This week I finally got my Swedish bank account. Until now I was using a prepaid card (where I receive the money for my scholarship) to make all my shopping. The thing is that those types of card cannot be used to buy in the internet. I’m not a big shopper, but we always need to buy something online, right? It is mostly small things, such as credits for printing at the University, bus tickets (if you want to have it in your phone) or even plane tickets for a weekend getaway, why not?
For the past six months I was using my credit card from Brazil when I had no option other than buy in the internet, but I had to pay fees and security verifications were not that easy (check with your bank before you travel how all they run their bureaucracy, can be handy when you are abroad). So it is good to have a option to buy online since it may get a while until you get a bank account here in Sweden.
I have to admit that I could have got mine way earlier, but procrastination sometimes haunts me. Well, that’s life. I will list below what you might need for opening a bank account here:
- It is good to have a personnumber (I wrote about that before)
- If you have a personnumber you can apply for a Swedish ID, and if you have a Swedish ID everything gets very easy
- Find a bank: this step is tricky.
There are many different banks and I heard that in Sweden the bank can reject you if they want, so I was a bit anxious about my choice. For students, ICA Banken is a good option because they don’t have fees and you get benefits in their supermarket chain, but everything is online and in Swedish, so maybe it is not so accessible for everyone. I ended up choosing Handelsbanken once they were the only ones with a website in English. Everything was very easy and fast (I just had to show the Swedish ID) and in one week I had my card to shopping. They charge a fee of 300kr/year but it is a reasonable price for what they offer.
For what I know it is difficult to open an account if you don’t have the personnumber, so be aware if you are eligible to have one and prepare yourself to have other means to buy things around here.
Together with your account you can start to use Swish, that it an cool app to make money transfers to anyone without fees and using just the phone number. Swedes use Swish all the time an everywhere.
Photos by: Google images