Expats in Cyprus are signing on for digital banking

Expats in Cyprus are signing on for digital banking

Expats in Cyprus are signing on for digital banking

Are online banks the answer for expats and digital nomads?

Banking is often an irritating reality for expatriates for its high charges and rules unsuitable for today’s internationally-centred working lifestyles, but are digital banks the trustworthy, reliable answer in these days of cybercriminals?

Expats in Cyprus now have the means to judge for themselves, as the island’s largest banks are now pushing for digital transformation. For many expats who’ve already tried digital banking, it’s fun at first as the entire process is an app, with no annoying forms to fill in, out there for you 24/7 and you’re up and running in a few minutes after verifying your phone number, taken an ID screenshot and a selfie. No need for scanned copies, email addresses, phone numbers or suchlike. A belief in a cashless and digital society helps a lot, and everything is there at your fingertips.

Digital banks are now gaining acceptance as the way forward, especially for expatriates, as they’ve lower fees, they’re fast and convenient and lending, insurance and transactions are a one-stop shop wherever you are. With no minimum balances, few fixed costs and often advantageous interest rates, for those who’re tech-savvy they’re the obvious choice.
Expats in Cyprus can avail themselves of Revolut, home to 45,000 clients to date, a number which comprises 5 per cent of the island’s total population.

During the first several months of this year, the online bank was signing up a daily total of up to 200 customers, with more expected to follow as the news gets around. The island’s traditional banks are struggling to fight back, advocating innovation and utilising smart PR campaigns in an attempt to at least keep their existing clients. Traditionally, banking in Cyprus is last-century, but with locals embracing tech and migrant workers, expatriates and other professionals transferring money on a regular basis, tech based banks are holding all the cards.

Of course, rival acquisition of huge client bases threatens traditional banks’ profits and forces them to charge even more for their soon-to-be outdated services. In addition, traditional banks’ reputations are in decline, with online banks now queuing to take over customers who simply want good, fast service rather than bureaucracy and form-filling. If these new-style banks have a slogan, it’s ‘Banks spend on bonuses and branches - we invest in tomorrow’s technology’ - an apposite description certain to appeal to expats on Cyprus and in the rest of the world.

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