Estonian e-residents can set up borderless businesses, online bank accounts and even get a digital ID for the country. Ahead of Brexit, statistics
Estonian e-residents can set up borderless businesses, online bank accounts and even get a digital ID for the country.
Ahead of Brexit, statistics show that almost 1,000 British citizens have applied to become e-residents of Estonia, as the online media Wired (wired.co.uk) wrote in March. Estonia`s e-residency program was launched in 2014 and attracted more than 20,000 applications, more than 1,060 of which came from the UK.
E-residency has its benefits such as registering a bank account in Estonia. However, there is one condition – the e-resident should visit Estonia in person. The officials who started the initiative have now introduced “borderless digital banking”. This means that each digital resident can set up an EU company without visiting Estonia.
“Enabling Brits, and almost anyone, to set up a complete EU business online significantly lowers their barriers to entrepreneurship so they can test out new business ideas without breaking the online bank.”, as e-residency program director Kaspar Korjus explained.
“A complete EU business with banking can be established online from anywhere and we believe a new era for location-independent entrepreneurs has begun.”, as he highlighted, while speaking to Wired.
E-residents receive a digital ID and can manage their companies remotely, while declaring their taxes online.
This new banking system allows “almost everyone” to create an e-residency business account (at the moment, US citizens can`t do that) and has been created with Finnish fintech company Holvi. The cost of setting up an account is €35.00 (£30 per month) and applicants get a Mastercard as part of the deal, as the publication pointed out.
Still, it is not the first borderless bank account to be announced in Europe. At the end of May, London-based fintech firm Transferwise has reportedly announced the introduction of a “borderless” bank account that charges no fees. Like Estonia e-account, it is currently not possible to use Transferwise`s account in the US.
It remain to be seen how such “borderless” account will affect businesses in the financial services sector.