Bank cards have become an integral part of our everyday lives and our wallets. However, more and more people look for other solutions and new technologies for making payments. The most similar payment method to a bank card is a non-bank card, which looks and works the same – indeed, from the first glance, they are very similar. So, what do these cards actually have in common and what are the differences?
Let’s start with the similarities. You can use both cards for receiving salary and other payments; it is also possible to make purchases in stores and on the Internet. Both bank cards and non-bank payment cards have their online banking platforms and in most cases also mobile apps, which help to manage your finances and make payments easily.
Differences between bank and non-bank payment cards
Non-bank cards are more easily available because you don’t need to go to the bank and submit documents. For example, you can order a WestStein payment card through the website or mobile app – an account is created, and in a few days you will get your card in the mailbox, and you can use it immediately.
Furthermore, there can be some technical differences between the two types of cards. For example, banks have started to issue their new cards with contactless payment functionality. Also, Citadele Bank has integrated an e-ticket functionality into its payment cards. Most non-bank payment cards don’t have such extensions yet, but technically they could. Undoubtedly, more and more card issuers will follow the technology trends and incorporate new features into their payment cards.
- Customer support
To create a non-bank payment card, you only need a computer or a phone and a couple of minutes. Non-bank card users appreciate that setting up and maintaining the account requires minimum bureaucracy. Customer service and consulting for non-bank accounts is done electronically. This type of service has significant advantages – no need to spend time on the way to the bank, no need to fit into banks’ limited working hours and no need to wait in lines. Also, if you still need a face-to-face or telephone consultation, non-bank card issuers can provide it as well.
- Maintenance costs and other fees
Card and account maintenance costs differ between banks and non-bank providers. Banks in the Baltic States, depending on the type of card you have, can charge up to 3 EUR per month for maintaining an account. Most people don’t even notice that the bank can take even 30 EUR from their account annually. Non-bank cards are often more cost-effective, for example, WestStein card’s maintenance fee is only 1 EUR per month. On the other hand, banks generally offer lower transaction fees. Bank cards let you withdraw money in local ATMs often for free or for a small fee. However, when you are travelling, it is more cost-effective to use a non-bank card, like WestStein Mastercard, which has a fixed withdrawal fee of 2.50 EUR from all ATMs in the eurozone.
- Relation to a bank account
The main difference between both cards is already included in their name – non-bank payment cards are not linked to a specific bank in your country. This way non-bank card users gain some degree of anonymity and greater financial freedom, as their transactions remain unknown to the mass banking machinery.
For example, WestStein prepaid Mastercard is an international payment card with an account abroad. It has all the features of a Mastercard payment card, as well as additional benefits:
- Transaction privacy. The card is not related to the client’s regular account; the card account is maintained by a foreign bank.
- No credit history check, because the customer can spend only the amount that is transferred to his card. At the same time, it allows customers to manage their budget efficiently and reasonably.
- Cheap and convenient cash withdrawal in the eurozone – a fixed fee of 2.50 EUR, regardless of the ATM’s relation to any bank.
- Digital card management – log in, activate and manage your card online. No need to waste time going to a branch; the card can also be delivered to foreign countries.
Are non-bank payment cards secure?
Most non-bank cards and bank cards are equally secure. For example, WestStein cards have Mastercard data and operations protection as well as a 3D Secure system for extra security. A non-bank card can also be quickly locked in case of loss or theft.
Traditionally, banks are considered the safest institutions for safeguarding your finances. However, we have all heard about banks collapsing or using their clients’ funds in shady transactions. In fact, it is wiser to allocate and manage your funds in several places.
Where are non-bank accounts kept?
Our customers ask this question frequently. WestStein prepaid Mastercard is issued by Prepaid Financial Services (PFS). WestStein international payment card service is provided through the PFS billing system by opening accounts in Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c.. It is a universal, Irish-owned bank that has been providing international banking services for over 50 years and is monitored in accordance with EU regulations.
Who can make the most of non-bank cards?
- Freelancers – WestStein prepaid Mastercard makes it easy to receive salary from different parts of the world.
- Travellers – before your trip you can transfer a certain amount of money to your card – no need to worry that you might spend more than expected. Also, it is very convenient to have a fixed fee for withdrawing cash from ATMs in the whole eurozone.
- Expats – WestStein prepaid Mastercard lets you receive salary from any country, as well as financially support family members who live in another country.
- Families – a prepaid card allows you to easily control your family’s budget. For example, you can transfer pocket money to your child’s card. WestStein card is available for children from the age of 13. Three additional cards can be linked to one main account.
- People who like online shopping – it is a secure and convenient payment method, which does not allow you to spend more than you have on your card. Therefore, if WestStein card or its data are stolen, thieves will not be able to access the cardholder’s regular account at a bank, where possibly larger funds are stored.
To choose the most suitable payment card, you need to evaluate your needs, lifestyle and money spending habits. Bank cards are a more traditional payment method, while non-bank cards provide other benefits that are important in the 21st century. Certainly, the combination of both cards is a major benefit – you can keep your savings in a bank card, but use a non-bank card for your daily spending, child pocket money or travelling.