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I'm from Poland and I do not want to have a bank account but I want be able to use a card and do all of that nice online stuff. It would allow me to do automated stuff and maybe other cool other things. I know that it could cost more than an online card but self-hosting things feel pleasant to me.

How can I bank on my own?

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    The short answer is "starting a bank solely for yourself is not practically possible". Still, I hope this question gets some good, contentful answers explaining the costs involved.
    – Sneftel
    Oct 4, 2019 at 8:21
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    In my country you need 3 million EUR to be a bank on your own. Maybe in yours there's something similar.
    – 88892
    Oct 4, 2019 at 8:22
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    This question could be rephrased as "how do you obtain a banking license in Poland?". This question might be easier to research for native Polish speakers who can understand all the Polish laws and regulations which apply.
    – Philipp
    Oct 4, 2019 at 8:35
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    A banking license is just the start. There's also contracts with payment processors and SWIFT. All this stuff is involved and difficult, yes, but more importantly it is crazy expensive. That's what I mean by "not practically possible": Once you understand at least some of the pieces involved, you will decide not to do it, even though you still really want to do it. Still a fun thought experiment, though.
    – Sneftel
    Oct 4, 2019 at 8:54
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about starting a business that is heavily regulated. Oct 4, 2019 at 10:10

2 Answers 2

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I'm from Poland and I do not want to have a bank account

Your privilege.

but I want be able to use a card and do all of that nice online stuff. It would allow me to do automated stuff

You can not have your cake and eat it. Cards are issued by banks or similar institutions. Do not want to deal with them? DO NOT CRY FOR LOOSING THE BENEFITS.

but self-hosting things feel pleasant to me.

Your card is not hosted by your bank but by a card company that will not deal with one near bankrupt (which you are for them). Even if, a little more in cost would be thousands of pln to keep up the infrastructure.

You can not. You can keep your money where you want - even in crypto currencies - and you can keep as little as possible in your bank account, but that is it. And the moment you get a job or deal with clients you better have bank accounts. I would simply not hire someone without a bank account - too much hassle for US to handle ONE person who can not accept payment via bank transfer. This is 2019, not 1919.

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  • Careful: in some countries you might be legally required to pay employees in cash if they request it.
    – user253751
    Oct 4, 2019 at 16:33
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    Yes, except that this question is tagged Poland not "some country somewhere in the world".
    – TomTom
    Oct 4, 2019 at 18:00
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You can, sort of. It depends on how technically you define the term "bank" and how far you're prepared to stretch the term "self-hosting". In principle, you could start your own bank, but I understand that's not the intention.

Technically, building societies are not banks:

So, what exactly is the difference? Key to understanding the distinction between banks and building societies is to be clear on exactly how, and for who, they operate. Because banks are listed on the stock market, they are businesses and therefore work in the favour of those who invest in them, specifically their shareholders. Building societies, however, are not commercial businesses, they are ‘mutual institutions’ – owned by, and working for, their customers. - What Is The Difference Between A Building Society And A Bank?

Since building societies are "owned by, and [work] for, their customers", you'd kinda-sorta be "self-hosting".


If instead you want to define "bank" more loosely and "self-hosting" more carefully, then what you want is not possible.

Hypothetically, suppose there was a service that you could subscribe to that issues a card to you. You would be able to deposit money into the platform, and the platform would have the appropriate business relationships to allow you to use your card with third-party merchants.

That hypothetical service would then be a bank of some sort, even if it was called a building society.

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  • Exceot building societies are not a thing in poland and the question is marked poland.
    – TomTom
    Oct 4, 2019 at 18:00

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