For many people, travel is a regular occurrence whether for business or for pleasure.

Another regular occurrence, one which comes along with frequent travel, is foreign bank card fees and charges.

We’ve all been there, looking to access some cash at an airport or in a foreign city, only to be informed before we take our money from the ATM that a fee will be payable.

This fee can range in value depending on where you are, who you bank with, and that day’s currency exchange rate.

Many debit cards will charge a ‘loading’ fee of up to 3% of the amount you wish to withdraw, while many cash machines will charge you a few dollars for using them.

More currencies, fewer fees

Well, times are changing, and the traditional financial institutions no longer have the same grip on consumers as they once did. There are more choices out there than ever before, with many of them saving their customers a lot of money that they would have otherwise lost in fees.

Wirex has long been leading the way in personal and business finance without limits.

Offering access to three separate debit cards which hold different currencies (GBP, EUR, and USD) is an attractive proposition for anyone who finds themselves traveling between the US, UK, and Europe regularly.

Another company offering a similar option for those who require access to different currencies is ATRONOCOM, a Dubai-based platform with the aim of making life easier for both investors and participants.

Whereas Wirex offers three of the main currencies on the planet at the moment, ATRONOCOM offers five along with the ability to pay using state of the art touch ID.

Revolut is another banking app that’s been making a name for itself of late, which offers customers a free physical bank card as well, boasting international spending freedom as one of its main selling points.

Fiat or crypto?

As technology advances, it makes sense that our finances would include cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether.

For many of the more traditional financial institutions, crypto is still something to be eyed with suspicion and feared, which is problematic if you choose to hold cryptocurrency as well as fiat funds.

After all, what good is our crypto if we can’t actually spend it?

Most, if not all traditional banks won’t allow you to link your crypto account to your bank account, so the process of spending any crypto that you own would involve selling the crypto for fiat on your chosen exchange, and then transferring the fiat currency to your bank account. Often this process can take days.

Worry not though, as some forward-thinking financial companies recognize the value of crypto and can provide access to your funds a lot quicker.

Once again Wirex is among the more popular options, allowing customers to connect their card to their crypto wallets and spend the funds as they would any other currency.

They also offer a cool Cryptoback option, rewarding users with 0.5% in Bitcoin every time they use their card.

An issue for some of these types of accounts in the past was knowing which contact points you could use them at, but that’s not a problem anymore, with the ATRONOCOM card able to be used at a staggering 40 million contact points worldwide, which is similar to the Wirex card.

Services offered by these types of financial apps and platforms not only matches traditional financial institutions in many cases but even exceeds them.

The ability to travel and maintain access to your own finances at a fraction of the cost is evidence of that, and it’s clear that the days of traditional banks resting on their laurels, under the belief that they have the market cornered are quickly coming to an end.

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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