How to open a bank account in Sweden
Opening a local bank account will make your transition that much smoother.
5 min read
Famed for its beautiful landscape and robust economy, there’s a lot to look forward to about moving to Sweden. But if you’re planning on setting up your home in this Scandinavian nation, it’s a good idea to open your own Swedish bank account. Read on for our guide to opening a bank account in Sweden.
What do I get with a Swedish bank account?
In Sweden, a bank account for deposits and withdrawals is called a bankkonto. A bankkonto comes with an International Bank Account Number (IBAN) for free money transfers between other Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) accounts. Not all accounts are automatically set up for online banking. For that, you’ll need what’s called a BankID (more on that in a bit). While it won’t cost you to open an account, most Swedish banks charge around €20 a year to “maintain” it. Already have an account in another SEPA country? Consider opening one in Sweden as well since most employers will only send your salary to a Swedish bank account.
The bank account that gives you more control
Am I eligible to open a bank account in Sweden?
If you’re 18 or older, own an EU passport, and have a Swedish address, you are legally allowed to open a bank account in Sweden. Non-EU nationals will need a residence permit on top of that. Bear in mind that these are the minimum requirements. Most banks will also ask for your Swedish personal identity number (personnummer), which you get from the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket), and some will want proof of employment or study. Finally, you’ll need a BankID, which gives you access to online banking online and mobile payments with Swish, the Swedish mobile payment app. Sign up for this BankID at any physical branch of a bank.
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What do I need to open a bank account in Sweden?
Every bank has different requirements for opening an account. Your best bet is to have all of the following documents on hand:
- Swedish national ID, or EU passport, or non-EU passport with Swedish residence permit
- Personnummer (personal identity number)*
- Proof of address (utility bill or rental contract)
- Proof of employment or school enrollment
*A personnummer isn’t a legal requirement for opening an account, though it is necessary for many banking essentials, like signing up for BankID and Swish.
What’s the typical process? Can I open a bank account online?
This may seem counter to most countries, but the quickest and easiest way to open a bank account in Sweden is at a branch. Of the four big Swedish banks, only two offer online services in other languages. Plus, you’ll need your BankID to open an account online. Luckily, you’ll find most bank clerks are happy to speak English.
You also have the option to open an account with an online bank entirely from home. You can do the whole process online using just your passport and proof of residence. Download an app, submit your docs, verify your ID, and you’re done. You can do it in the time it takes for the sun to rise and set during the winter solstice.
If you open an account with a mobile bank, keep in mind that eventually you’ll need a BankID for Swish mobile payments and other essential functions like signing online documents. For this, you will have to go into a physical branch of a bank.
Opening an account with a traditional bank
- Identify and print the documents required by your bank
- Make an appointment and bring your documents to a local bank branch
- Answer some questions and verify your identity with the clerk
- Wait for your confirmation, card, PIN, and other necessary documents to arrive by post
- Activate your account and online banking with BankID
Opening an account with an online bank
- Confirm your phone number or email
- Download your bank’s mobile app and select the type of account you want
- Finish the registration process
- Complete in-app ID verification
- Create a PIN and wait for your card to arrive by mail, if included
Only real banks have a banking license
Many new fintech companies offer a range of different banking services. Some even set you up with an IBAN and a debit card. But just because they might offer similar services, that doesn’t mean that they are all genuine banks. In order to call itself a bank, an institution must have a genuine banking license.
Sweden requires its banks to undergo a rigorous vetting process before being granted a license. That means complying with regulations set out by Sweden’s Central Bank (Riksbank) and Financial Supervisory Authority, as well as the European Central Bank (ECB).
Once licensed, a bank has the power to offer more advanced banking services like overdraft and lending. Most importantly, a banking license ensures the protection of your data and money—up to €100,000 under an EU-wide deposit guarantee scheme.
With more than five million customers in 24 markets and growing fast, N26 is the first licensed bank in Europe built for the digital generation.
How to open a Swedish bank account online with N26
- Confirm your email, personal details, and shipping address
- Select the type of account you want—Standard (free) or a premium option like Smart, You, or Metal with benefits including Spaces, Travel Insurance, and exclusive rewards
- Prove your identity and connect your smartphone to your new account
- After a few days, you’ll receive your N26 Mastercard by post.
Sign up in minutes and start making contactless payments from your virtual N26 Mastercard right away.
Your money at N26
N26 makes opening a Swedish bank account as simple as possible. Start with a free N26 Standard account, or upgrade to a premium plan like N26 You or N26 Metal. These plans include special features like budgeting tools, sub-accounts that let you organize your money alongside your main account, and extensive insurance. And with Wise built-in, you’ll always get the real exchange rate on international transfers. Finally, N26 Customer Support is at your service every day—just contact our specialists through the in-app chat function or find answers to frequently asked questions in the Support Center.
How long does it take to open a bank account?
The time it takes to open a bank account varies. It depends on many factors, including the country you're in, the bank you choose, the type of account you're opening, and if you have all of the necessary documentation ready.
If you visit a bank branch in person, you can open a bank account on the same day. Online applications might take a few minutes and you usually can start using your new bank account right away.
Can I open an account in several countries?
Yes, it's generally possible for individuals to open bank accounts in multiple countries. Before opening accounts in multiple countries, make sure to comply with all relevant regulations. Some countries have anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations and need additional documentation and information when opening accounts for non-residents.
Can I open a bank account in Sweden as a non-resident?
Yes, non-residents can open a bank account in Sweden. Swedish banks typically offer banking services to non-residents, including foreign nationals and individuals who don't have Swedish residency or citizenship. Not all banks offer this option, so opening an account as a non-resident in Sweden might be complex. Ideally, gather your documents and visit a branch in person.
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