When you’re a freelancer, depending on your country and the amount of money you make, you may have to have a separate bank account for your activity, or not. In France, for example, you have to have a separate bank account if you’re making more than 10,000 euros a year, two years in a row, and it doesn’t have to be an official business/professional bank account.
So of course the big question is : which bank should I choose ? (Little disclaimer : as a translator, my bank account is only used to receive my payments, send the money to my personal bank account, and pay my taxes, so yeah. Nothing fancy.)
There are different approaches. First things first : if you’re in a bank that you like and trust for your personal account, try and talk about it with them. Maybe they can give you a discount because you’re already a loyal customer, you never know.
I’m saying this now because that’s exactly what I did not do at first, haha.
I tried a few banks and payment systems, so I thought I would share the little journey with you. I started with opening an account at ING. Honestly, I loved it. It was totally free, you had the account, the credit card, no limits in terms of transfers, they didn’t charge much for international transfers in another currency… I really enjoyed ING. Unfortunately, ING is going to stop its activities in France this year, because it’s not profitable enough. So yeah, that’s what made me try some other bank. But if ING is still active in your country, I would totally recommend.
So a few weeks ago, I tried Finom. I didn’t know it at all, but it was free, and freelancers-oriented, so I thought, why not. Well, why not ? Because it doesn’t take into account international transfers ! My main client couldn’t pay me in time last month because of that : we discovered that it just didn’t work. French transfers and European transfers are okay, but outside of that, that’s no no.
I’d like to mention Bunq, too. I didn’t use it for my business, but I used it when I was working in the Netherlands as an online bank, and I truly loved it. You could have an ISBN from the country you wanted, which was great because you know sometimes it’s complicated if you don’t have the right country code on your bank details etc for international payments and such. If I remember well a simple account was 7 euros per month, which was okay. I didn’t use it again for my business because… well, ING was free when I started, so yeah. But now I’m honestly thinking about giving it another try.
But for now. I’m going back to my roots, if I may say. For my personal account, I’m with the same bank since forever, because it’s the same one that my parents use. It’s a very local, French bank called Crédit Agricole. They’re quite well-known in France, there are agencies all over the country. And for now, I’m going to try and talk with them, to see if I can have a separate account for my business for a reasonable price or not. Because all in all I trust them, and I know that at least with them there won’t be any problem with my clients’ payments. So fingers crossed ! And if it doesn’t work out, I think I’ll take a look at Bunq (here’s hoping that they didn’t rise their prices since then haha).
Special mention : Wise ! Wiise is not a bank, but it works a bit like a bank, without the credit card. It allows you to receive money in any currency, convert it at the current rates on the market, and then send it to whatever account you’d like to send it. It’s waaay cheaper than banks’ converting rates most of the time, and the transfers are done SO quickly, I love it. I have a Canadian client who only pays me through Wise and omg I love it. I can have the money on my personal account on the same day where they pay me, and to me it’s just amazing.
What about you ? Which bank do you use ? Are you satisfied with it ? 🙂
I hope you all have a lovely day ~