It's easy to see why so many expats are flocking to this attractive country, which boasts a robust economy and a culturally and historically rich terrain. One of the most important decisions a young professional, family, or retiree must make when relocating to Slovakia is how to best handle their funds in a foreign country.
While many shops take credit and debit cards, many local merchants and small enterprises only accept cash. Because ATM fees can quickly pile up, opening a Slovakian bank account is the best approach to be a financially wise expat.
So, how do you go about doing it?
This short yet comprehensive guide will walk you through all of the essentials you need to know when opening a bank account in Slovakia.
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What to Consider When Opening a Bank Account in Slovakia
When choosing where to open a bank account in Slovakia, you need consider a few key considerations. While most supermarkets accept credit cards, local shops frequently deal in cash. Make sure your preferred bank has ATM services so you can enjoy Slovakia's famed bryndzové haluky—a traditional local meal of boiled potato dough, akin to gnocchi, eaten with sheep cheese.
You should also consider the following factors:
- Account maintenance fees — It's simple to open a free Slovak bank account. Maintenance costs, on the other hand, are normally between €5 and €10. If you keep a minimum balance with some banks, you may be able to avoid paying this fee.
- Withdrawal and international transfers fees — Your maintenance fees are likely to cover withdrawals from your home ATMs. Meanwhile, you can end up paying extra if you need to withdraw money from another bank's ATM or go on a trip outside the nation. International transfers can also be inconvenient—if you're not careful, moving money outside of the SEPA area can cost you up to €50, plus your bank's currency exchange rate.
- Online banking features — Slovakian banks are known for their excellent mobile and online banking services, but it's always a good idea to double-check with your local branch.
- Customer support languages — Staff of most Slovakian banks speaks English. If Slovak is not your first language, check ahead of time to see if they provide support in one of your chosen languages. To avoid complications later, ask this question before you sign up.
Slovakia's growing economy is based on a well-established banking sector and a diverse range of foreign banks. Each bank's list of available accounts, options, and requirements will be unique. Most companies will provide customer service in English, but double-check.
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Can I Open a Bank Account as a Non-resident of Slovakia?
Yes, albeit the documentation required differs per bank. You'll almost probably require a valid passport or National ID card, as well as proof of address.
Some banks refuse to open accounts for third-country legal entities or those with a power of attorney. You should contact the banks you're considering, and they'll be able to tell you what's doable.
What Documents are Required to For a Foreigner to Open a Bank Account in Slovakia?
The following are the standard paperwork needed to open a bank account in Slovakia:
- Passport or ID card
- Residence card
- Proof of address if you cannot present a resident card
If you're a non-resident opening an account, you may be required to provide two personal identification documents, one of which must include a legitimate address of your permanent residency in Slovakia to demonstrate your ties to the nation.
Some banks will request an official translation if the documents are not in English or Slovak. If you are not an EU citizen, providing numerous supporting documents (such as a valid rental or work contract) is recommended to speed up the approval process.
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What's the Typical Process for Opening a Bank Account in Slovakia?
You can either book an appointment or walk into the bank of your choice to open an account. Some banks also allow you to open an account online. When you go to open your account, be sure you have all of the appropriate papers. Call ahead to get a list of all the documents you'll need for a fast accounting start.
Show your documents to the banker and fill out an application form or questionnaire when you arrive.
Can I Open a Bank Account Abroad? What about at least online?
You can either go to a bank branch or fill out an application online to open a bank account. This will differ from bank to bank, so be sure you know what your alternatives are ahead of time.
Most individuals want to pay with a credit card as soon as possible. You can generally order and have it delivered to your home, which is really convenient. You can also pick it up at a bank branch.
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Opening a bank account in Slovakia is pretty simple, especially after you have all of your paperwork in order. You can spend more time visiting and relaxing in the many mineral springs instead of worrying about accessing your money and paying bills, thanks to minimal costs and accessible online banking choices.