With the start of border-less bank accounts, there is many different solutions to low-cost cross-border transfers. If you are confused about the many alternatives such as Revolut and TransferWise, keep reading to understand the next competitor VIALET. VIALET offers both Mastercard, free IBAN account, free SEPA payments, and much more. In this review, I will cover everything that is worth knowing about VIALET.
I will make a 100% unbiased review of VIALET. I will help you compare the options and benefits of VIALET through this review, so stick around and enjoy!
VIALET Review Overview
What do I like about VIALET?
- Free SEPA payments
- Contactless Mastercard
- Free money transfer abroad
- Part of VIA SMS Group
What do I dislike about VIALET?
- Maximum withdrawal limit of €600
- Monthly Mastercard Fee
What Can You Do With VIALET?
VIALET is an online bank that allows cross-border transfers in Europe without fees. It is possible to create a fully functional VIALET account in less than 3 minutes. This will give you an IBAN account and the possibility to get the contactless Mastercard.
The main benefits of using VIALET is that you can spend and earn money anywhere in Europe without any fees. Furthermore, you can transfer money abroad for free.
VIALET sends your money right away, no more queues and long waiting for making simple money transfers.
If you have VIALET and you have friends or family (or others for that matter), you can send free and instant payments with the VIALET-to-VIALET feature.
Is VIALET Filling A Niche?
VIALET has made a business in the online banking niche. VIALET offers both private and business accounts so everyone can move their money to the digital banking world of FinTech.
One of the advertised features of VIALET is the privacy of your bank account. Stating “Privacy is freedom, settle for nothing – No one will ever peek into your accounts and finances. Your funds, your management, yours only.”.
The new banking option, therefore, offers everyone in the European Union to get both private and business accounts.
Using the Mastercard VIALET allows you to use their services in more than 200 countries worldwide.
The purpose of VIALET must, therefore, be filling the niche for people wanting privacy in their bank account, and for the EU citizen that travels the world. Therefore, any user of VIALET gets access to low exchange rates when exchanging to other currencies
The Idea Behind VIALET
VIALET wants to give the power back to the user instead of power to the banks. No tricks or unwanted trips to the bank, just easy access to Mastercard, IBAN account, transfer of funds, and the management of your own finances anytime and everywhere.
VIALET is a part of the VIA SMS Group, which is traded on NASDAQ. VIA SMS Group is a combination of financial services that can be divided into four categories: loans, payments, savings, and investments. Each category is a combination of subsidiaries.
VIA SMS Group is made as an alternative financial service provider with an extensive portfolio of products. Having a banking company only broadens their competitiveness and enables them to learn from their other businesses to ultimately give their customers a better service.
One of the main reasons that VIALET is an interesting topic for this blog is the subsidiary called VIAINVEST, which is a P2P lending platform.
ATM Withdrawals and Currency Exchange
The Mastercard from VIALET can be used to withdraw money from ATMs (Like every credit/debit card). Withdrawing cash has a flat fee of 2% with a minimum of €2,5.
Likewise, the Mastercard can be used to withdrawals and payments in non-euro currency. The fee is the MasterCard exchange fee plus a flat 1% fee of the transaction value.
There is a limit to the amount that can be withdrawn both daily and monthly. The daily limit is €600 and the monthly limit is €1.000.
VIALET Fees Breakdown
|Payments (excluding cards)|
|P2P payment between VIALET accounts||Free|
|Top-up account with card||0,6%|
|Investigation of transactions||€15|
|Invalid dispute fee||€15|
|Cards and cash|
|Card replacement + delivery||€4,95|
|Card maintenance||€1,4 per month|
|Withdrawals from ATM||2% (min €2,5)|
|Other card services|
|Currency exchange using VIALET card for ATM withdrawal and payments in non-euro currency||Mastercard exchange rate + 1% of the transaction value|
|Investigation of transaction||€15|
|Invalid dispute fee||€15|
VIALET is a FinTech company offering online banking services. The online banking is a feature as by itself. Furthermore, VIALET was created to send money abroad for free, no matter if you live, work, spend or earn money. You should be able to do it all anywhere in Europe.
VIALET wants to save time when using their banking service with high transparency. No more complicated fee structures when sending money, send money instantaneously and manage your money when you want.
The growing trend is to save time. This has been proven with fast-food, P2P transport (Uber, Lyft, etc), Lastpass, etc. One of the biggest marketers and public speakers Gary Vaynerchuck is one of the people that believes that saving time is a great business model.
Furthermore, the privacy fits the Gen Z. The ability to have your account and finances in private fits the newer generations. A study broad by foxbusiness.com shows that the new generation (Gen Z) is way more tech-savvy and adjust their privacy settings far more than the three previous generations.
The card that is provided with VIALET is a Mastercard. The card is contactless and is a standard Mastercard with a PIN-code, contactless pay on-the-go, the ability to shop online and in retail stores with zero fees.
It also comes with an extra layer of security with 3D secure. The 3D secure is made by VISA and adopted by Mastercard. The protocol will get improved security on internet payments.
From the VIALET app, you can block your card in case you have lost it. If it turns out you just forgot where you put it, you can simply unblock the card.
How To Fund Your VIALET Account
You can fund your VIALET account through bank transfer or card.
When funding with SEPA transfers simply go to Home → Top-up (“+” sign) → Bank transfer
This will show your personal VIALET IBAN account number. The IBAN account includes the IBAN number and SWIFT/BIC.
When funding with card transfer you go to Home → Top-up(“+” sign) → Card
From here it is like buying any item through online shopping. You select the amount you wish to transfer and the payment is instant.
You now have the funds available to spend or sent.
Cross-border Payments and Transfers
Making cross-border payments and transfers is easy through your phone contacts or via bank transfers.
You can request money from your phone contacts as well.
The SEPA and card payments are free of charge.
There are some limits to the amount that can be spent with card and sent with SEPA:
- Total yearly limit for outgoing transactions: €15.000
- Daily card payment limit: €1.400
- Monthly card payment limit: €7.000
Is VIALET Secure?
VIALET is registered in Lithuania and licensed as an electronic money institution by the Lithuanian Central Bank.
Since VIA SMS Group is a public traded company and therefore regulated by the EU. Furthermore, they are running audited financial reports for VIA SMS Group. You can see their financial statement here.
You can read their own statement of how safe their service is to use.
Conclusion of VIALET Review
VIALET is an easy to use, simple, online banking platform. VIALET is not loaded with a lot of additional features other than the actual banking. Competitors focus a lot on maximizing the additional features like purchasing stock and crypto.
VIALET has created a simple platform for online banking with a very low-cost structure.
- Customer service contact options
- Low-cost financial service
- Free SEPA payments
- Spend cross-borders
- Easy to use app
The options to contact VIALET through chat in the VIALET app, on their website or on email at email@example.com. However, there is no phone contact if that is your preferred means of contact.
VIALET has a number of low-cost services related to other banks. Traditional banking has higher costs and does not allow for the same flexibility as VIALET.
- Monthly fee on Mastercard
- Maximum daily withdrawal limit of €600
- Only available to EU citizens
Having a fee on a Mastercard is not that common in traditional banking. Therefore, it seems odd that VIALET would start charging the customer for having a debit card.
While €600 is enough for most people per day, it is not a lot compared to other digital banking options.
The last con is that VIALET is currently only open to EU citizens. While this does not affect me in any way (since I am European, I think having international relationships could help VIALET expanding their technological edge with better services. When compared to competitors like Revolut and N26 which can provide both medical insurance, travel insurance, purchasing of cryptos and stocks in-app, etc.
However, VIALET has kept it simple. VIALET is simple!