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Banking for expats: how to find the right money app

Discover how to choose the best money app as an expat. Our guide covers everything from what features to look out for and what to be aware of.

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Managing finances as an expat can be challenging, especially if you are in a new country with a different financial system. Thankfully digital banking has entered the scene and made the transition of managing one's money (and local bank accounts) one less thing to stress about. With plenty of money-focused apps especially catered toward expats and international payments available, there is a range of options to suit each individual’s needs. 

According to the latest statistics, there are currently around 4.9 million expats living in the EU, with the UK being the most popular destination, followed by Germany, Spain, and France. Whether you're a seasoned expat or you're new to the game, having the right banking tools can make all the difference when it comes to managing your finances effectively.

With that in mind, let's dive into the essential features you need to look out for when choosing a money app as an expat in the EU. From navigating high foreign transaction fees for international payments to finding a multiple currencies debit card that works alongside an easy-to-use expat bank account.

Money App Features To Look Out For

Financial apps allow expats to manage their finances more efficiently, facilitating everything from transferring money to paying bills and even investing. Below we will take a look at the essential features that expats need to consider when choosing a money app to act as their international bank account.

Multi-Currency Accounts

One of the most critical features that expats need in a money app is a multi-currency account. When living in a foreign country, you will inevitably have to deal with multiple currencies. A multi-currency account allows you to hold and manage money in different currencies, which is especially useful when you need to transfer money across borders. 

With a multi-currency account, you can avoid the high foreign transaction fees and unfavorable exchange rates that come with traditional bank transfers and ATM withdrawals. These apps allow you to hold and manage money in multiple currencies, and they offer competitive exchange rates for currency conversions.  

On top of that, some apps also allow you to use your card abroad without additional fees, essentially offering an international bank account, making it easy to access your money when you need it.

International Transfers

As an expat, you will likely need to transfer money internationally, whether it is to pay bills or support your family back home. International transfers can be expensive, with banks charging high foreign transaction fees and unfavorable exchange rates. A good money app should offer international transfer services that are affordable and efficient.

Look for an app that offers affordable international transfer services, and be sure to read the fine print to look for any hidden fees, high foreign transaction fees or fees for ATM withdrawals.

Mobile Banking

Mobile banking is a convenient feature that expats should look for in a money app. With mobile banking, you can manage your finances on the go, without having to visit a physical bank. This is particularly useful for expats who are always on the move and may not have easy access to a physical bank branch.

Many money apps offer mobile banking features, allowing you to manage your finances from your smartphone. This includes checking your account balance, paying bills, transferring money, and even investing. With mobile banking, you can stay on top of your finances wherever you are in the world.


Security is a critical concern for anyone who uses a money app, but it is even more important for expats who are managing their finances in a foreign country. A good money app should offer robust security features to protect your money and personal information.

Look for money apps that use two-factor authentication, biometric login, and encryption to protect your account. Additionally, make sure that the app is regulated by a reputable financial authority in the country where it operates.

Budgeting Tools

Budgeting is an essential part of managing your finances as an expat. A good money app should offer budgeting tools to help you track your expenses and manage your money more effectively. With budgeting tools, you can set financial goals, track your spending, and monitor your progress over time.

Customer Support

Customer support is another critical factor to consider when choosing a money app. As an expat, you may encounter issues with your account or transactions, and you need to be able to get help quickly and efficiently. Look for money apps that offer reliable customer support, preferably 24/7, and through multiple channels, including phone, email, and chat.

Additionally, look out for comprehensive FAQs and help articles that can guide you through common issues and questions. Like, how many fee free ATM withdrawals can you get or what foreign currencies are supported.

Investment Opportunities

For expats who want to invest their money, a good money app should offer investment opportunities. With investment opportunities, you can grow your wealth and achieve your long-term financial goals. Many money apps now offer investment features, including robo-advisors and self-directed investment accounts.

Look for apps that offer investment opportunities that are easy to use and affordable. With robo-advisors, you can invest your money automatically, based on your risk tolerance and financial goals. Self-directed investment accounts allow you to choose your investments and manage your portfolio yourself.

Things to be aware of when choosing expat bank accounts

Speaking of expat bank accounts, it is important to ensure that the money app you choose allows you to link to these accounts. Expats often require bank accounts in multiple countries, and being able to link them all to one app can make managing finances much easier.

Additionally, ensure that any app you consider is authorized and regulated by financial authorities in your country of residence. For example, in the UK, you should look for apps that are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which provides protection for consumers in the event that a financial institution goes bust.

Another important factor to consider when choosing an expat money app is the fees associated with using it. Some apps may charge high foreign transaction fees for currency exchange or international money transfers, so be sure to read the fine print before signing up.

Finally, consider the security features offered by the app, such as two-factor authentication and encryption, to ensure that your personal and financial information is kept safe. By considering these factors, you can find an expat-focused money app that meets your needs and helps you manage your finances with ease.

Skip the fuss with the Tap mobile app aka your international bank account

Tap offers a top-rated mobile app that allows users to easily and effectively manage both their fiat and crypto finances in one international bank account package. Fully regulated and licensed, the app ticks all the boxes when it comes to security, bank account regulations and AML laws.

On top of this, the app supports multiple currencies and allows users to pay bills directly from the app using whichever currency they prefer, and send money free of charge to friends and family no matter where in the world they might be. 

Using refined technology, the app scans multiple exchanges to ensure that users always get the best price available, and executes the transactions in a fast, secure and cost-effective manner. Available in over 45 countries, the app supports over 35 currencies allowing for not only a smooth expat bank account experience but an excellent travel experience too. 

Accompanying the app is a range of Tap cards each presenting a variety of perks. The card operates as a debit card linked directly to your account, allowing you to travel to any corner of the globe and seamlessly make payments and ATM withdrawals directly from your Tap wallets. 

With no monthly fee associated with traditional bank accounts, fee-free international transfers to fellow Tap users, and a business bank account option, Tap reigns supreme when it comes to international bank accounts catering to expats.

In conclusion

Managing finances as an expat can be challenging, but with the right money app, it can be much easier. Look for apps that offer a multi-currency account, affordable international transfer services, mobile banking, robust security features, budgeting tools, reliable customer support, and investment opportunities.

By choosing the right money app, you can manage your finances more efficiently, save money on fees and unfavorable exchange rates, and achieve your financial goals. Not to mention the business bank account opportunities for your professional needs.


This article is for general information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice or a recommendation of any kind whatsoever and should not be relied upon or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances. We make no warranties, representations or undertakings about any of the content of this article (including, without limitation, as to the quality, accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose of such content), or any content of any other material referred to or accessed by hyperlinks through this article. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content on our site is accurate, complete or up-to-date.


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