Staying in Sweden for a shorter period
If you only plan to stay Sweden for a few months Swedish banks may be hesitant to open a bank account. It might be easier to use your bank account and bank card from your home country, preferably a Master or Visa card. This may result in currency exchange charges for transactions made in Sweden. You can withdraw cash in all ATM's and make your purchases with the bank card.
Another alternative is a neobank that provides online banking services through a partnership with an established bank. Neobanks are virtual banks and offer complete banking services via digital platforms like mobile applications. If you do not have a Swedish personal identity number, you still have the opportunity to apply for a neobank account and receive a bank card, some without a fee. Before you apply, make sure the neobank offers payment solutions that allow you to pay your bills in Sweden.
Staying in Sweden for a longer period
If you will stay for a longer period, you are legally allowed to open a bank account in Sweden. Banks cannot demand you have a Swedish personal identity number or a coordination number to open a bank account. You can choose between online and physical banks. Customers without a personal identity number are offered an account with limited features such as:
• Bank account.
• Online banking with payment service.
• Electronic bank card.
Due to strict regulations, it can take some effort to open a bank account in Sweden. You should make sure you bring an international bank card to be able to cover your expenses. Banks are by law required to check identities of customers and must make sure there is no suspicion of money laundering, bribery, or other financial crimes. The bank will ask several questions to find out if you are a secure customer. Some questions might seem unnecessary and private, but it is very important that you answer all questions truthfully.
Each Swedish bank set their own routines and rules for opening an account and you can prepare by reading on their webpage what documents they request.
To open an account, the following must normally be provided:
- A valid passport.
- Employment contract, acceptance letter or certificate of studies. Documents must contain information about intended stay.
- Your Swedish work permit or Swedish residence permit.
- Proof of residence such as rental agreement, electric bill, or a C/O address.
Staying in Sweden for one year or longer
If you plan to stay longer than a year, you can get access to features such as BankID, which makes it possible for you to sign transactions and documents digitally instead of signing and sending documents. Your personal identity number and Swedish ID must be ready before you can apply for a full account. You organise this in person at a bank branch, since 1 October 2021 it is no longer possible to apply for a BankID at an online bank with a non-national ID or passport.
Available banks with branch offices in Linköping and Norrköping
If the bank denies you to hand in an application or open a bank account
If a bank refuses you to hand in an application because you do not have a personal identification number or coordination number or denies you a bank account, contact the complaints department of the bank. It is within your rights to have the refusal reassessed. You should receive written information about where you can file a complaint and how you can get it legally evaluated, by the National Board of Consumer Complaints.
Read more: National Board for Consumer Disputes (ARN) - Swedish consumer laws.
Before you leave Sweden, remember to cancel your bank account. Contact your bank to make an agreement about the closing date and to plan the final transactions. Banks are not allowed to close bank accounts with money and want to avoid small amounts of money left in your account. It might also be difficult to get access to the money if you do not have BankID and cannot visit the bank in person.
How to pay rent and bills
Rent in Sweden is usually paid once a month, in advance for the month to come. If you pay your invoices by an international transaction, make sure to add about a week for the payment to come through. It is important to pay your rent on time to fulfil your part of the contract. If you have a Swedish bank account, you can pay your bills via internet banking or mobile apps.