Did you know that a LOT of people in Europe are searching Google every month for “bank account”, “send money”, “mobile payments”, “virtual card”, “debit card” and similar?
This is over 2 Million monthly searches in Europe that the Google Keyword Planner tool is revealing for the above keywords and related keywords in the context of money transfers and payments:
What is the reason?
The reason is hidden in the fast and open world that is nowadays so easily reachable by cars, boats, buses, trains and aeroplanes. More people than ever travel the globe to exotic or freezing destinations. More people are relocating away from their home countries, in search of a better life and work opportunities. You too might be here, looking for fast, convenient and accessible ways to send money back home.
To live life to the fullest, we all need more efficient alternatives to manage payments and transfers without extra costs or unacceptable risks.
More mobile and web solutions come into existence to solve these needs. New technologies build up improved services, classically offered by banks and usually for relatively expensive fees.
iCard exists for the same reason – to give users in Europe a complete e-money account and solution with seamless and affordable payment instruments. Our intuitive user experience lets you handle debit cards, virtual cards, your bank cards, instant money transfers, without the excessive costs.
So, who are the people who use our digital wallet and which are our top 5 most used and free services?
1. People who need free & instant money transfers
Maybe you live away from your home country? You might be interested to find out that immigrants around Europe are increasingly opening up to the digital options for sending money home, quickly. You too, might want to open an account and immediately refer someone at home, who could receive instant transfers from you, at the right time.
Your work abroad story repeats in many families. The EU opened up a lot of new opportunities for professionals to get better jobs in Germany, the Netherlands, England and around the continent. We’ve probably all seen the drama in some American films when someone moves for a job in another state. Sometimes it feels home is not that far, but sometimes it really is.
Your hard-earned money deserves to last longer and provide for the quality lifestyle of the people back home, who rely on your support. The price of working abroad is high and the price for living away from loved ones can’t even be measured. It’s sad that this money sometimes goes for unreasonably high fees.
A good way to get more for your money is fewer fees for transfers. By now you probably consider that banks are not a good option – either because they take too much time to deal in person, or their open-hours are not aligned with your free time.
Then, what’s your alternative if you live abroad? Well, your free iCard account can do the job of sending money quickly and easily and is available to residents of EEA countries.
Even if you are younger, still have no family of your own and you don’t live abroad, you have friends. You are not necessarily separated by long distances, but still, you can find a good reason to mention iCard in conversations. See, friends need a way to send and pay money quickly and securely when splitting bills for example, or when someone is in need. Who is on your mind right now? You can try iCard together – the free and instant transfers work between iCard users only.
How about if you want to sell your old bike? You might want to explore the instant and free QR code payments. They come really handy when you meet face to face because it’s a quick and convenient way to get money to your iCard account, on the spot. Even if the buyer has no iCard yet, it takes just a couple minutes to register an account, load some money and send the first instant transfer within the “Starter” account limits. The best part? You don’t need to exchange any personal information like your phone number, which is the usual way to send money free and instantly to someone on iCard.
You might be interested to find out that more people send instant money transfer via iCard Messenger than via QR codes.
2. The free iCard Visa is for people who are accustomed to paying with a card (when travelling abroad or at home)
iCard Visa works flawless every time – contactless or not. It doesn’t matter if you pay at the neighborhood grocery store daily, or if you withdraw money at your local ATM.
The card is now a preferred choice for many travellers and shoppers who like buying goods with intensely-negotiated promo deals at a foreign market and bringing home the cool presents from the other side of the world.
We recently ran a Facebook game called “iCard around the world” which presented iCard in many locations around Europe, North America and Asia, in the hands of their proud owners. Thank you all for sending us your images from your trips and we are glad you show us the world through your eyes.
What else is cool about iCard Visa debit card? Travelling or not, you can freeze/unfreeze any of your cards, at any time, to stay protected in case you lose it or if a website, that you paid at, gets hacked.
Do you need to define and control your own spending? No problem! In iCard, when you open a card, you will see options to edit how much you can spend on POS, online and when you withdraw money at ATMs. You can reduce these limits yourself. This solution is perfect if you lose track of how much money you spend. Choose your own limits and you might get surprised when iCard gives you a nice budget reminder when your next payment fails. Your app will even show you a list of failed transactions, and the exact reason so that you stay on top of your finances. Now it’s really up to you to stick to your original plan or allow yourself another awesome pair of sneakers.
If you are a parent, you might want to order more iCard Visa cards, connect them to different accounts in your wallet and hand them over to your children as a way to more easily control their pocket money, the daily and weekly budgets. One less thing to worry about.
Same goes when one of the parents works abroad and supports young teens back home. iCard is great for this. You can create a separate account (see IBAN accounts below), order and attach a new card to it and load money on demand for your child. Do you have more than one child? No problem!
The prime reason for this behaviour, we find out, is the convenience of simply tapping on your phone screen, instead of sending money to a relative, who withdraws cash, pays for the ATM fee and then hands the cash to your child. We know that keeping control and keeping a better connection with their children back home by personally managing the pocket money budget can be a great support for a distant relationship.
To add to the convenience factor, security is also important. We all know that when children are younger, things can get lost while in their hyped up hands. This is why iCard gives you full control of all your accounts and cards, in real-time.
The tricks we just outlined can protect your family from financial losses and wasted time dealing with the consequences.
Starting with your first iCard Visa is very easy. You just need to open an account and verify your identity via the in-app video chat. Once verified and your free “Standard” account is active, you can order your first iCard Visa for free.
The best part – iCard Visa is delivered to you. We strongly believe you should not waste time at bank branches in the 21st century.
Here is a tip: You may get more than one free debit card! How? The first card for each of the seven currencies in your iCard digital wallet is free.
3. Online shoppers choose to stay protected with virtual cards
Online shoppers have their own special needs and worries. This is especially valid for people whose payment information was stolen from known or unknown web merchants and abused.
We discovered that approximately a quarter of online shoppers are simply cautious in their choice. They proactively seek alternatives and choose to stay protected when paying online. This is how they discover iCard and the many virtual cards they can use and manage easily.
Virtual cards do exist for the sole purpose of protecting you while you pay online. They are payment card information, connected to one of you accounts in iCard, that are available for distance payments, in-app payments and online subscriptions of all sorts.
The benefit is that you can use a single virtual card for a single payment, then freeze it, until you need to do another one. For peace of mind, your card stays under your control. You can even delete it after a payment, which makes it useless for hackers.
Another quarter of our virtual card users say they’ve been in a situation with unrecognized charges appearing in their bank statements. Some even witness ATM withdrawals from their card, in another country, which drastically reduces the available balance and opens up a long battle for getting this missing money back.
Gamers and sports fans use our virtual cards for in-game purchases or betting.
Movie fans and digital professionals choose to trial subscriptions with virtual cards and simply freeze or delete a card instead of going through the cancellation process.
With iCard, you get 1 free Visa virtual card and 1 free virtual Mastercard. You can order and use up to 20 virtual cards or request a limit increase.
You can learn more about the security of virtual cards in this blog post.
4. Do you require free IBAN accounts in different currencies?
Are you OK with the unreasonable (in our opinion) monthly account fee that your bank may be charging you for an additional account in a foreign denomination?
Our approach and philosophy, as a financial institution, are different.
We believe that you should store your money in the currency you desire, in an IBAN account of your choice, and without a cost. We think it makes sense, in a globalized world, that you might need a no-obstacle way to send, spend or receive US dollars or Swiss francs, quickly.
Technology has advanced so much. Virtual bank account opening is now super convenient, because it can happen in a matter of seconds in your app, and some minutes when opening an account from the comfort of your phone.
Your iCard app lets you instantly create and use up to 3 separate IBAN accounts for each of the 7 different currencies we support (and more are coming soon).
This is a great way for you to receive money transfers to any of your foreign currency accounts and keep your money without incurring any conversion or monthly costs.
Take advantage of the opportunity and open IBAN accounts in EUR, GBP, CHF, USD, RON, BGN – instantly.
All iCard IBAN accounts give you free incoming bank transfers. You might be surprised, but there are banks out there who do that.
Here is what to expect when you are sending money from your iCard account to a bank account:
Send SEPA Euro Transfer: 1.00 EUR
Send SWIFT International Transfer: Starts at 0.50 EUR, the final quote is provided in the app, before confirming the transfer.
5. Mobile people pay with their phones, on the go, fast & securely
Besides being cool, mobile payments are extra secure. Do you want to learn how “Tap & Pay” protects you?
- Some people choose to pay with their phones because they think their card details could be copied and used illegally.
- Others have experienced cash loss or theft and prefer to avoid this risk.
- The third type of users proactively opt to use their unique fingerprint to unlock their money app and protect payments to the max.
- Optimization fans simply pay with a phone because it’s fast and more secure than a contactless debit card.
Mobile payments are very safe! You can easily give it a try! Unlocking your iCard’s “Tap & Pay” function with a fingerprint will make any payment. NO PIN will be required, for any amount.
Don’t panic if you break your phone or lose it! You can always have your backup iCard debit card with you.
And when you need cash, remember that it’s possible to withdraw money with your phone at any contactless ATM. Look for the contactless logo on ATMs near you. Many ATM operators are rolling out new contactless cash machines.
Ok, mobile payments are fast, but did you know that paying with your phone is actually faster than paying with cash?
Just keep in mind that mobile payments are currently available on our Android app only. Very soon, iPhone fans will be able to use iCard with Apple Pay.
The security of iCard’s free electronic money services
Different users choose iCard for different reasons and we are happy that security is on top of people’s list.
If top-notch safety, aligned with international licensing and regular audits is not enough for you, well, check our security page to learn why your money available in any circumstances.