Denmark is a great country to live it with lot of cultures and amazing places to visit, it is definitely one of the best countries in the European continent. If you have plans of loving to Denmark, then you will definitely need to open a bank account in Denmark.
Denmark has been rated as one of the happiest places to be on Earth. In addition to that, it is one of the countries with the safest banking systems in the world with very low fees. This makes Denmark a popular choice for Expats.
If you just opened a organization or business in this country, as an entrepreneur, you definitely need to open a bank account in Denmark for your business.
Financial services are important for all organization no matter its size. For that reason, choosing the right bank for your organization can be very crucial for your financial success with your company.
If you are a student that plan to move to Denmark, you will definitely need to know of the best banks in Denmark for students. Various banks understand students have no great thing to offer in terms of paperwork so they will facilitate your account opening.
All that said, whether you plan to move to Denmark, or you are a student or an entrepreneur that want to open a bank account in Denmark, this article compiles the best way you can use to open a bank account in Denmark as a resident, non resident (without CPR), as an entrepreneur and even as a student.
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The Banking System in Denmark
The knowledge on Danish banking systems can be very crucial if you open an organization in the country so as to ensure your business operates well on the financial basis.
Denmark has one of the safest banking systems in Europe and local banks charge some of the lowest costs associated with bank account opening, administration and withdrawal fees. However, these low fees charged for account opening are only for those opening a personal or corporate bank account in Denmark.
That said, individuals can open a savings or deposit account meanwhile companies can open merchant Danish bank accounts. This merchant account is crucial for companies offering e-commerce services as it makes it easy for them to easily accept debit and credit card payments.
This merchant bank account is an account which can be opened later after the steps of setting up the company in Denmark have been completed and the share capital has been deposited into the regular bank account of the company.
The merchant account will be established with the help of a business partner who will facilitate the communications in the electronic payment transactions. Investors should note that additional charges will apply, however, the benefits of accepting electronic payments may outweigh the costs.
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Types of Banks in Denmark
The sector dedicated for banking in Denmark massively focuses on several major market players. Denmark's two largest banks have a combined market share of around 70% or more.
Foreign banks in Denmark are primarily intended for large companies and multinationals, although some of them have changed this strategy in recent years and now also offer personal loans.
Below are the four major Banks in Denmark
Danske Bank—Ideal bank for Students and Dummies
Danske Bank is one of the largest banks operating in Denmark and covers the entire Scandinavian and Baltic region. They offer specialized products for students and young people, as well as a variety of accounts with specific benefits such as monthly cashback. Danske Bank offers online banking in English (something not done by most Danish banks) a distinct advantage if your Danish is not up to par.
Nordea Bank—Ideal bank for Expats, Students, Organizations
Nordea is another large bank that serves the entire region. Nordea offers a full range of banking products. Although their website is not entirely in English, you can request to be called back in English to discuss what you need from a new account.
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Nykredit Bank—Best Bank Offering Online Banking Options
Nykredit is a giant financial services institution that has been operating in Denmark for over 150 years. It offers a whole range of financial products, from banking to insurance including real estate. If online banking through an app is your thing then Nykredit should be the best bank for you — they have won several awards for their online and app based banking options.
Sydbank is a well known bank in Denmark and Germany and its branches in these two countries speak for it. Sydbank is a full-service bank. It has 115 branches and, in addition to offering a wide range of banking products, contributes significantly to philanthropic projects.
With many bank staffs ready to speak English and all offer online chat or phone services to answer quick queries, opening a bank account in Denmark should not be a problem.
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What to Know Before Opening a Bank Account in Denmark
Denmark is known for its strong financial system, but its banks are also notorious for their red tape and high fees. This means that it's a good idea to check out all the options available, from national or international banks to fully digital banks, when setting up a bank account in Denmark.
Banking Fees and Charges
When choosing the right bank for you, it's important to keep an eye on the fees. Some banks may require an opening deposit, but most don't charge a fee to open an account. However, it is likely that there are some hidden costs in the fine print, such as:
- Monthly Service Commissions or fees: Refers to any cost associated with maintaining your account and use your debit and credit cards.
- Withdrawal Fees: If the bank you choose does not have a lot of ATMs in your area, you may be charged high fees for using machines from other banks.
- Currency Transfers: Transferring currency between accounts can be particularly expensive. Be especially careful if you are paid in a currency other than Danish Krone (DKK).
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Most Danish bank accounts will come with a Dankort—the national debit card—and can usually only be used in Denmark. Be sure to confirm your options for signing into your account from outside the country and request access immediately, as it can take several weeks to receive.
It is also important to take into account the languages of the bank's service. Some banks in Denmark offer support services in English—however, it's worth confirming that they offer other languages. Make sure to request your documents in the language of your choice, otherwise they will automatically be processed in Danish.
What Do You Need to Open a Bank Account in Denmark?
Anyone over 18 years of age with a residence permit can open a Danish bank account, including expats. The process shouldn't be too complicated, but you will need to check the requirements of each bank. You will probably need the following documents to open a standard bank account in Denmark:
- Photo ID—Which can be a passport or a national Identity card. In most cases, a bank may require certified copies.
- CPR number (CPR-nummer or personnummer)—a unique ten-digit personal identification number for everyone living in Denmark. You will get a CPR number when you apply for residence. There is a high probability that you may not be able to open a bank account in Denmark without a CPR number.
- Proof of address in Denmark—Banks usually accept utility bills (no more than three months), a rental contract or a health insurance card as proof of address.
- Proof of employment—You will be asked to present your employment contract or proof of registration or enrolment proof if you are a student.
- Some banks will require you to pay some money as minimum opening deposit before they can open your account.
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The Nemkonto Account in Denmark
Residents of Denmark of over 18 years of age must have a NemID or Nemkonto account also know as "Easy account".
A NemKonto is a designated bank account to receive payments directly from public authorities, such as tax refunds, pensions, and student loans.
All banks are familiar with the concept, but you should let them know that you want to assign your account as NemKonto when you open your Danish bank account.
The bank may assist you in setting up the account yourself or open one for you directly.
Can I Open a Bank Account in Denmark from Abroad?
If you have an account at a large international bank, it is worth checking if it operates in Denmark. If they do—transferring to a Danish account could be a fairly straightforward process.
Danske Bank offers the option of initiating the account application process online or directly from your mobile or desktop device—however, completing the application will depend on some circumstances—you will be required to visit a branch upon arrival to show your documents.
All accounts are not offered with the online application, it is good thing you consider reading the little print if it is important to you.
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Can I Open a Danish Bank Account as a Non-Resident?
Denmark have robust banking systems and unlike other countries in Europe offering banking services with no much paperwork, Danish banks can be strict on the this point.
Opening a bank account in Denmark will require you to have a CPR number which is issued only to residents of the country—which means, you cannot open a bank account as a non-resident of the country.
If you are moving to Denmark and want to setup a bank account before arriving the country, you may be able to start the online application process and then present your CPR card in person once you arrive.
One important thing to consider with Danish banks is that if you are looking for all the security services and features of a traditional bank, you must opt for a bank with a complete banking license—rather than an e-money license.
Opening a Bank Account in Denmark Without CPR
The CPR-nummer or personnummer is a unique ten-digit personal identification number for everyone living in Denmark. This number is used by Danish banks as a method of residential identification for all their customers—meaning, you cannot open a bank account in Denmark without CPR.
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How to Open a Bank Account in Denmark Online
To summarize the steps to open a bank account in Denmark Online, here is what you should do:
1. Compile your documents
Get your paperwork ready to open a bank account from online banks in Denmark
2. Choose your Danish Bank
When choosing a Danish bank, ensure the bank offers what you want and that the fees are affordable.
3. Apply for an Account
Go to the online platform of your bank and follow the required steps to open an account with them.
Best Online Banks in Denmark
Though there are many traditional banks in Denmark that have a full online banking option, including banks such as Sydbank, Nordea, Nykredit and more, there are many financial institution that are focuses on the virtual banking system.
The best online banks in Denmark that have been voted for and rated for their online banking services in Denmark are as follows:
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Best Danish Banks for Students
Students can find it really difficult to settle financially in a foreign country such as Denmark. Most Danish banks understand students have no great thing to offer in terms of paperwork and easily help them open a bank account in Denmark.
The best banks in Denmark for students are as follows:
- Arbejdernes landsbank.
- Danske Bank.
- Jyske Bank.
What to do if You Did not Succeed in Opening a Bank Account in Denmark
If you did not succeed in opening a Danish bank account, it is not the end of a world for you. Thanks to SEPA, you can still perform financial activities anywhere in Denmark, including—international transfers, cash withdrawals at ATM etc.
A SEPA bank account is an account that works in most European countries and allows you to easily send and receive money within the European continent without prior fees. Intercontinental transfers are possible with SEPA bank accounts.
One great thing with SEPA is they are available in many European countries—meaning if you are a European resident leaving in a SEPA country—then, you can easily open a SEPA bank account in your country and use it throughout the Danish territory.
Final Thoughts on Opening a Bank Account in Denmark
Denmark has robust banking systems and their banks will require you to do some paperwork that other banks in neighboring European countries will do. For that reason, opening a SEPA bank account can be a great alternative for you if you did not succeed in opening a Danish bank account.
Before opening a bank account Denmark, whether you are an Expat, business owner or even a student, you should consider checking the fees for each bank before going in for an engagement with them.
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