Want to open a bank account in Greece? There are a bunch of reasons to consider relocating to Greece, from the mild climate to the vibrant culture to the historical history. Regardless of whether you plan to start a new life on a beautiful island or in the bustling metropolis of Athens, you'll need to open a Greek bank account online or locally to ease the move.
A local bank account will assist you in receiving payments from a Greek employer, paying taxes, and obtaining a residency permit.
Despite its economic difficulties, Greece remains a popular tourist destination. The country's islands and coasts attract retirees looking for a warm climate, proximity to water, and lots of delicious food, local wine, and music to keep them entertained.
Young creatives adore Greek towns because of their vibrancy and affordability, which allows them to live more carefree lives. Operating a small business has a lot of possibilities. Throughout the city, there are numerous tiny shops selling a variety of crafts, arts, services, and items.
Due to the financial crisis of 2007, opening a bank account in Greece became more difficult, although restrictions are gradually being lifted as the economy recovers. Nevertheless, you should be expecting a considerable amount of paperwork.
That said, this guide entails a complete process of how to open a Greek bank account online as a resident, non-resident, foreigner or as an expat.
Best Banks in Greece
There are now four main banks in Greece. Many of their branches are accessible if you live in Athens or another large city.
NBG (Ethniki / Εθνική) – With 1460+ ATMs and 350+ branches around Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, North Macedonia, Egypt, Malta, the United Kingdom and Australia.
The National Bank of Greece is a global financial and banking institution with an extensive ATM network.
You have a wide range of account types for both personal and professional use. Make sure to review the overdraft options available with the account type you're considering. Checks and a debit card are included with a basic account. Additionally, you can begin the process online over the phone.
(Pireos / Πειραιώς) – With 1390+ ATMs and 440+ branches around Greece, Germany and Ukraine.
Piraeus Bank is a worldwide financial institution headquartered in Greece. Agricultural banking, consumer and mortgage finance, green banking, capital markets, investment banking, leasing, and electronic banking are among the services it provides to small and medium-sized businesses.
Piraeus Bank has an extensive ATM network and English-speaking employees. You can manage your funds more easily with a convenient 24-hour phone support line, as well as online and mobile banking.
There is no minimum deposit amount for their basic current account, and you get low-interest rates, a low overdraft, checkbooks as an option, and a debit card on top of that.
Eurobank aka Eurobank Ergasias
With 920+ ATMs and 300+ branches, Eurobank is part of European Group operating in Greece, iCyprus, Bulgaria, Serbia, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom.
Opening Greek bank account online is possible with Eurobank and can be done before you arrive in the country. For online transactions and payments, Eurobank features a contemporary mobile app and an e-wallet. Their online account has all of the required features, and their branches and ATMs are conveniently located throughout this Southeast European paradise.
With 860+ ATMs and 300+ branches, Alpha Bank has a long history dating back to the nineteenth century, and it is now the country's second-largest bank in terms of assets. It has subsidiaries and branches in London, Albania, Cyprus, and Romania, among other places.
They provide a full range of banking services, including retail banking for students, adults, and retirees, a full suite of cards (debit, credit, a modern Alpha Wallet for digital payments, prepaid cards, reward systems, and so on), as well as a full suite of cards (debit, credit, a modern Alpha Wallet for digital payments, prepaid cards, reward systems, and so on).
It features a business-specific product as well as a premium option for established enterprises. They also include loans, investments, savings, and insurance. You may rely on their extensive ATM network, branch network, and digitized services to make your banking experience more convenient.
More Banks in Greece
Apart from the four main banks in Greece, we can find some other minor banks in the country. They include:
- Attica Bank – With 50+ branches all around Greece
- Pancreta Bank (Pankritia / Παγκρήτια) – With 45+ branches in Crete, Athens and Milos
- Optima Bank – With 25 branches, mainly in Athens and Thessaloniki
- Aegean Baltic Bank
- Viva Wallet
- Various cooperative banks of Chania, Epirus, Thessaly, Karditsa, Drama and Central Macedonia
Finally, the "single licence" rule applies to certain branches of banks incorporated in other EU countries. These worldwide banks include:
- HSBC Continental Europe, Greece – With 15 branches in Athens and Thessaloniki
- ProCredit Bank – With branches in Thessaloniki and Bulgaria
- Bank of America Europe DAC, Athens Branch
What Documents Do I Need To Open A Bank Account in Greece?
Whether you're a resident or an expat, opening a bank account in Greece needs a significant amount of documentation. The first step is to obtain your local tax identification number, also known as an AFM (Arithmo Forologiko Mitro). This may already be on your to-do list because you'll need this number to acquire a job. Simply take your passport to your nearest tax office and fill out an application.
Foreigners may be required to have their documents notarized and translated, which complicates the process. Some banks accept English-language documentation, so you can save time and money by opening an account there. You will normally be required to make a minimum deposit into the account in addition to the paperwork. However, this amount varies for each bank.
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How to Open a Greek Bank Account Online
Banking in Greece is great but however, traditional and international banks in the country do not let you open a bank account online.
You must visit the bank in person to have your original documents verified and signature samples taken. Most banks allow you to fill out the application online if you want to get a head start. Once you've gone as far as you can, call your local bank to schedule an appointment to activate your account.
You can also open a bank account with an online bank as an option. If you're looking for an online financial institution, look for a regulated bank rather than an e-money institution.
Best Online Banks in Greece for Residents
Online banks come with more easier banking facilities and advantages. From low transactional fees to automated payments, banking with online banks is one of the best ways to bank in Greece.
Traditional banks such as Eurobank and Piraeus bank have online platforms where you can manage your bank account online. The online platform of these banks let you take advantage of online banking. However, you cannot open a bank account online with any of these banks in Greece. These banks may let you start your application for an account online.
As a Greek resident, you can consider online banks to open your bank account in the country. These online banks reduce the cost of foreign transactions making you to safe extra money.
Some online banks such as N26 and B2B Pay are well reputed in the European territory and their online bank account comes with an IBAN account, physical and virtual debit card that will let you withdraw your money from ATMs.
If you are someone that usually does international transactions, then you must be aware of the excessive fees. For instance if you want to transfer 1000 euros to maybe India, the fees might be over 100 euros and the recipient will receive 900 euros. These online banks let you save extra money as they offer a SEPA bank accounts which comes with many benefits. Here is a complete list of SEPA Countries.
Best Online Banks in Greece for Non-Resident, Foreigners and Expats
As an expat or foreigner, you might decide to reside in Greece and to ensure you finance in the country, you must open a bank account. It is always an important thing to start your application for your bank account from abroad before landing the country.
Traditional and international banks do not let you open an account online in Greece but however, they can let you start your application online and once you land in Greece, you can visit any bank branch to complete your application and open your account.
However, there are online banks operating in Greece that can let you open a European bank account that is functional in any Euro country.
Here are some best online banks in Greece for Foreigners and Expats
Opening a Bank Account in Greece as a Foreign Resident
As a foreign resident, you may ask yourself "Can I open a bank account as a non-resident of Greece?" Yes, you are fully eligible to open a bank account in Greece as a non-resident. There is no legal restriction that restricts non-residents from having access to financial institutions. However, you should not have a bad record with the law or banks in your native country if you want to be in good terms with these Greek banks.
How to Open a Greek Bank Account From UK
You may open your Greek bank account from the UK or any other European country. You can open a Greek bank account online from the UK with virtual banks such as N26 and B2B Pay.
If you don't want to open an account with an online bank, you can start the process online with Eurobank or Piraeus bank.
However, you will need to have the following documents to complete your application process once you reach the country.
- Your passport.
- AFM number (Greek tax number)
- Proof of address (recent utility bill)
- Funds to open your account.
- Proof of salary (This can be a payslip, a letter/contract from your employer, or recent tax returns if you're self-employed)
Final Thoughts On How To Open a Bank Account in Greece Online as a Resident, Foreigner or Expat
Banking in Greece is not that easy with its regulation and because of this, it can be a challenging situation to open a bank account online in Greece as a non-resident.
Local and international banks in Greece do not allow you to open a bank account online. But however, you can start your application process online with banks such as Eurobank or Piraeus bank.
As a non-resident or even a resident, you can open a bank account online in Greece with N26 and B2B Pay and take advantage of SEPA transactions.
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