How to open a bank account in Ireland the easy way
Making the move to Ireland? Smooth your transition by opening a bank account in the country. Here’s a guide for how to open a bank account in Ireland.
6 min read
If you’re planning to move to Ireland, opening a local bank account will help smooth your financial transition. You’ll need an Irish bank account to get paid, pay your bills and taxes, and buy property. Luckily for you (or is that the luck of the Irish?), opening a bank account in the country is relatively simple. Let’s break down what you’ll need to know to open a bank account in Ireland.
What to look for in a bank account in Ireland
The most common bank account in Ireland is a current account, which is an everyday account with a debit card connected. You may also decide to open a savings account, which offers a higher interest rate for long-term saving.
There are a lot of banks to choose from, including national banks, international banks, and online banks. When doing your research, only consider banks that are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, which is part of the European System of Central Banks.
From there, do some digging to find the best deal. It’s common for banks in Ireland to charge a maintenance fee, which can often be avoided by making a recurring monthly deposit or keeping a minimum balance in the account. The minimum balance varies by bank, so this is worth comparing. There is also a small debit card fee called a “government stamp duty,” which currently costs €2.50 annually. Additionally, many banks in Ireland charge fees for using outside ATMs, so make sure your bank has ATM locations that are convenient for you, or free withdrawals from outside ATMs.
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What do you need to open a bank account in Ireland?
Legally, you can open a bank account in Ireland as a resident or a non-resident. In both cases, you will need to show at least one piece of photo ID and proof of address. Non-resident accounts typically require a bit more documentation, as detailed below. If you can wait, it’s easier to open a bank account at a national bank once you can prove your address in the country.
How old do you have to be to open a bank account in Ireland?
You need to be at least 18 years old to open a bank account in Ireland. Many banks offer current accounts for minors, but these typically require consent from a parent or legal guardian.
What documents do you need to open a bank account in Ireland?
To open a resident bank account, you will need two types of document: a valid photo ID, such as your passport, and a proof of address. To prove your address, bring a recent utility bill or a letter from a governmental agency. Some banks will accept your rental contract or a health insurance certificate as a proof of address. When in doubt, gather a few documents and bring them all to your appointment.
If you’re new to Ireland and cannot prove residence, many banks will allow you to open a non-resident account. This means you can use your address in your home country to register, but you will need more documentation. You will typically need two proofs of address (translated into English, if necessary) as well as two forms of ID. These documents must be certified by a solicitor, a public notary, an embassy staff member, or other acceptable certifier. Some banks may even ask you for a character reference, though this is not common.
How to open a bank account in Ireland, step by step
Once your documents are in order, the next step is to make an appointment at your bank of choice. Call your local branch or walk in to arrange a time.
On the day of your appointment, the banker will walk you through the options and review your paperwork. If all your documents are in order, you should be able to walk out with your account number and sort code so you can make your first deposit. Your debit card will come by mail and, in most cases, your PIN number will follow separately. You will receive additional instructions on how to set up online banking.
Can I open a bank account online in Ireland?
Yes, some banks in Ireland will allow you to open a bank account online, but you will be required to undergo a more rigorous verification process. If you’re already in the country, it’s easier to go to the branch and open an account in person.
As with applying in person, you will need to provide proof of identity and proof of address. To verify these documents, you may be asked to send certified copies of all documents by mail, as well as a selfie of you holding your passport.
An easier alternative is to open a bank account online with an online bank. As these banks are built for this, the verification process is simple—no trip to the notary required. If you’re looking for all the services of a bank, however, be sure the financial institution you choose is a licensed bank, not an e-money institution.
What is the difference between a banking license and an e-money license?
There are many companies that offer financial services online, but there are important differences between e-money institutions and companies with a banking license.
To put it simply, a company needs to have a banking license to be called a bank. N26 was licensed in July 2016, which means we can offer all the services you expect from a bank, including protection on every deposit up to €100,000. Companies with an e-money license can only offer limited services, like money transfers and currency exchange.
How to open a bank account online with N26
Opening a bank account online with N26 takes just a few minutes. Visit the N26 website or download the smartphone app. You’ll be asked to confirm your personal information, your email address, and your address, then select the type of account you’d like to open. (Need some help selecting an account? Just contact our customer support team.) Then, complete a quick video call to verify your identity. Finally, make a transfer from your existing account to your new N26 account. You’ll be able to start making purchases with your virtual N26 Mastercard right away!
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Your money at N26
A bank account with N26 is more than a place to deposit your paycheck—it’s your personal control center for managing your money, creating a personal budget, and planning for your future. Our Spaces sub-accounts let you organize your savings so you can work toward your financial goals, whether it’s going back to school or starting your own business. To speed up the saving process, try Round-Ups, the feature that lets you save up your spare change in your chosen space every time you use your N26 Mastercard. See firsthand how a little change can go a long way.
At N26, we’ve taken the red tape out of opening a bank account in Ireland. Open an online account in just 8 minutes—all you’ll need is your smartphone, a valid address in Ireland, and a valid photo ID. You’ll get an official German IBAN, so you can pay and be paid like a local. Plus, there are no hidden fees and you’ll always have access to English-speaking customer service, so you can focus on settling in to your new home.
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