You need an e-Residency ID card to set up your Estonian company. Once that is done, do you need your e-Residency ID card ever again?
Is it a necessity for day-to-day business activities or is the e-Residency card nothing more than a souvenir?
Well, everyone’s business situation and company setup is different.
Instead of giving a generic answer, I will share with you HOW and WHEN I use my e-Residency card; the specific situations in which I need it and some alternative solutions.
Off the top of my head, I would say I have used my e-Residency card less than 5 times in the last 12 months.
The only situations in which I absolutely needed to use the card were the following:
- Signing Legal Documents (e.g. when applying for a L.E.I.)
- Certain types of debit card payments
So, let’s address those two situations.
Signing Legal Documents is perhaps the primary purpose of the card and so when I applied for an L.E.I. (which is the Legal Entity Identifier – a code that’s require for investing), I needed to digitally sign the application by using the e-Residency card.
Certain types of debit card payments require an additional verification via your e-Residency ID card. This depends on where you use the debit card.
When you use it on major – some would say trusted – websites such as Amazon, major airlines, Booking.com, Agoda – then using the debit card details alone will typically suffice.
Lesser known sites typically require additional authorization; it’s not that the website itself requires additional verification, but my bank has this in place as an additional security measure.
In those two situations just mentioned, I have used the e-Residency ID card.
However, for online debit card payments, there are alternative solutions. For one, you could decide to only pay on sites that don’t require additional verification or you simply use your business PayPal account.
Then you would also NOT need the e-Residency ID card to verify those payments.
All in all, the situations in which you ABSOLUTELY need to use the ID card and there’s no way around it are extremely limited. For most, this will just be signing the annual report of your company.
As I have mentioned, I have also applied for the L.E.I. but that’s a one-off thing.
The e-Residency ID card is certainly not required for day-to-day operations.
Xolo is the accounting service provider I am using. They offer several login methods – via your e-Residency card, email and so on.
This means, you can use your e-mail address if you don’t have your e-Residency card at hand.
Xolo has an integration for LHV bank, PayPal and TransferWise, which makes logging in to each of those accounts redundant.
To conclude this article, here are a few other circumstances in which the e-Residency card is required:
- Logging in to online banking (LHV bank)
- Changing settings for online banking, card limits
- Buying and selling investments, ETFs
Needless to say, your mileage my vary, but overall this is what usage of the card will look like for most people.