To open a bank account is an essential step for anyone planning to live or work in Austria. You can start with Bank Austria and Raiffeisen Zentralbank. Having a bank account makes it easier to receive and manage your finances. It is also necessary for everyday activities, such as paying rent, receiving a salary, or purchasing.
Opening an Austrian bank account is essential for ex-pats due to Austria’s cash-based economy, saving on ATM fees, facilitating salary payments, and enabling convenient setup of direct debits for bills.
How to open a bank account in Austria
Austria’s financial system is built on three pillars: private commercial, public savings, and cooperative banks. When choosing a bank to open an account in Austria, it’s essential to consider several factors, including fees, available services, and customer support.
To open a bank account in Austria, you generally need to follow these steps:
Choose a bank: Search different banks in person or online to find the one that suits your needs.
Gather necessary documents: You may need a valid passport or ID, proof of residency (usually a Meldezettel and a utility bill), and proof of employment or school enrollment.
Make an appointment: Contact the bank and make an appointment to open an account.
Visit the bank in person: Bring your documents to the appointment and fill out the necessary forms, or you may apply online.
Wait for account activation: After the bank approves your application, they will activate your account.
Can foreigners create a bank account in Austria
Although Austria is cautious about allowing non-residents to open bank accounts, it is possible with many banks now offering international account options. However, in most cases, opening an account will require a personal visit to the bank, and for foreign customers, often a specialized branch dealing exclusively with such customers.
It’s advisable to contact the preferred bank beforehand to inquire about the necessary paperwork before making the trip. Many banks also enable citizens of other SEPA member countries to open accounts.
What are the types of bank accounts in Austria
In Austria, there are several types of bank accounts that individuals and businesses can choose from, including:
Girokonto (Current account): It is intended for personal usage and is a component of retail banking. Current accounts come with a debit card that allows you to use ATMs.
Sparbuch (savings account): This type of account where customers can save money and earn interest on their deposits. Interest rates on savings accounts in Austria are typically lower than other types of investments.
Joint account. This bank account is intended for couples, meaning holders receive two debit cards for their shared account.
Kreditkarte (credit cards): Credit cards from companies like Visa and Mastercard often have extra fees. Banks must approve credit card applications, usually only from existing customers.
Best Banks in Austria: A Guide for Customers
When choosing a bank in Austria, it’s essential to consider your financial goals, needs, and preferences. Additionally, each of these banks has its strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, it’s crucial to research and compare the products and services offered by each bank before making a decision.
Here are some of the best banks in Austria that you should consider:
If you want to organize international money transfers in Austria, you may do so using the following common providers:
How to find the nearest branch in Austria
Fortunately, most banks in Austria have an extensive network of branches and ATMs, making it easy for customers to access their funds and manage their finances.
You can type ” banks near Vienna” on Google Maps or any other map app. There you can find a list of relevant branches that you can contact. If you are not in Austria, you can search your area for the nearest branch. They can help you find a bank in Austria.
How to find a cash machine in Austria
Talk to anyone who may have traveled or worked in Austria. You will find that some of your friends or family know the nearest bank branches. Ask around and find opportunities among your contacts. An easy tool for doing that is any map app. Below is, for example, a Google Maps search for ” ATMs near Salzburg.”