep your money more safely and incur less expenses than what you would expect from traditional bank accounts.
Here are the 3 reasons you can use an iCard account with no worries:
Feel free to use your debit card as much as you want beyond national borders
With simple & transparent usage fees, iCard is not applying any additional commission or restrictions when withdrawing money.
Greece, for example, during their economic downturn, had limits on how much money citizens can take out from an ATM. That’s why in that period, a lot of Greek people started opening accounts with e-money institutions. These accounts are alternative to bank-accounts and still provide IBAN accounts, but with much more extras.
Using an e-money account, as mentioned before, means you can choose another European jurisdiction for your finances.
Italy, as another example, plans to introduce a 2% commission on all ATM withdrawals over 1,500 EUR every month.
Here is a simple price comparison that will help you better understand the possibilities if you are an Italian and the new regulations for ATM cash withdrawals come into force.
Let’s compare ATM withdrawal costs of iCard vs a leading Italian bank.
Cost to withdraw 2,000 Euro:
Unicredit – 7 withdrawals x 2 Euro = 14 EUR + 2% commission over 1,500 Euro withdrawn = 14 EUR + 10 EUR = 24 EUR
iCard – 7 withdrawals x 2 Euro = 14 EUR
So, you now have the option to choose to keep your money in a particular European jurisdiction.
Is money safe with e-money institutions?
iCard is a licensed institution for electronic money. Unlike banks, we cannot risk our clients’ money – we are not allowed to give out loans and we cannot invest it in any other way.
Our license, under EU directive 2009/110/EC, is issued and supervised by the Bulgarian National Bank. It gives us the right to provide accounts and process transactions with electronic money throughout the European Economic Area.
To comply, we must care for your money in a very specific and highly regulated manner: Your money is stored in the so called “segregated accounts.”
By the force of law, no creditor of ours, nor anyone else, can demand any of the money in your digital wallet.
Choosing iCard for your money means you opt for a better protection and no investment risk for your money – it is there for you, when you need it.
But why ATM withdrawals are cheaper with e-money institutions?
In the simplest terms, we develop innovative technology that does not need hundreds and hundreds of branches and luxury client-facing offices.
This helps us transfer the savings to you – our clients.
All the other conveniences of iCard.
No monthly fees
The EU informs us that in Greece, in Bulgaria and in other European countries, monthly fees for bank accounts are still dominating the market, while some providers even charge you fees for incoming money transfers.
All incoming bank transfers to iCard are FREE.
Safeguard your online payments with 2 Free virtual cards and up to 20 more. Guarantee your own security with the option to freeze and unfreeze them anytime you want. Add one for subscriptions, one for online shopping or even use virtual cards for a single payment and dispose of it by deleting it!
Let the virtual cards be your online shopping guards!
An account with unique IBAN numbers for each sub-account
Dedicated IBANs in 7 major currencies enable you to easily accept and send transfers worldwide.
We support EUR, USD, GBP, CHF, RON, HRK, BGN and the number is constantly growing.