How to Open a Bank Account Online in Germany?

How to Open a Bank Account Online in Germany?

How to Open a Bank Account Online in Germany?

If you are considering moving to Germany you will need a bank account to, among other things, receive your salary or run your business. As you may have already noticed, there are a lot of German banks. So which one to choose? Expats have been asked about opening a bank account in Germany. Many want online banking in English. Whereas others prefer to have access to English-speaking banks, especially in the banks’ customer service department. Whatever your needs may be, to suit your personal circumstances, this article will help you to decide on the best banking option to match your particular needs. You will need to have registered your residence in Germany to open a bank account there. If you are not registered in Germany but live in the EU, then you may still be able to open any online account and use it for everyday needs.

How does banking in Germany work?

Once you have opened an account, and this can be done for a bank account in Germany for foreigners, the bank will issue you an “EC-Karte” (Girocard), a type of debit card in Germany. This is invaluable for your personal and business transactions. It can be used to access cash 24/7 from an ATM (Geldautomat), and it is accepted for payments at supermarkets, petrol stations, shops and nearly all retail outlets. It can be used as payment for small transactions and can, normally with authorisation, be used for larger transactions.

What are the types of German bank accounts?

The most common types of accounts are mentioned below.

  • Current account (Girokonto) is the standard personal bank account in Germany.
  • Savings account (Sparkonto)
  • Non-resident account
  • Digital and mobile account
  • Offshore account

An international offshore option is chosen by some expats living in Germany. These accounts are not located in the holder’s country of origin and usually offer cross reduced taxation on funds. They are generally considered to be relatively secure, that’s why it is better to have another local / EU account, at least for the period of your stay in Germany.

What do I need to open a bank account in Germany?

To open a bank account in Germany you will need to provide the following.

  • A fully completed application form.
  • A valid passport / ID.
  • A valid, current German residence permit.
  • Proof of registration showing address.
  • An initial deposit.
  • Proof of income and proof of employment.

Regardless of which bank you choose to open your account with, you will be required to provide a complete set of documents.

How to open a bank account in Germany for non-residents?

Although the process is not exactly straightforward, you will have no trouble opening an account in Germany if you follow the precise guidelines. It is, normally, not a very quick process, so be prepared to fill in several forms and provide the documents that are required by the bank that you have chosen.

There are a number of advantages to smartphone banking over a traditional branch-based bank account. You can google and compare several online banking options with customer support in English.

How to open a bank account in Germany for students?

To open a student bank account in Germany, in addition to the standard list of documents you should provide proof that you are a student. SCHUFA credit rating is not required by all banks.

German Online Bank Account Requirements

To open an online bank account in Germany, you will also be required to verify your identity by standard verification procedure. You can also use PostIdent, an approved alternative to validate your identity. To verify your identity with PostIdent, you are required to download a verification sheet from the bank’s website and register at a post office. Take your passport with you for proof of identity. The documents are then mailed to the bank.

Use alternative banking with Satchel

Satchel is extremely useful when considering opening a bank account with a unique EU IBAN from abroad without the need to present an Anmeldung (registration in Germany). Compared to some banks in Germany, Satchel charges no fee to open a standard bank account. You can easily open a personal account online with just two documents. There is no need to stand in line and wait for several weeks. A physical or virtual Mastercard will be more than enough for your everyday needs. Satchel also proposes convenient solutions for businesses, merchants and freelancers with no hidden fees.

What are the things to consider when opening a bank account in Germany?

Banking services. Before deciding on opening an account with a particular bank, consider exploring alternative market offerings. These services do vary from bank to bank. The majority of banks in Germany provide comprehensive services.

Customer support. Customer support is vital when it comes to opening a bank account. Concerning language, if you can’t speak German, it is common sense to register with a bank that has English-speaking customer support. Unlike most banks out there, Satchel has live support, which is a rarity these days.

Maintenance and withdrawal fees. Fees can vary, again, from bank to bank and should, obviously, be considered when choosing a financial provider. Inquire about general account fees, especially for withdrawals. Some ATMs can impose significant charges.

Most German banking institutions have a comprehensive network of branches and ATMs. Access to your account and funds is obviously of paramount importance.

Online services. Now, almost all banking services can be done online. It is faster, and in most cases even safer, since most neobanks adhere to the highest security standards to keep your money and personal data safe.

In Conclusion

If you have no prior experience with the German banking system, opening a bank account in Germany may seem like a bit of a challenge.
The number of banks in Germany is the highest in Europe, which besides offering a lot of varying options can make it harder for you to make the best choice.

When opening a bank account in Germany for non-residents you need to know what services that bank offers you and how these fit your personal priorities. The number of branches should not be a deciding factor because it is common for popular and large banks to be more inconvenient and expensive.

Opening a German bank account is a lot easier now than it used to be. Just a few decades ago, opening a bank account was a challenging and rather complicated task for a foreigner. It is now considered almost commonplace. Choices then were very limited, the fees charged were not explained, and opening an account for a non-German was a little frowned upon. Although quite a lot of documentation is still required to open an account, providing that the documentation is valid and up to date it is now much of a standard procedure.

With the help of innovative neobanks that have quickly conquered the international market, you are now able to open an account remotely, hassle-free, and enjoy the most advanced technological solutions for daily money management.

POSTED ON: 3 Jan 2023


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