Published Jun 17, 2022

e-Commerce Bank: What It Is & Business Account Recommendations

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Here’s good news for digital merchants — you can now skip the lines and get a business account without leaving your office!

How’s that possible? It’s thanks to technology firms that provide online business account solutions, or “e-commerce banks” as some people call it.

In this article, we’ll explain what e-commerce banks are and provide tips for choosing a financial services provider to work with. If you’re looking for an e-commerce business account, we’ve also rounded up a list of best options for you. Let’s get started!

What is an e-commerce bank?

With the boom in e-commerce, many technology firms now offer business account solutions for digital merchants, such as online payment and collection, corporate credit cards and business funding.

Although “e-commerce bank” is a handy label to describe these financial service providers, most of them aren’t actually banks. Rather, they serve as alternatives to banks as they offer most capabilities of a bank. Sometimes they even come with features and solutions — tailored for online shops — that banks don’t have.

Five best e-commerce business accounts

A financial services provider shouldn’t only offer the features you need. It should be trustworthy, credible and secure as well.

On these bases, we’ve handpicked the top companies that provide business account solutions for online businesses. They are as follows:

1. Airwallex

Airwallex was founded in Melbourne in 2015 with a focus on global payment services. Although it isn’t a bank, it offers most features that a bank has, such as payment, collection and credit card issuance.

Key features of Airwallex’s business account

  • Create domestic and foreign currency accounts (e.g. CNY, SGD, HKD, USD, EUR, AUD)
  • Make payments locally and internationally
  • Receive global payments at your e-commerce site
  • Convert funds of foreign currencies into local currencies
  • Withdraw foreign currency funds in local currencies
  • Issue employee credit cards with pre-set spending limits
  • Integrate with global payments, accounting and e-commerce platforms (e.g. PayPal, Xero, eBay, Shopify)

2. Choco Up

Founded in 2018, Choco Up is a global technology and financial services platform. As a fast-growing fintech company, we offer a rapidly expanding array of business growth solutions for digital merchants.

From global payment to flexible growth funding and data analytics, all can be found on our all-in-one fintech platform.

Key features of Choco Up’s fintech platform

  • Accept payments in 130+ currencies at your e-commerce site
  • Make cross-border payments at market-leading foreign exchange rates
  • Get virtual Visa cards to make multi-currency payments anywhere at anytime
  • Integrate with e-commerce platforms to keep all business data in one place, identify pain points and potential for growth
  • Gain access to e-commerce funding (US$10K to $10M) to accelerate business growth

The magic behind Choco Up’s flexible funding — What’s it and how does it work?

  • The problem we solve: When we speak of e-commerce financing, images of lengthy application forms, endless correspondences and overwhelming paperwork spring to mind. At Choco Up, we reinvent the funding experience, making it quick, seamless and painless.
  • What it is: Our funding model is called revenue-based financing. It’s not a loan, but a form of funding to fuel your business growth.
  • How it works: Unlike business lenders, we don’t ask for fixed payments or set rigid repayment schedules. Instead you’ll share a small percentage of your revenue with us until a predetermined amount is paid back.Our revenue-sharing model is known for its flexibility, in that repayment follows your revenue cycle perfectly. There’s no pressure about keeping up with repayments, allowing you to grow and scale comfortably.
  • How to apply for funding: Answer a few questions, connect your sales and/or marketing accounts (e.g. Shopify, Google Analytics), and our algorithms work the magic. When everything goes well, funding could be available in as soon as 48 hours.

Learn more: Check out more information and get your free preliminary offer today!

3. Neat

Founded in Hong Kong in 2015, Neat has a mission to push the boundaries of global financial services in the borderless world.

It primarily serves small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), e-commerce businesses included.

With its global account solution, Neat enables businesses to pay and collect money locally and internationally.

It also allows easy integration with e-commerce-adjacent software and platforms, helping you keep all your data in one place.

Key features of Neat’s global account

  • Make payments to 170+ countries
  • Collect payments in multiple currencies (e.g. USD, EUR, GBP, HKD)
  • Issue corporate credit cards, set monthly limits and monitor employee expenses
  • Integrate with payments, e-commerce and accounting platforms (e.g. Stripe and PayPal, Amazon and Shopify, Xero)

4. Payoneer

Payoneer was founded as early as in 2005 in New York city. Now a NASDAQ-listed company, Payoneer brands itself as the go-to partner for digital commerce, with fintech solutions customized for cross-border e-commerce merchants.

Payoneer’s platform has many features rolled into one. By creating a Payoneer account, you can make payments, collect funds and apply for merchant cash advance with your marketplace payouts.

Key features of the Payoneer account

  • Receive multi-currency funds made via local bank transfers
  • Collect payments from marketplaces (e.g. Amazon, Lazada and Shopee)
  • Request payments from global customers by sending notifications with a few clicks
  • Apply for working capital advances to fund your business operations

5. Wise (formerly TransferWise)

Wise was established in 2011 and is based in London.

It started as an overseas money transfer platform, but gradually expanded its service portfolio to offer a wide array of digital banking solutions, hence the change of name in 2021.

Once you’ve set up a business account with Wise, you’ll get what you need to bank abroad, namely an IBAN, routing number, sort code and debit card.

Wise also offers international payment and fund collection capabilities, making it an ideal banking alternative for cross-border businesses.

Key features of Wise’s business account

  • Collect payments from online platforms and storefronts
  • Make online or in-store payments using Wise’s debit card
  • Make batch payments online (pay up to 1,000 people each time)
  • Convert revenue into 50+ currencies at competitive exchange rates and fees
  • Integrate with accounting software (e.g. QuickBooks, Xero)

How to choose an e-commerce business account

Providers of e-commerce business accounts come in many shapes and forms. Some are essentially payment services providers, others are one-stop fintech platforms offering a suite of financial products.

To help you determine which serves best for your online store, below are four considerations you can keep in mind.

1. Business needs

“What are you looking for?” Think this through before you start your search.

To illustrate this, Payoneer’s payout collection capability is essential for e-tailers selling on online marketplaces, whereas fast-growing businesses would benefit from Choco Up’s flexible funding to fuel their growth.

Understand your business needs and compare them with the solution providers’ offerings. Something close to a perfect match is what you’d want.

2. Pricing & fees

Working with a financial services provider that rips you off doesn’t sound right — and it shouldn’t indeed.

Pay attention to how you’re being charged. Set-up fees, monthly fees, card fees, etc. are something to watch out for. Also make sure there are no minimum transaction requirements, or that you can meet them before opening an account.

3. Integration

Easy-to-use integration would make your life much easier. It not only streamlines work processes, but also provides critical insights for your business.

Choco Up’s smart-growth analytics solution, for example, gathers data from e-commerce and marketing platforms, turning data into actionable insights to inform your business growth strategy.

4. International capabilities

Last but not least, global payment and collection capabilities are crucial, if not essential for anyone doing business online today. This is because technology has wiped out geographical boundaries, and customers no longer shop only in their home countries.

The cross-border e-commerce market is expected to grow to $2 trillion in the next decade. Many digital merchants have already braced themselves for this trillion-dollar opportunity. Are you in or out?

Some last words

You can deceive yourself in any way you want, but you can’t fool the law of supply and demand.

The fact that most financial service providers now include international capabilities in their payment and collection solutions is evidence that cross-border trade is the next big thing in the digital space.

If you’re looking to grow and scale your online business, namely by entering the global arena, Choco Up is here to help.

Our global business account and payment software, coupled with our flexible funding solution will provide everything you need for business growth.

Sign up here for a free preliminary funding offer and learn more about our business growth solutions!