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How To Set Up A Bank Account in Estonia

April 01, 2021
When you go to a different country, even one like Estonia where it seems to be totally safe and peaceful, how sure are you that your own money will be safe? How sure are you that you won't lose your money here? Or that you won't spend more than you originally planned? Truth be told, the only surefire way tha really protect your finances here in Estonia, or in any other country for that matter, is to set up a local bank account. Don't worry, the process here is easy, straightforward, and simple. It's easy peasy and here's what you need to know.
How To Set Up A Bank Account in Estonia

Who Can Set A Bank Account in Estonia?

For many other systems in Estonia, like social security and healthcare, you need to be a legal resident of the country in order to gain access. But when it comes to opening a local bank account, your status won't make much of a difference. Everyone is allowed to set up their own accounts here, regardless of whether you're a legal resident or just a tourist on a vacation. As long as you'll be staying in Estonia for a substantial amount of time, it's your right to set up a bank account to ensure your money stays safe and secure!

Requirements To Opening A Bank Account

The list of requirements you'll need to show while setting up your bank account varies from bank to bank. For the most part, the most common out of all of them is your valid passport and any other sort of identification. The former should also contain your visa and/or residence permit if applicable. As further proof of your extensive stay here, some banks may require you to show your proof of residence, be it a rental contract, mortgage papers, and the like. If you don't have any of these since you're not a legal resident, you may be asked to show other forms of identification including bank statements and proof of address from your home country.

How To Set Up A Bank Account in Estonia

Online Banking in Estonia

Not many people may know this but Estonia is one of the leading countries in terms of the digital landscape. And that has filtered into the country's banking system as well. Thanks to online platforms, banking in Estonia has become easier and more efficient. It's even made more opportunities within the country's job market too. In a nutshell, most, if not all banks in Estonia have their own online portals, allowing for mobile banking and digital transactions. In fact, thanks to online banking, you can even set up your local Estonian bank account from abroad, even before you step foot in the country.

Applying For An Online Bank Account

So, how does one go about setting up a bank account in Estonia online? Firstly, you need to become an e-resident of Estonia first. This is a government-issued digital identity and status that gives you access to the country's digital landscape, including businesses and, of course, banking as well. Once your e-residency status is approved, you can approach any local bank's online portal and start setting up your account. More often than not, you only need to show your valid passport for this process but it varies from bank to bank. There are some that would prefer to analyze your information first and will get back to you days later.

How To Set Up A Bank Account in Estonia

Transferring Money In and Out of Estonia

A huge advantage of setting up a local bank account in Estonia, especially since digital banking is practically the norm here, is that it helps you save more when transferring money abroad. Most of the time, if you transfer money from your local bank account here to anywhere else in the world, it can cost you a whole lot with various fees and exchange rates, alone. Transferring them from your account online, however, will lessen the deductions throughout the transaction. What the recipient receives from you here in Estonia, more or less, the same amount that you took out from your local account.

Estonia's Best Bank Accounts

With all that said, which banks should you go for in Estonia? Swedbank is incredibly popular as it has a strong and secure online platform. Its advanced features allow you to do mobile banking a lot easier than ever before. Furthermore, with its wide reach within the city, there's a big chance that there will be a physical branch near your area. This is very important! Meanwhile, SEB Bank has catered to countless foreign clients over the years, making it a go-to bank for most expats living in Estonia. It also helps that the bank is known to be one of the most secure in the country too!

How To Set Up A Bank Account in Estonia

Setting up a local bank account should automatically be one of your first priorities when you get here to Estonia. No matter how long your stay here will be, it's extremely important that you safeguard your money as soon as possible!