Holvi and Estonia’s e-Residency program: a year in review

Time sure flies when you’re having fun.

Mika Setälä
May 29, 2018 · 4 min read
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This is a guest post submitted by a company that’s growing by serving e-residents. Learn more about working in partnership with the e-Residency programme here.

ack in May 2017, we partnered with Estonia’s e-Residency program. Our aim? To make it as easy as possible to start an EU-based business you can run from anywhere in the world. A business you can set up quickly, without getting bogged down in unnecessary bureaucracy, paperwork and other admin.

It seems like yesterday, but it’s already been a year. During that time, we’ve worked hard to provide e-residents with business current accounts and other tools to help them manage their finances as seamlessly as possible. That said, and as proud as we are of what we’ve achieved, this year has also taught us a lot.

Here are some thoughts on our first year working with Estonia’s e-Residency program and how we plan to use what we’ve learned to make our products work harder for you (spoiler alert: you’re going to love this).

Jumping in with both feet

We’re not ones to shy away from a challenge. But it’s safe to say that partnering with Estonia’s e-Residency program led us into uncharted territory. Overnight, we went from serving business owners in Finland, Germany and Austria to serving business owners from all over the world.

This extended geographical reach brought with it all sorts of exciting possibilities. But it also meant we’ve had to adapt our compliance processes to cater to different jurisdictions.

When we started Holvi, we vowed to build a service that makes your life easier instead of getting in the way. A service that allows you to focus on growing your business instead of asking you to jump through hoops and fill out endless forms every step of the way.

For this reason, during this past year, we’ve worked hard to understand our e-resident customers and their needs. And we’ve used this understanding to refine our compliance processes and make them as smooth as they can possibly be.

So what does this mean for you?

Well, for starters: cheaper monthly plans.

A pricing model your business will love

We’ve streamlined our processes to the point where they don’t require as much work as they did when we first started. And since it now costs less for us to carry out compliance checks on e-residents, we’re passing on these savings to you.

More to the point, we understand that business current accounts shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all. A new business, a business that’s expanding and a large business with hundreds of employees have different needs. So we’ve also decided to reflect this in our pricing, too.

Starting from 1 May, we’ll no longer be charging a flat rate of €35 a month. Instead, you can choose from one of three packages based on the size of your business. Which means you’ll only pay for what you actually use:

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New partnerships and new beginnings

We’ve also partnered with 1Office to make the process of setting up your Estonian limited company smoother.

From getting the right paperwork together to choosing a name, we know that the process can be confusing. We’ve been there ourselves. Through our collaboration with 1Office, we’ll help you get set up in as little as two business days.

1Office also offer other business services you might not have even known you need, including:

  • Getting a legal address for your company
  • Registering for VAT
  • Getting tax advice
  • Getting legal advice, for example on whether you need a licence to do business

Your personal bank vault

Of course, it goes without saying that we’re fully committed to keeping your money safe. We’re regulated as an Authorised Payment Institution by Finland’s Financial Supervisory Authority. And the money in your payment account is managed as segregated customer funds.

So what does this mean, in practice?

Well, for starters, since we’re a payment institution, not a bank; your money is your money, and we don’t invest or lend it like banks normally do. The flipside is that, since we don’t invest your money, it isn’t guaranteed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which refunds deposits up to €100,000 when a bank goes bust.

That said, we go to great lengths to make sure your money’s protected, storing it in low risk financial institutions (in Europe, for instance, we use Arkea Banking Services). So, in the (very) unlikely event we become insolvent, you can rest assured that your hard-earned money should be refunded 100%.

Wrapping up

A year seems like a long time. But, for us, it’s only the beginning.

Moving forward, we’re committed to keeping an ear to the ground, to listening to your needs and to being as transparent as possible with our pricing decisions. Because we think that’s what your business current account provider should do for you.

So here’s wishing a happy first birthday to our collaboration with Estonia’s e-Residency program.

And here’s to many more to come.

E-Residency Blog, E-residentsuse blogi

This is the official blog of the Republic of Estonia’s…

Mika Setälä

Written by

Mika Setälä is VP of Business Development at Holvi and he continuously works to make borderless banking easy for e-residents.

E-Residency Blog, E-residentsuse blogi

This is the official blog of the Republic of Estonia’s e-Residency programme — See on e-residentsuse programmi ametlik blogi.

Mika Setälä

Written by

Mika Setälä is VP of Business Development at Holvi and he continuously works to make borderless banking easy for e-residents.

E-Residency Blog, E-residentsuse blogi

This is the official blog of the Republic of Estonia’s e-Residency programme — See on e-residentsuse programmi ametlik blogi.

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