How to open a bank account in Liechtenstein
Making a move to Liechtenstein? Find out how to open a bank account with this handy guide.
4 min read
Nestled in the Alps and bordered by the Rhine river, Liechtenstein is a picturesque haven for locals and expats alike. If you’ve decided to relocate to this alpine microstate, you’ll need to open a bank account to purchase your ski gear, among other things. Read on to learn what you’ll need to open a bank account in Liechtenstein.
What do I get with a Liechtensteinian bank account?
Liechtenstein’s low tax rates tend to attract wealthy individuals from around the world. Many banks in Liechtenstein expect large, regular deposits to open and maintain an account, creating an entire industry of consultants promising to get you set up for anywhere between €500 and €2,000. Avoid them.
To open a personal checking account, always make sure you deal directly with the bank. For such a small country, Liechtenstein has a surprisingly large number of them. Ask upfront how much it costs to open an account and if there is a minimum deposit. Still learning German? No worries. Most banks in Liechtenstein offer services in English.
Domestic bank accounts come with an IBAN, which lets you transfer money easily and for free between other countries in the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA). That includes every country in Europe, even those outside of the European Union (EU). Keep in mind that Liechtenstein uses the Swiss Franc. That means making payments with a card from another European country could come with currency exchange charges. It’s also important to note that many banks in Liechtenstein make money by charging fees on deposits.
Am I eligible to open a bank account in Liechtenstein?
Liechtenstein is accustomed to people from all over the world opening bank accounts in the country. Though higher earners will have preference at certain banks, if you have a passport and can verify your address and income, you should be able to open a bank account in Liechtenstein. However, it is important to read the fine print. Some banks will expect you to make regular deposits and will close your account if you don’t adhere to their rules.
What do I need to open a bank account in Liechtenstein?
Liechtenstein’s lenient eligibility requirements mean you’ll need just a few documents on hand to open a bank account:
Proof of address
Proof of income
When you’re all set, bring your documents to a branch, upload them online, or verify them via video chat, depending on the identity verification method of your chosen bank.
What’s the typical process? Can I open a bank account online?
Every bank has its own process, but at least several will let you open an account online. That said, doing so is anything but breezy, and it sometimes takes over a week to open your account. If you’re going with a traditional bank, you’re best off making an appointment at a branch and opening an account in person. There, the bank will verify your documents and identity. Your card, pin and other necessary documents needed to activate your account online will arrive a few days later via post.
If that sounds like too much work, the best alternative is to open an account with an online bank. The process is straightforward—simply download the app, upload and verify your information, complete the in-app verification, and you’re done—in less time than it takes to type “Liechtenstein”. Another advantage that online banks allow you to avoid the high fees charged by many traditional banks. However, it’s important to be choosy when selecting a mobile bank. When it comes to keeping your money secure, not all banks are equal.
What is a banking license and why is it important?
FinTechs are all the rage in Europe, with many now offering financial products like IBANs and debit cards. But for all their convenience, there’s something many of them lack—a full banking license. That’s why they can’t technically call themselves banks.
To get a banking license, a company must satisfy a series of tough prerequisites set by the Swiss National Bank, Liechtenstein Financial Market Authority, and European Central Bank (ECB). Choosing a licensed bank guarantees the protection of your data and deposits—up to €100,000 under an EU-wide deposit guarantee scheme. With more than five million customers in 25 markets and growing fast, N26 is the first licensed bank in Europe built for the digital generation. It plays by the old rules so you can play by new ones.
How to open a bank account online in Liechtenstein with N26
Confirm your email, personal details, and address.
Add money to your account and… voila!
That’s it. Signing up takes less than 8 minutes and you can start making contactless payments from your virtual debit Mastercard right away.
Your money at N26
With N26, opening a bank account in Liechtenstein is simple. The Standard account and accompanying virtual Mastercard are free, and you can open your account with just a few taps on your smartphone. Need an upgrade? Switch to one of our premium accounts and benefit from awesome features like budgeting tools and sub-accounts. N26’s Wise integration means you pay the real exchange rate for international transfers. And while other banks are asleep, N26 Customer Support is at your service from 7am CET to 11pm CET all year round.
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