Online banks & EMIs

Electronic money is a digital form of cash. EMI is an electronic money institution that has been authorized to issue electronic money. Compared to traditional banks they have some advantages: less compliance with capital requirements, not as strict KYC/AML processes.

Here is a list of banks and EMIs who allow account opening, remotely or physically but without the requirement of being a resident. It means that almost anyone in the world can open an account with them, online or on a tourist visa.


  • Mercury – a US bank account for US companies. Probably the best choice for non-resident founders of a US company.
  • TransferWise – bank accounts in the US, UK, and other countries as well as lower fees. One of the best in the space.
  • Revolut – bank accounts for residents of the EU, US, UK, and Canada.
  • Passbook – a bank account for individuals with no fees, cashback on international transfers, and unusual design of Visa® debit card with your choice of flag.
  • Sable – a bank account and credit card for individual newcomers to the U.S., no SSN requirement, helps build US credit.
  • Payoneer – one of the first choices for freelancers from the developing world. They send a card to almost all countries in the world that workers can use to get paid.
  • Paysera – a Lithuanian bank account for individuals and companies, a debit card, and SEPA transfers with a decent mobile app.
  • Bankera – another Lithuanian bank account for individuals and businesses.
  • AdvCash
    • a decent way to acquire crypto, produces debit cards, has higher fees.
  • Neat
    • an account in Hong Kong, higher fees if not HKD.
  • N26
    • a bank account for residents of the US, UK, EU, and Brazil.
  • Bunq
    • a Dutch bank account for the EU residents.

Personal experience, in person on a tourist visa:

  • Bank of America in New York City – a checking account and secured credit card (starting with a deposit as low as $300). In five-six months, secured credit card turns into a normal credit card and money can be taken away.

An account opening from another country:

  • American Express Global Transfer – works in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, and India. If you hold an AMEX card in one of these countries you can open an account if you have a good standing (3+ months of timely payments).