Getting a Swedish bank account will make your life in Sweden a lot easier. Most things are paid for by credit/debit cards. Newbies often find it surprising and a bit costly – considering the international fees. So, it might be a good idea for you to open a Swedish bank account. It is not really difficult to do but you need to take some previous steps before you do so.
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What you need to open a bank account
First you need to have a personal number – personnummer. This is pretty much non-negotiable. Any Swedish bank will ask you for that. Then you will need a Swedish ID-Card. Some banks might settle with a valid passport. Yet this depends on the bank and in some extend on the good will of the bank official.
Important information: Have you been denied a bank account or bank card? If this has happened to you, this is what you do.
Online banks or banks with a physical office
There are many banks in Sweden of course. Some have been around for a very long time and tend to have physical offices in many locations all over Sweden. If you want an actual person to talk to, those could be an option for you. Just do an internet search for the name of your town + for instance – Swedbank, Handelsbanken, Nordea and SEB.
The other options are online banks. They usually offer the same type of services as the physical location banks except that you can only call, chat or email them for support. Some options are:
- Marginalen Bank* has the usual in loans, cards and accounts but they also have a credit card where a percentage of what you buy becomes points for which you can buy trips, hotel stays etc.
- OKQ8* You probably know OKQ8 better as one of the many petrol stations you see around the country. But, OKQ8 also has a bank section with focus on credit cards and loans. The credit cards can be of interest for you who has a car as they usually offer discounts on petrol for their bank customers.
Now if you haven’t paid your bills on time, you may get something called a “betalningsanmärkning” which can make it quite difficult to get loans, buy anything at all on credit or even get a cell phone plan.
If you are looking to take a loan, make sure to compare the offers on the market before making a decision.
- Compriser* – allows you to compare private loans and insurances online.
Make sure to get your Internet banking settled when you open your bank account. This will facilitate your life in Sweden even more. The Internet banking will make it possible for you to do all your banking online. You will be able to pay bills, make money transactions and check your account from anywhere anytime.
This service is generally included in the whole bank account “package” however you mostly need to activate it. Your bank official will explain how to do that, but remember ask him or her about it.
Mobile Bank ID
Another service that will facilitate your life in Sweden is a BankID or a Mobile BankID. This service makes it possible for you to sign – transactions, documents, etc. – online. Instead of printing, signing and sending documents with the post, you sign the document online with your BankID.
The BankID generally comes in two versions: a stationary one (that you download on your computer) and a mobile one (that you can use on almost any computer or phone). The first version is free of charge. The second one generally costs around 500 SEK. Your bank will help you acquire a BankID, just ask them about it.