7 Banking Tips for Digital Nomads

Modern banking is almost as responsible for the rise of digital nomads as is the ability to make money via the Internet. If you're considering a nomadic lifestyle, you must first set up your banking properly to avoid any problems accessing your money while on the road.

Since digital nomads rarely remain in the same location for very long it's vital that they have a trusted way to electronically receive funds and pay bills. In the age of electronic, financial, and identity fraud, banks are increasingly demanding more verifiable information from account holders, not least being a home address.

One of the common ways that banks attempt to prevent fraud is to halt transactions that occur in an unauthorized foreign country. New nomads will discover this quickly when they border hop to a new country and try to buy something with their bank card.

Additionally, most digital nomads run their own online business and very few nomadic entrepreneurs operate them within their home country. Because they and their business are location independent they'll typically find the most advantageous places to register their company, which presents other banking challenges.

Being a voluntary homeless nomad presents countless obstacles for banking and it's not very fun to be stuck in a foreign country with no access to your money. Therefore, it's essential to have your affairs in order.

Here are 7 banking tips for digital nomads:

Employ a Trusted Friend
Having a trusted friend, associate, or family member in your home country is a huge asset. This person can help with a variety of tasks; collecting your mail, paying bills, and sending money abroad in an emergency.  In some cases it may be appropriate to make them power of attorney over your accounts, or even sharing a joint bank account to ensure that things run smoothly.

Multiple Bank Accounts
Banks these days find many reasons, valid or not, to freeze accounts until the dispute is rectified, and sometimes they require you to be there in person to unfreeze your account. Having multiple bank accounts at different banks (or even in different countries) will allow you to still operate should something happen to one account while you're traveling abroad. Crediful offers a list of great options when it comes to international travel banks.

Notify Your Bank of Your Travel Plans
Before you leave for an extended journey, notify your banks of the countries you'll be traveling to so they unlock your debit card for those countries. It is also imperative to have an agent at your bank who you can email or call should your travel plans change to include other countries.

Even if you have never used Paypal it's crucial for you to have an account there. Paypal is a one of the best innovations for digital nomads, but your account must be fully "Verified" to realize its benefits. They provide another option for receiving funds and paying bills, and your account can be attached to a bank account in nearly any country. However, in order to "Verify" your account they require a mailing address and other information.

Maintain a Mailing Address
Keeping the same mailing address makes things much easier as you travel the world as a nomad. This can be a PO Box or your friend's or family member's home address. You'll not only use this address for your bank and Paypal accounts but for anything that requires an address like ordering things online.

Scan Important Documents 
Scan important documents and store them in multiple locations, on your computer, an external hard drive, and in a cloud storage site like Dropbox. The most important documents to save are anything that proves your mailing address; your driver's license, an electric bill, or a cell phone bill. Other documents you may need are recent tax returns, copies of your passport, copies of each of your bills and account statements, etc.

Get a Stable Phone Number 
You'll need a phone number for many of your accounts. Make sure it's one that can reach you anywhere in the world. Skype offers very inexpensive phone numbers with voice mail that you can access anywhere with an Internet connection. It's best to use the same phone number for all of your accounts to keep any communications and security questions easy to remember.

If you take these tips you'll be able to enjoy your travels without worrying that you'll be locked out of access to your funds.

Let us know in the comments below if you have other tips for digital nomads.

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  1. I'd add save all your passwords securely. Getting locked out of internet banking when you're a thousand miles from the address they send the details to is no bagatelle.

    1. Of course, that is a great one Theodora! Thanks!

  2. There have useful tips. You describe about tips as briefly and clearly.

  3. Paypal its my bank of choice all my online backing is done through this its the best and fastest way to do online banking I recommend it to any one.

    1. i don't agree with ,I have had an issue with our paypal account recently and several limitations were imposed. These limitations were unreasonable and unjustifiable.and also for all of these reasons, I can attest (from my point of view) that paypal is a really good company.

  4. For me, Paypal is a trustworthy payment system. I haven’t faced any issues with it until now.

  5. Great tips there guys! Thanks a lot - I've lived away from home for a decade now and had a few bank issues so this is great advice! Safe travels. Jonny

    1. Thanks. Banking is definitely one of the tougher things to deal with during travel. I think we finally have it all sorted, 7 years later:)

  6. All these tips are very useful. I’ve learned something from this post. Thumbs up!