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Foreign and multi-currency accounts

You can now connect your foreign currency and multi-currency bank accounts to Cake. But why did this take so long? And how does this work within Cake?

At Cake, we are committed to improve the financial well-being of every user. We analyze financial data to help people better understand, control and improve their finances. And, as a cherry on the cake, we share our revenue with our users.💸

The more complete the better

In order to provide you with a good financial overview, it is important that you connect all your bank accounts to Cake. And of course also make sure that they remain connected.

So far, we can connect the current accounts of most Belgian banks. Only BNP Paribas Fortis is still waiting, but we keep doing everything that is within our power to fix that.💪

You can also add savings accounts to Cake. We don’t have a view on the balance of your savings, but it’s still useful to add them because this way we can keep track of how much you save. And that is probably the most important.

A small group of our users also owns an account in a foreign currency or even a multi-currency account. 💵 💶 💷 💴 These users continue to bombard us with requests to be able to connect to these types of accounts. And they are right! And we have good news for them. It is now also possible to connect foreign and multi-currency accounts to Cake.🥳

Multi-what?

For anyone who doesn’t have an “foreign-multi-things-account” and isn’t familiar with it, we’d like to explain what it is.

The vast majority of Cake users just have one or more current accounts in euro. That’s pretty much the standard.

But there also exist bank accounts in other currencies. That can be dollars, pounds sterling or Danish crowns. We call such an account a foreign currency account. All transactions that take place on that account are done in the relevant (other than euro) currency.

In a multi-currency account, transactions on the same account are processed in several currencies. In other words, you can make and receive payments in several different currencies. And all this on one and the same bank account. 

This can be useful if, for example, you make a lot of (online) purchases abroad. Or when you do business with countries with a different currency. In that case, you have to deal with exchange rates that can fluctuate, causing the amount paid to suddenly become worth more or less. Such an account is a solution to minimize the risk of sudden fluctuations in exchange rates. Because the money stays on the account in the original currency.

It can also be interesting to accumulate multiple income in a foreign currency and exchange it all at once rather than having to bear the costs for the exchange of the small transactions all the time.

What took this so long?

So as of today it is possible to link foreign currency accounts and multi-currency accounts to Cake. But why did this take so long?

The main reason is that each bank processes the transactions on such an account in a different way. That in itself is not a problem and one way is not necessarily better than the other but it doesn’t make it easy to provide a standard link with apps like Cake.

With some banks there is only one account, and the transactions in the different currencies are mixed up. At other banks, one account behind is split into different accounts per currency. 

We work together with Ibanity to link the bank accounts to Cake. And they have found a solution for all these different systems and now provide a uniform link. Hooray! 🎉

What does this look like within Cake?

Of course we want to give our users 1 overview of all accounts, in 1 currency. So how are we going to show this in Cake? 

We’ve thought about that for quite some time and we’ve done some research on the matter. When we questioned owners of such an account, it turned out every time that they actually keep calculating back to euro to have a total overview. The different currencies are for the majority a means (mainly to absorb exchange rate fluctuations) but not the goal in itself. What counts in the end is the amount in euro on their account.

And that is exactly how we do it. We convert all transactions in other currencies to euro and use that amount in the general overviews. For transactions, we use the exchange rate on the day of that transaction. For the balance of the account, we use the exchange rate of the day in question. When you zoom in on the transaction level you will of course see the original currency. 

In the overviews you’ll see in Cake, we also display a small symbol (for example $) of the original currency. As a user you’ll see at a glance that this is a transaction in another currency. 

In future, we also want to make it possible to set your default currency in the app. At the moment the default currency is euro but in future we want to let you choose in which currency you want your transactions to appear in the app. A Danish user can then set the Danish krone as the default currency.

And this way Cake is getting ready for the rest of Europe.🌍 Because that is what we would like to offer; an independent banking app to which every European account can be linked.🚀

The Cake app is freely available to download since the beginning of this year. Although it is still a beta version it already offers more than enough features to improve your financial insights and to make your bank account profitable again. Download the app in the App Store and on Google Play .