There are few things in life as exciting and soul-nourishing as overseas travel. The sheer diversity and beauty that exists within this single planet we call home is overwhelming. To experience it first-hand and become attuned with nature, culture, and civilization in all its glory is an opportunity that one should never let go.
Travel requires a lot of preparation, though. Packing clothes and essential belongings can be a big pain in the butt. Typically, you would also be carrying a lot of cash with you, because let’s face it, who is rich enough to have accounts in international banks?
But cash is inconvenient. For one, you might not have carried enough to make some purchases you want in the new country. And carrying cash simply isn’t safe.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could somehow access your banking services back home for transactions during your tour?
Well, it turns out that there is a way you can make that possible.
Let’s jump into it.
VPNs and Banking
Virtual Private Networks (or VPNs for short) are software/tools that are typically used to access blocked websites in your country. For instance, your government might have a problem with certain websites and impose restrictions on them, take the situation of Google in China.
Another case is when a service provider is barred from offering their services in a country owing to geo-restrictions. In some instances, service providers are not blocked outright, but the content they can legally offer in any given country is bound by licensing agreements, just like Netflix content in different regions.
In all these cases, a VPN can be used to get past the restriction by connecting to a server location where the website/service you want to open is accessible.
This feature can be put to great use for banking as well when you are traveling and need some money locked your bank account back home. Likewise, some banking websites require local IP address to conduct transactions or even access online banking facilities, making VPNs that more important.
Secure VPNs for Banking
The criteria to be applied for searching for a suitable VPN is dictated by the purpose(s) you wish to use it for. Online banking is arguably the most sensitive activity you could perform since hackers and cybercriminals are looking for easy victims to steal money from all the time.
As such, security is a paramount factor if you aim to use a VPN for accessing banking related services with it.
Keeping in this in mind, here are the most secure VPNs you can use for private banking overseas:
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- Solid security
- Variety safe tunneling protocols (OpenVPN, SSTP, IKEv2 etc.)
- May require multiple attempts to connect to your server
NordVPN is a strong VPN service, offering military-grade encryption and tunneling protocols. The service uses AES-256-CBC with a 2048-bit DH key. With an IKEv2 protocol running alongside this encryption, it is almost impossible for a hacker to see your activities or intercept in some way.
This is why NordVPN is one the best options you can use for secure online banking. We have rated this VPN highly in our NordVPN review as well.
- Excellent security features
- Zero-logging policy
- 6 multi-logins
- No kill switch
Surfshark uses highly secure techniques for ensuring the security and privacy of user data transferring through their servers. It has a built-in ad and malware blocker for extra security of users from potential malicious software.
Surfshark offers obfuscated servers so the servers you are connected to won’t be able to detect that you are using a VPN, which is just ideal if you want to access your bank from some other country. Our Surfshark review explores these aspects of the service in more detail.
- Robust security
- Built-in ad blocker
- Obfuscated servers
- No apps for Mac available
CyberGhost is a Romanian VPN service with an impressive server infrastructure of 3,000+ servers in over 60 countries. Using one of its servers, you can connect to your bank from anywhere in the world without running into annoying restrictions. Our CyberGhost review highlights key aspects of this VPN more extensively.
- 3,000+ servers in 60+ locations
- Decent security
- 7-day free tree trial
- Average speeds
ExpressVPN is arguably one of the most well-rounded VPN service in the market. It offers great speeds and unblocks almost any site from all over the world, all with some of the strongest security you can imagine. If you are looking to access your local banking website with a single click without compromising on your security, ExpressVPN should be your go-to choice, as we also recommend in our ExpressVPN review.
- Fast servers
- Military-grade encryption technology
- Expensive pricing
How to Access Bank Accounts Overseas
- Subscribe to a secure VPN service like PureVPN or NordVPN
- Download and install the VPN on your computer/device
- Enter your credentials to log in
- Connect to a server from the country your bank is located in
- Visit your bank’s official website to perform transactions, transfers etc.
Note: Make sure the VPN you are using is configured to OpenVPN or IKEv2 protocol. These are the most secure protocols and anything these than that is risky.
Banks and VPN Bans
Many banks ban VPN usage and do not allow a user to connect to the bank’s services via an active VPN connection. This is done as a safety measure since alien IP addresses requesting access to a bank’s website are listed as potential security threats.
Another reason why you might be barred from accessing a bank’s website via a VPN is that cybercriminals might use VPNs to hide their identity to perpetrate theft. This leads some banks to ban all traffic from VPNs to minimize the risk of cybercriminals slipping through.
However, this is only true in the case of some banks. You can use VPNs for overseas banking for most of the banks.
Are Free VPNs Suitable for Banking?
The short answer is a big fat NO.
Expecting a free VPN service to offer adequately strong security to enable safe transactions and banking is like expecting politicians to actually care about the system. It’s just too good to be true.
Free VPNs have shady privacy policies and their security is moderate at best. I would suggest free providers if you were looking for less risk-prone activities, but since the risks involved in online banking can lead to actual, tangible financial loss, you should seriously stay away from free VPNs for your own sake.
Tips for Accessing Overseas Bank Account Securely
- Access only HTTPS websites: The HTTPS protocol for data communication between the browser and website uses end-to-end encrypted, so that even your ISP can’t see information you are transferring with the website. Never perform any form of transaction or enter sensitive details on a website (of your bank or otherwise) that does not use HTTPS. All trusted websites use HTTPS (marked by a closed lock symbol in the address bar).
- Carefully choose server location: You must always connect to a VPN server location where your bank is originally located. For instance, if you have an account in some US bank, you must be connected to a US server before you try opening the website. Failing to do so can lead to the blocking of your IP and might even force the bank to freeze your account.
- Use the right tunneling protocols: OpenVPN and IKEv2 tunneling protocols are iron-strong standards that use modern algorithms for the strongest security. Select these protocols in your VPN to gain extra security and rule out all but the most sophisticated forms of cyberattacks, barring you don’t end up clicking suspicious links or accessing insecure websites.
Traveling is doubtless full of fun and merriment. But carrying cash and running out of money while on your trip can spoil the fun. VPNs for secure and private banking overseas offer a remarkable convenience, allowing you to transfer funds to yourself in your destination spot using your bank account from home.
Just make sure you follow a few common sense tips for security while banking overseas and have the worriless vacation that you deserve.