10 October 2022

What are online multi-currency business accounts and how do they work?

In our latest guide we will explore what an online multi-currency business account is and why you might need one. Learn more about how to open an online multi-currency business account, today.
What are online multi-currency business accounts and how do they work?

SME owners face an overwhelming number of choices when choosing a business account. This isn’t helped by the reluctance of traditional banks to make basic financial services accessible or affordable.

Despite the global demand for local products being at an all-time high, SMEs are still struggling to expand globally. It’s time for SMEs to take the matter of international payments and currency management into their own hands.

What is an online multi-currency business account?

An online multi-currency business account behaves much like a standard business account, but with the added benefit of being able to handle foreign currencies. This means that account holders can process international payments, hold currencies and more. 

Despite huge advancements in personal multi-currency banking, SMEs continue to be underserved. Thankfully, this gap in the market has been identified by challenger banks & alternative financial services providers.

What are the basic features of an online multi-currency business account?

  • No physical bank branch location

  • Competitive or fee-free FX rates

  • Online application process

  • No geographical restrictions

  • 24/7 account access

  • Easy to operate

What types of online multi-currency business accounts are available for SMEs?

The main providers of online multi-currency business accounts will be retail banks, challenger banks and electronic money institutions. However, the features and functionality of the account will differ between providers.

A basic off-the-shelf business account may offer little more than the ability to send and receive international payments. This type of account is suited to SMEs that operate solely in a domestic setting, with local suppliers. 

Some multi-currency business accounts facilitate the sending, receiving, and holding of foreign currencies. The added functionality of being able to hold different currencies enables businesses to access funds as required.

The most advanced multi-currency business accounts allow businesses to bank locally in different countries, by issuing local IBANs. These IBANs provide a domestic footprint in a country, without the need for residency requirements. This is an incredibly attractive solution for businesses looking to scale quickly.

What type of business can apply for an online multi-currency business account?

The requirement to open a recognised business account will vary from country to country. It’s generally considered best practice for limited companies, partnerships, and sole traders to manage their business expenses through a business account.

Each business account provider will have strict account eligibility criteria. These criteria are agreed upon through a combination of business risk appetite and mandatory legal requirements.

Retail banks are highly risk-averse, so SMEs should consider the services of challenger banks and EMIs. Their commitment to championing change makes them the perfect solution for businesses rejected by traditional providers.

Do I need to be a resident to open an online multi-currency business account?

Theoretically, anyone with a legitimate business interest can open a multi-currency business account. The caveat is that the business must be registered in, and The Ultimate Beneficial Owner must be a resident of, the country in which they wish to operate. 

At 3S Money, our mission is to stamp out financial discrimination once and for all. We welcome business owners from 190+ countries, regardless of the colour of their passports. By providing local IBANS in the UK, EU, and the US, our business accounts have the largest global coverage of any provider.

What documents are needed to open an online multi-currency business account?

New businesses are often treated with suspicion by business account providers. This comes from the antiquated viewpoint that new = risky. With this being the case, it’s vitally important to be over-prepared. Preparing all required documentation in advance will (hopefully) ensure a seamless application process.

At 3S Money, we don’t discriminate between new or established businesses – everyone is considered equal. Every customer adheres to our thorough but fair compliance and KYC standards when applying for a 3S Money account.

These are the documents that a business should always have prepared when making an application for a 3S Money account:

  • For all company directors & major shareholders

    • Proof of ID 

    • Proof of address 

    For the company itself

    • Company Registry Extract 

    • Document confirming management and shareholding structure 

    • Shareholder register


How long does it take to open an online multi-currency business account?

This depends on both the provider and the applicant. In a simple case, the process can be completed in a few days. For a business with a complex structure, the process may take several weeks to complete. As a scale-up, we know how frustrating administrative delays can be. We aim to onboard a new business within 7 days of their application, unless additional information is required. 

A new standard for international business payments

If you make international business payments, our online multi-currency business accounts have got you covered. We welcome owners & directors from 190+ countries, offer access to 65+ currencies, and have the widest global coverage of any payment provider. It’s time to discover the right 3S Money business account for you.

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