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Opening Business Bank Account Remotely [Global Guide]

Updated: Nov 26, 2023

If you are wondering how to open a business bank account remotely, then keep reading on as we are going to uncover the simple steps.


Opening a business bank account remotely is something that a lot of entrepreneurs is looking for but not easy to find. Many traditional banks will require owners to come for a branch visit and sign physical pieces of paper for the account to be approved.


However, there are several banks that accept clients and open bank accounts for them completely remotely and here is the full guide to it.



Why Opening A Business Bank Account Remotely Is So Hard?


Opening a business bank account remotely is challenging for several reasons, and the specific difficulties may vary depending on the country, regulatory environment, nature or industry of the business who is opening and so on.


It is important to understand that many traditional banks are both lacking in technological innovation and digitalization and are very strict with compliance. Generally, financial institutions are required to comply with various regulations, anti-money laundering (AML) laws and Know-Your-Client (KYC) requirements. Remote onboarding processes need to meet these compliance standards, which all banks adhere to but traditional banks choose to identify their clients (again, the KYC) by them visiting the bank’s branch instead of doing it online.


In addition, banks need to assess the risk associated with each business account and remote applications may be seen as riskier due to the potential for fraudulent activities. Banks often have strict risk management policies in place, and remote onboarding may not align with these policies. Moreover, making the application and opening processes remote might increase the risks of fraud. Banks must balance the need for security with the desire to provide a seamless customer experience.


Where Can I Open A Business Bank Account Remotely?


In this digital age there are several financial institutions that offer opening business bank accounts remotely. Keep in mind that the availability of remote account opening services may vary by region and may change over time.


To your surprise, there are traditional banks that have developed online services and can open a business account fully online. For example, HSBC Bank in the UK offer such possibility. However, traditional banks are still fairly slow in serving customers through their digital platforms. For this reason many business choose FinTechs and Neo-Banks. And we agree with this strategy in most of the time.


Digital banks that leverage the correspondent banking networks of top tier banks and have developed mobile and desktop platforms that are easy to use are good choice for remote business bank account opening.


However, not all digital banks are equally good or would take applicants fully remotely. To make this easy for you we keep updating a list of digital and traditional banks that take remote applications from business globally (except the sanctioned jurisdictions). If you would like to receive it, just fill out our contact form and we will share it with you via email.


Preparing For The Remote Business Bank Account Application And Onboarding


Preparing for a remote business bank account application and onboarding process involves gathering the necessary documentation, understanding the requirements of the chosen bank or financial institution, and ensuring that you meet all the criteria. Here's a general guide to help you prepare:


1. We encourage you to evaluate several banks and choose according to your research and general requirements for payments or currencies, that may vary per bank. If you are looking to study more on this topic, please see our article here.

2. Banking regulation is very similar across the globe therefore the documents they require for account opening are also similar, here is a list of commonly required documents that you should prepare in advance:


· Memorandum and Articles of Association; or Articles of Incorporation

· Certificate of Registration/Incorporation;

· Share certificate(s); or Any commercial registry document containing information on the beneficial ownership

· An ownership organisation chart;

· IDs for all Ultimate Beneficial Owners

· Proof of the trading address: Bank statement or Utility bill (water, electricity, gas, landline phone) dated within 3-6 months.

· Business plan or explanation of business nature

· Purpose of the account, expected monthly volumes, currencies and countries involved – explanation letter or document. This part is very important as your commercial terms will be based on your business nature/volumes/operations.

· VAT registration, if applicable.

3. Sign the agreements and all relevant paper work. Once done, you should be ready for follow up compliance as many banks need to renew their client accounts yearly.

4. Get the account manager for your account and keep her contact details saved as you may want a quick help once a problem occurs.

5. Check the technology capability, such as mobile app, API integrations, several levels of authorization capability and so on.


If you might have any other questions in regards to opening business bank account, you may reach out to us and we will try to help you as much as we can.


Conclusion


In conclusion, navigating the complexities of opening a business bank account remotely requires careful consideration of the challenges posed by traditional banking systems, compliance requirements, and risk management. However, there are digital banks ready to do business fully remotely.


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