Want to open a bank account in Italy? Italy is a lovely country with a diverse range of areas, each having something distinctive to offer visitors and expats. It won't be difficult to locate a place that's ideal for you, whether you're relocating to Italy for the wine, Mediterranean shoreline, busy fashion sector, wonderful pasta, or everything in between.
However, in cities such as Florence, Milan, and Rome, the expense of living can be quite high. Smaller towns, such as those in Amalfi and Tuscany, have lower prices, and many people believe them to be the "real Italy" anyway. Because 69 percent of Italy's population lives in cities, you may love the countryside merely for the space to breathe.
You'll enjoy Italy no matter where you live if you're looking for fantastic cuisine, nightlife, and the dolce vita.
However, there are a few things to consider when paying for your life in Italy, the most significant of which is how to open a bank account. It shouldn't be too difficult to open a bank account in Italy. Even if you don't speak Italian, this should not be one of the more difficult aspects of your relocation.
Because of the large number of expats in Italy (foreign students, professionals, retirees, investors, and laborers), opening a bank account in Italy is simple even for non-residents.
You can open a European bank account online with an ID card, proof of address and a utility bill. Under Italian law, it is now easy to open Italian bank account online.
This article will help you through the entire process on how to open a bank account online as a resident, foreigner, expat and even as a student.
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Banking and Different Types of Bank Accounts in Italy
The first decision you must make in Italian banking is whether you want a resident or non-resident account. If you're only intending to stay in Italy for a portion of the year – say, if you're only buying property to rent out – a non-resident account may suffice.
However, if you want to spend a significant amount of time in Italy, you should consider opening a resident account. You don't have to be an Italian citizen to obtain one; all you have to do is live in the country.
It's crucial to note that English is not widely spoken in Italy, so you'll almost certainly need the assistance of an Italian-speaking acquaintance to go through the procedure. The documents you'll be signing are almost always in Italian.
Here are the different types of resident bank accounts in Italy:
- Conto corrente (current account) – as in other countries, this is the standard type of account for day-to-day transactions.
- Conto corrente cointestato (joint account) – this is a current account that you share with someone else.
- Conto di risparmio (savings account) – this is for your savings, on which you can earn a little bit more interest.
- Conto di deposito (deposit account) – this is a less flexible type of savings account that might offer a higher rate of interest.
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How to Choose a Bank Account in Italy
In Italy, there are numerous banking institutions. In the big cities, there are significant national and international banks, although smaller local banks can be found further out. Furthermore, there are newer, online banks to consider these days.
Here are some things to consider as you make your choice:
- How easy is it to open the account? Can you do it online?
- Will you need to visit your branch often, and is there one close to you?
- Does your bank offer services in English (or your other first language)?
- Are there any fees and what are they?
What Documents Do You Need to Open a Bank Account in Italy?
You'll have to show certain paperwork to your new bank to confirm that you are who you say you are. The requirements vary, however the following are the typical requirements for opening a bank account in Italy:
- ID, such as a passport.
- A valid Italian address. Most banks require proof of address, such as a utility bill, although N26 is an exception – you just need to legally be resident there.
- Your codice fiscale (tax number).
- Proof of employment (or proof that you’re studying, if you’re a student).
This is only for a resident account – for a non-resident account, as you’d expect, it’s all a little different.
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What Documents Do Foreigners Need to Open a Bank Account in Italy?
The most necessary thing to carry while opening an account is a valid identification document. However, the more of the following you have, the greater are your chances of opening a non-resident account in Italy:
- A valid identity card for each person opening an account (in case of joint account)
- Each account holder’s tax code (codice fiscale)
- Proof of address
- A certificate of residence (for some banks with internal regulations)
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How to Open a Bank Account In Italy (Step by Step)
So, you've decided on a bank and the type of account you want. Here are some pointers on how to open a resident account in Italy:
- Wait until you arrive Italy: — It may be tempting to begin the process online from abroad, but unless you want a non-resident account, this may be difficult. Even if you do not need to visit a branch to open an account, you must provide information such as a valid Italian address. So it's possible that you'll just have to wait till you arrive the country.
- Have your documents ready: — Banks need to verify their customers identity anytime they want to open an account, so you'll have to show them some documentation. We have provided above the documents you need to open a bank account in Italy as a resident or non-resident.
- Visit your new bank or its website: — You can start the signup procedure once you're ready. Traditional banks may need you to visit a branch, while online banking choices such as N26 allow you to apply online.
- Wait for your mail to arrive: — You'll have to wait a few days for your bank card and other documents to arrive in the mail — yet more incentive to arrive in Italy before starting the process!
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How to Open a Bank Account in Italy Online
For foreigners and expats, traditional Italian banks can offer some surprises. For example, the opening hours can be perplexing: they're normally open from early in the morning until approximately 1 p.m., and then for only an hour or so later in the afternoon — but that's it.
That's just one of the reasons you would need a bank that allows you to complete almost everything online. Another issue is the language barrier: some online banks offer services in multiple languages, so you won't have to look for a bank teller who speaks your native language.
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N26 is a well-known European online bank that operates in five languages and that lets you complete everything online. From the comfort of your sofa, you can open a full Italian bank account with your phone in minutes, with no documentation.
Opening a Bank Account in Italy As a Foreigner
Foreigners (individuals or business entities) can open a non-resident bank account ("conto non residenti" or "conto estero") regardless of visa status or citizenship. In truth, some banks deal with non-residents on a regular basis and have products and services tailored to them.
A physical visit to the Italian bank is usually required. Foreigners can, however, open a bank account in Italy online with some Italian banks.
Naturally, it is much easier for a foreigner to open an Italian bank account if they are already in the country and can do so in person. Even if you do not live in Italy, you can open an Italian bank account by visiting one of the branches of an Italian bank having operations in your home country.
Alternatively, you might go to a bank in your home country that has made specific arrangements with an Italian bank to execute AML compliance processes on their behalf.
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Opening a Bank Account in Italy for Students and Foreign Students
In most cases, medical students can open a free Unicredit bank account. This bank provides completely free services for deposits, withdrawals, and online payments. Furthermore, transactions made at an ATM are free of charge. The following documents are required in order to open a Unicredit bank account:
- A valid passport as an identity card.
- Student certificate, which the secretary of the university originally issued.
- A rent contract in the city where medical students study.
- Personal Codice Fiscale.
Medical students can open a bank account at any Unicredit bank after preparing the necessary documentation. When you create a new account, you will be handed a debit card that is usable throughout Europe for transactions, payments, and withdrawals.
One important point to remember is that a regional bank account might be a good indicator of a medical student's financial situation. As a result, a university can see the quantity of money in a bank account and transactions, and having a high amount of money can prevent medical students from receiving a tuition fee discount.
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Best International Banks in Italy for Residents, Non-Residents and Students
Italy's banking industry is prospering, with major chains, hundreds of branches, and thousands of ATMs located throughout the country. Most accounts include free credit or debit cards, automatic monthly utility payments, and check (cheque) books.
Unicredit, Banco di Napoli, and the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro are the three major banks. Intesa Sanpaolo is a bank that offers English-language services.
1. Unicredit Italian Bank Account for Residents, Foreigners and Students
With locations in 17 countries, Unicredit is Italy's largest international bank. It is also well-known among Italians and is one of the country's most respectable financial institutions. If you open an account with Unicredit, you will have access to a service that is accustomed to dealing with international clientele as well as Italy's largest ATM network.
Most accounts include debit cards, with some even including a contactless card. Only available in Italian.
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2. Poste Italiane Italian Bank Account for Residents and Foreigners
As a bank and a national post office, Poste Italiane has branches and ATMs practically everywhere in the country. At any post office, you can make transactions and open an account.
It offers products such as family accounts with a debit card for children, as well as PostePay, a collection of options that combine mobile services with a prepaid payment card that can be used online or abroad, and is available in a variety of forms — for individuals and businesses.
The only disadvantage is, the bank primarily operates in Italian.
3. Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Italian Bank Account for Residents and Foreigners
This bank is regarded as Italy's second-best bank by many. Their main selling point is a cashback/loyalty program that gives you money back when you make certain purchases.
You can choose between a fee-free account (all transactions are free until you turn 30), a powered account (unlimited online SEPA transfers, two cash withdrawals per month in Italy and abroad, and a free Classic credit card), and a full account (unlimited transactions and withdrawals in Italy and abroad, as well as a free credit card).
They also have a large number of ATMs and branch locations. Only available in Italian.
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4. CheBanca Italian Bank Account for Residents and Foreigners
CheBanca, which touts itself as a "Human digital bank," is a significant provider with a variety of accounts, including business deposit accounts as well as home, life, and accident insurance. They also provide basic checking and savings accounts, as well as loans and investment opportunities.
Their services are completely online, including an online banking app, and you may open an account with them online. Their branch and ATM network are both quite good.
5. Intesa Sanpaolo Italian Bank Account for Students and International Students
Intesa Sanpaolo is a well-known Italian bank with a huge network of branches, ATMs, and affiliates. They have accounts for teenagers, students, and families, as well as insurance, investment, and mortgage products. They've also introduced a new online banking system. Only available in Italian.
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Best Online Banks in Italy for Residents, Foreigners and Students
If you want to open an online bank account in Italy, virtual bank accounts are the finest option. The following are some of the best online banks in Italy that you may open an account with.
1. N26 Online Italian Bank Account
N26 is an online bank account that you can manage from your phone. It is one of the banks that we strongly suggest. The Italian IBAN is included with the N26 online bank account. Every account has an IBAN number, which enables you to send and receive money from your account to other accounts in Italy and overseas.
You may handle your utility bills, subscriptions, and direct debits with the N26 Italian IBAN. You will also receive a N26 MasterCard, which you can use anywhere in the world. You also get free SEPA transfers and direct debits, as well as real-time push notifications for all account activities. You may also make 3D safe online purchases for free.
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2. HYPE Online Italian Bank Account
Hype is an online bank account operated by Banca Sella in Italy. Residents of Italy can start an online personal account with Hype. The Hype app, which is available on Google Play and the App Store, can be used to manage transactions.
The account comes with an Italian IBAN number, which enables you to transfer and receive money from other countries. You may conduct free bank transfers and ATM withdrawals with your Hype account.
When you open an account, you will receive both a physical and a virtual MasterCard. You can use Apple Pay or Google Pay to link your virtual card. Money can be withdrawn from your Hype account via ATM or bank transfer to another account.
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3. Revolut Online Italian Bank Account
Revolut can help you open an online bank account in Italy. The account comes with an IBAN in Euro. To open an account, go to the Play Store or App Store and download the Revolut app, then enter your information. You can begin spending, receiving, and sending money once you have opened an account. You can also send money internationally at very good exchange rates. With a Revolut account, you may also invest in over 30 cryptocurrencies.
You get a prepaid Revolut physical card and a prepaid Revolut virtual card (VISA, MasterCard, and Maestro) when you open a bank account, which you can use to pay online or withdraw money anywhere in the globe.
You must select a Revolut plan from the four options available: the free Standard plan, the Plus plan, the Premium plan, and the Metal plan.
The bank provides cryptocurrency-related services. Account holders can trade cryptocurrency and swap 29 currencies into Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Ripple using Revolut's cryptocurrency service. Coinbase and Bitstamp are two cryptocurrency exchanges with whom the bank collaborates. Account holders can also transmit cryptocurrency to one another's accounts.
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4. Monese Online Italian Bank Account
With Monese, you can open an online bank account in Italy. Sign up for a Monese account by downloading the app from Google Play or the App Store. European IBAN numbers are included with every Monese account. Monese is a fully mobile bank with features such as personal financial management and quick and inexpensive money transactions.
You will receive a Monese physical debit card as well as a Monese virtual card after registering for an account, which you can use anywhere in the world and online. You may also use money budgeting tools and make international money transactions in over 20 currencies. Individuals can register a joint online bank account in Italy with Monese.
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5. Bunq Online Italian Bank Account
Bunq can assist you with opening a bank account in Italy. You can create many accounts, each with its own IBAN. Bunq comes in six different languages. You can sign up for an account and download the bunq app from Google Play or the App Store. You will be given a MasterCard debit card that you can use anywhere in the world once you join up. You may also use the app to make a bunq virtual card.
Bunq has capabilities such as mobile payments via Google Pay and Apple Pay. There are no foreign exchange costs, which allows you to save money. You'll also receive notifications for account activity.
EasyTravel, easyMoney, and easyGreen are the three personal accounts available. The travel account goes for €9.99, easyMoney for €8.99 and easyGreen for €17.99 per month.
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6. Wittix Online Italian Bank Account
Wittix is an EEA-based online bank that provides multi-currency European personal and business IBAN accounts. Virtual and real debit cards are also available to customers. EUR, GBP, ZAR, JPY, CAD, and HKD are among the 25 currencies supported by Wittix Bank. You can also use Stripe and PayPal to make payments.
Unfortunately, there is no Wittix app available at this time. As a result, you must open an account on the Wittix website.
7. Bankera Online Italian Bank Account
Bankera is a blockchain-based banking platform that lets you open multi-currency IBAN accounts in Italy. SEPA and SWIFT payments to businesses and individuals are also supported. SpectroCoin, the bank's crypto exchange and wallet, is also available. Bankera also offers crypto-backed loans.
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How Much Does It Cost to Open a Bank Account in Italy?
Each bank has its own set of fees, which might vary significantly. It's one of the most crucial factors to think about while selecting a bank not only in Italy but also in any other country. By European standards, Italian fees are on the high side.
There may be an account opening charge, but the costs you pay every month or even every transaction are the ones that will cost you more in the long run.
How Much Does it Cost to Cancel a Bank Account in Italy?
It may seem neurotic, but it's worth double-checking before you open your account. If you believe you might want to close the account in the future, find out how easy your bank lets you do it and how much the bank might charge you.
There could be additional expenses and paperwork, which is the last thing you need when your last few days in Italy should be spent eating as much gelato as possible.
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Final Thoughts On How to Open a Bank Account in Italy Online
If you're considering about opening an online bank account in Italy, the greatest online Italian bank account is a good place to start. Some banks, like N26, provide IBANs from Italy, while others provide IBANs from other European nations. It is easier to open a European online bank account in Italy if you live in Europe.
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