How to Open a Bank Account Online in Austria
Bankkonto in Österreich eröffnen? Modern banking without borders provides new opportunities without the hassle and stringent restrictions of the past. It doesn’t matter what you need an account in Austria for, whether for business or everyday payments – there are fast and incredibly convenient solutions out there. Let’s take a closer look at the nuances of opening a bank account in Austria.
Documents required for bank account opening in Austria
Regardless of your nationality, opening a current account (Girokonto) in Austria is straightforward. If you want to open a bank account in Austria, you will generally need:
- A valid identification document with a photo (Lichtbildausweis);
- A residency registration form (Meldezettel) or other valid proof of residency;
- Your employment contract or other proof of employment (Arbeitsvertrag);
- Your three last salary statements or other proof of income;
- A letter of recommendation from your previous bank.
If you have any questions, the best thing to do is contact the bank of your choice directly to find out more about the exact procedures and documents required.
2 main approaches in choosing a bank for opening an account
Generally, there are two methods for setting up a bank account: the traditional way (banks) and the alternative way (neobanks).
Opening an account with a bank usually involves scheduling an appointment and filling out paperwork.
On the other hand, opening an account that comes with a European IBAN with a digital banking provider is much easier and more convenient. The main advantage of opening an account with a neobank is that there is no need to physically go to the bank, or print out and certify any documents. Everything can be done online from your smartphone, from the comfort of your home or anywhere else in the world. Functionally, you will receive the same package of financial services, such as IBAN, SEPA and SWIFT transfers, and payment cards (both plastic and virtual). But the quality of service will be dramatically different.
Ultimately, the choice between a traditional bank and a neobank depends mostly on your personality and lifestyle: whether you are more conservative or more innovative.
Difference between an online account and an account in a traditional bank
You’ve likely read many articles on this topic, and most experts advise you to side with traditional banks due to the safety of your funds. However, we would not completely agree. There is a small, but very important nuance. If you keep your money in a current or checking account in a bank, in the event of a force majeure, you will only be reimbursed up to €100,000 (e.g., in Austria your money is protected under the Austrian Deposit Guarantee Scheme). The bank takes your money and, roughly speaking, lends it out to other customers as loans. On the other hand, with EMIs such as Satchel.eu, your funds will be stored in a separate account in the Bank of Lithuania. In the event of an unforeseen situation, you will be fully compensated, instead of just getting €100,000 of the entire savings amount back (according to Article 7 (1) of the Directive 2009/110/EC).
What is the best way to open an account in Austria?
A digital bank account is a more convenient solution. Modern online banking providers have multi-level protection of personal data and effective security measures. The fintech industry has proven all its advantages in practice and is currently booming.
The account opening process is as follows: simply fill out the form and upload scanned copies of documents, get a confirmation of your account opening and IBAN, order an online payment card (virtual or plastic) and start using it. With a digital account, you can easily manage your finances, transfer money and make payments wherever you are.