Here we are at the end of yet another amazing year. In this article, we look back at the major milestones that defined the year 2020 for us at SelfKey.
How Does The SelfKey Bank Accounts Marketplace Work?
We’re very excited for the upcoming SelfKey Bank Accounts Marketplace. It represents an important milestone for SelfKey but also for the blockchain space as a whole. We explain how it works and why you should care below.
The upcoming SelfKey Bank Accounts Marketplace represents a milestone in the blockchain space. For the first time, it will be possible to set up a foreign bank account from within a cryptocurrency wallet.
Many excellent jurisdictions will be available upon launch, with many others being added over time. The Bank Accounts Marketplace also offers unprecedented convenience, as the application is submitted digitally through the Wallet. Additionally, the know your customer (KYC) process is expedited by the SelfKey ID. As a result, this may well be the world’s fastest application for a bank account.
Here’s how to get started:
How to open a bank account using the Bank Accounts Marketplace?
We specifically designed the user experience to be as simple as possible. This should help create transparency and clarity as to the requirements, documentation and cost associated with opening a bank account abroad through the SelfKey Marketplace.
Step #1: Download the Wallet
The SelfKey Identity Wallet is free, open-source and designed keep your tokens safe. That being said, it’s much more than a simple cryptocurrency wallet. Instead it allows you to manage your identification documents and even provides access to the Self!Key Marketplace.
Head over to this page and download the wallet on Windows, Linux and MAC. It’s free and light-weight, meaning you’ll thoroughly enjoy using it. Of course, you own your private keys and can even access the Wallet using Ledger and Trezor.
The SelfKey Identity Wallet is a free identity solution for Windows, Linux and Mac. Get yours today!
Step #2: Set up your Wallet
Setting up your wallet couldn’t be easier, but it’s a very important step so make sure you do it correctly. The first thing you need to do is securely store your public and private keys. As a non-custodial Wallet, SelfKey cannot recover your private key so make sure you don’t lose it.
Step #3: Complete your SelfKey ID
Once the Wallet is downloaded and your keys are securely stored, the next step is to set up your SelfKey ID. This is a collection of locally stored “know your customer” information used to quickly access new service providers. Thanks to the SelfKey ID you can reuse the same KYC data multiple times. Instead of having to go through many different sign up processes within the Marketplace, you simply complete your SelfKey ID once and then use it whenever you need it.
As a result, if you want to open multiple bank accounts abroad, you simply complete your SelfKey ID once and then use it for all registrations.
Step #4: Select your preferred bank account
Now that your SelfKey ID is set up it’s time to head to the SelfKey Marketplace and check out the different bank accounts on offer. When logged into the Wallet, click on the Menu in the top right of your screen and select “Marketplace”.
Six different Marketplaces should appear now with one clearly being for bank accounts. Click on the button to see a screen similar to this one:
The jurisdictions shown above are simply for illustrative purposes, but you should see a number of different bank accounts available all over the world.
To learn more about each, make sure to click on “Details” and peruse the individual listing pages. We’ve endeavoured to give you all the relevant information, but please make sure to do your own research as well.
Below you can see an example for Singapore:
Here you will find the costs, eligibility criteria, KYC requirements and all other miscellaneous conditions as well as benefits.
Step #5: Submit your request
Once you’ve found your preferred bank account it’s time to submit your request. Doing this is incredibly easy. Simply click on the “Open Bank Account” button on the top right of the screen. Next you will see a screen detailing exactly what is included in the service provided.
To continue click on the blue “PAY FEE” button. Next you will see a checklist detailing the required KYC documentation for the chosen bank account. Thanks to your completed SelfKey ID, this information is pulled directly from your SelfKey Identity wallet, and can be used again for all other services within the SelfKey Marketplace.
If all the required information is provided, the following screen checks your SelfKey wallet to ensure that enough funds are available to make the purchase. If the funds are in the Wallet your request is submitted. Voila, you just applied for a bank account from within a cryptocurrency wallet.
Step #6: Handing in additional information and/or visiting the bank
Congratulations, you’ve successfully submitted your request to the bank of your choosing. In the following days you will receive email communication updating you on the status of your application. All jurisdictions have slightly different vetting processes so additional data or clarification may be needed.
Why should you open a bank account abroad?
As we can see opening a bank account through the SelfKey Marketplace will be fast and easy, but you may well be asking what the advantages are compared to new online services like Transferwise and Revolut. To answer these questions, we’ve provided a detailed explanation of 10 excellent reasons to open a bank account abroad, where we explain some of the crucial differences.
For now it’s worth knowing that a bank account:
- Allows you to earn interest on your deposits – Europe, the US and many other countries are experiencing a low-interest environment in which deposits typically lose money due to inflation. Other countries – like Georgia and Azerbaijan – on the other hand offer as much as 7% return on your deposits (ie. after inflation). As a result, a foreign bank account can really help you to accumulate wealth in a smart yet passive way.
- Guarantees your money’s safety – In turbulent times it is crucial to protect your wealth from unforeseen catastrophes. Using online banks, like the ones mentioned above, you are actually not a client of a bank, but instead only have a business relationship with the Electronic Money Institution. That means that important government schemes designed to protect your money – like the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) – do not apply to you. By keeping your money in a real bank account you add an extra layer of safety and protect yourself from economic disasters.
- Makes it easier to rent or buy a local property – Having a bank account in a given jurisdiction makes it much easier to live there. Renting or even buying property typically involves a credit check which, in many cases, requires a nationally recognized bank account to complete. Therefore, if you are planning on moving or just want to keep that option open, you’ll make things much easier with a bank account in your chosen country.
- Spreads your currency risk – Individuals with their wealth tied up in the GBP have seen their value decline by 5% over the last two months. Since Brexit was announced and the prospect of a hard Brexit looms large, the Pound has been in free fall. Fiat currencies, whether it’s the GBP, the Venezuelan Bolivar or the Turkish Lira have experienced significant, long-term decline. Spreading your wealth across multiple safe currencies within foreign bank accounts mitigates this risk.
- Allows you to access a more stable banking system – The strength of national banking institutions varies significantly from country to country and is subject to change over time. In Germany for example, a country with a historically robust finance sector, Deutsche Bank has been forced to pay massive fines for failing to comply with Anti-Money Laundering legislation. As a result the German banking system is looking rather frail compared to the banks in Singapore for example. Again, a foreign bank account allows you to mitigate risk by reducing dependency on one institution or region.
- Enables faster and cheaper transactions – If you are planning on doing business abroad, having a bank account in that country has significant benefits. Typical international wire transfers take five business days and cost up to $45. Domestic wire transfers on the other hand typically take 1-2 business days and cost significantly less. Therefore, if you’re planning on doing business abroad, owning a bank account in that country has significant cost advantages.
Conclusion – Opening a bank account from within the SelfKey Marketplace
The upcoming SelfKey Bank Accounts Marketplace represents a milestone, not just in SelfKey’s history, but also for the blockchain space. Cryptocurrency was first created as an antithesis to banks, but it is clear that a synergy is needed.
Yes, Banks are archaic but they are here to stay and innovation is at its best when it marries the old with the new. SelfKey’s upcoming Bank Accounts Marketplace makes foreign bank accounts available to those who would not otherwise have access to them.
Moreover, the application process is so streamlined and easy that it can be completed in a matter of minutes. In a world in which opening a typical bank account takes roughly two hours, this added convenience alone is worth getting excited about.
Download the Wallet today and be the first to use the Bank Accounts Marketplace once it goes live.