Are you an overseas resident planning on working or studying in the UK?
If you are moving here for studies or work, you will need to be able to access and manage your money, pay rent and bills etc. However, if you are planning to stay here, it may be difficult for you to open a UK bank account to manage your money.
While there are plenty of UK banks to choose from, there really isn’t one best bank account for an overseas worker or student. According to the Money Laundering Regulations 2017, UK banks and financial institutions are required to ask for appropriate Identity Evidence when certain financial transactions occur.
To open an account, you will need proof of identity and proof of address in the UK, which in many cases will include your passport, a full UK, European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) photocard driving licence, a provisional UK photocard driving licence or a UK paper driving licence with a valid, current address.
You will usually need to provide other information, such as a recent bank statement from another bank that shows at least one transaction. This can be a bank from another country, bu tit must show a UK address. Most UK banks won’t accept statements from digital banks.
You may also be asked to provide a credit card statement from a UK credit card company dated within the past three months, a utility bill from a UK gas, electricity or landline phone bill dated within the past three months.
The problem for many overseas students or workers is that you won’t be able to provide enough of this evidence to enable you to open a UK bank account. If you are here to work, you may also find that many UK employers will refuse to pay your wages into foreign accounts or pay by cash, so you will need a UK based current account for your salary.
But if you cannot or don’t want to open a traditional UK bank account, a perfect alternative isavailable with a Unizest current account.
Is Unizest a UK bank?
No, Unizest isn’t like a traditional bank account. It is an e-current account that you manage online and stores your money electronically. You can use your e-money exactly the same way as cash, and having a Unizest current account offers you the same flexibility as a traditional UK online basic bank account.
You get a Mastercard debit card and can use it to pay for goods and services, withdraw cash from bank cash points, and make contactless payments. You can use your card anywhere that accepts Mastercard.
Opening a Unizest current account is a convenient, low-cost way to manage your money while living in the UK as an overseas resident or student. This makes it an ideal alternative for students and workers that may not want to go the traditional route of opening a bank account for non-residents, which usually comes with hefty transaction charges.
Can I pay my rent and utility bills with Unizest?
If you plan to live and work in the UK, your employer will be able to transfer your salary to your account, which makes it easier for you to rent a property, and pay bills such as your mobile phone contracts, food shopping, council tax and energy bills from a single current account.
You can set up payments for your individual bills in the same way as an online bank. You can set up direct debits to pay your utility companies directly from your Unizest current account each month. You can also transfer money to another bank account to pay your rent directly to your landlord’s account and keep a record of your rent payments.
Is my money protected?
Your Unizest current account is a financial product that is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Unizest (company no. 12632726) is an Electronic Money Directive (EMD)distributor on behalf of PayrNet Limited (company no. 09883437).
Unizest is an alternative banking method that ensures any funds you receive are held in a segregated account so that in the unlikely event that PayrNet Limited becomes insolvent, your funds will be protected against claims made by creditors.
Just like other basic bank accounts, Unizest doesn’t offer an overdraft, so there is no risk of spending money you don’t have and falling into debt. Unizest is specially designed for those living, working or studying outside their home country that would struggle to set up a traditional UK bank account.
With Unizest, you will get incredible flexibility and easy access to manage your money. You can view, save and print PDF statements, pay bills, transfer money to other accounts, access help and advice on living and working in the UK, and more.