A brief guide to opening a bank account in Slovakia

6 min read

If you’re looking for a beautiful European landscape with a reasonable cost of living, consider the unique country of Slovakia. Home to stunning castles, over 6,000 caves, and the only capital in the world bordering two other countries—Austria and Hungary—Slovakia is a great home base for adventurous internationals. If you’re planning on moving there, opening a bank account will simplify your life both at home and abroad. Here’s what you need to know to open a bank account in Slovakia.

What to consider when opening a bank account in Slovakia

You’ll want to weigh a few key factors when deciding where to open your bank account in Slovakia. For example, while most supermarkets will accept cards, local merchants often deal in cash. Make sure your bank of choice has ATM access so you never miss out on Slovakia’s famous bryndzové halušky—a classic local dish of boiled potato dough, similar to gnocchi, served with sheep cheese. 

Some other factors you’ll want to keep in mind are: 

  • Account maintenance fees—It’s quite easy to open a Slovak bank account for free. Monthly maintenance fees, however, are usually between €5 and €10. Some banks may give you the possibility to waive this amount if you maintain a minimum balance.

  • Withdrawal and international transfers fees—Withdrawals from your home ATMs are likely to be included in your maintenance fees. Meanwhile, when you need to withdraw money from another bank's ATM, or on a trip outside the country, this could end up costing you more. International transfers can also be a pain—if you’re not careful, sending money outside of the SEPA area can cost you up to €50, plus the currency exchange rate determined by your bank. 

  • Online banking capabilities—Banks in Slovakia are known for good mobile and online banking options, but it's always worth double-checking with your branch.

  • Customer support languages—Most Slovakian banks have English-speaking staff. However, if Slovak is not your first language, it's worth checking ahead of time that they offer assistance in one of your preferred languages. Ask this before you sign up to avoid problems later.

Slovakia’s growing economy is complete with an established banking sector and many international banks to choose from. Each bank will have its own list of available accounts, options, and requirements. Most will offer customer support in English—but again, be sure to double check.

Can I open a bank account in Slovakia as a non-resident?

Yes, most banks will allow you to open a bank account in Slovakia even before you obtain an official resident permit. Confirm this with the bank directly, as well as any requirements they might have to do so. These details will vary from bank to bank.

What documents are required to open a bank account in Slovakia?

The standard required documents for opening a bank account in Slovakia are as follows: 

  • Passport or ID card  

  • Residence card

  • Proof of address if you cannot present a resident card

If you’re opening an account as a non-resident, you may be asked to provide two personal identification documents—one of these may need to include a valid address of your permanent residency in Slovakia to show that you have ties to the country. If these documents are in a language other than English or Slovak, some banks require an official translation. If you are not an EU citizen, it’s recommended to provide multiple supporting documents (such as a valid rental or employment contract) to shorten the approval process.

What is a typical process for opening a bank account in Slovakia?

In keeping with their welcoming nature, the process for opening a bank account in Slovakia is straightforward. You don’t necessarily even need to book an appointment if you go to a physical branch—however, it might make things easier. Scheduling a time slot to open your bank account will help avoid longer wait times and provide the bank with the additional time needed to check your documents.

Can I open a Slovak bank account online or from abroad?

It’s common to allow online applications to be submitted from anywhere. You’ll need the documents outlined above and some of them—namely, proof of address—may be difficult to obtain if you are just starting your life in Slovakia. Check with the bank to see what your options are. You might want to consider an online bank for more flexibility.

How does an online bank differ from a traditional bank?

Online banks tend to offer more flexibility than traditional banks. They’re simple to use, known for transparency, and offer many services right at your fingertips—without the hassle and paperwork of bureaucratic institutions. In Slovakia, an online bank will provide you with everything you need to start a beautiful life there. Be sure to evaluate your choice of online bank carefully. Just because an institution offers all the services of a traditional bank doesn't mean it comes with the same security—it should have a proper Bank License, not just authorization as an e-money institution (EMI)

EMI vs. Bank license 

Today, more companies than ever offer banking services. Some of these firms even set you up with an IBAN and a debit card. But that doesn’t necessarily make them banks. A bank can only call itself a bank if it has a banking license—and this distinction is one of the most important considerations when choosing where to put your money. A fully licensed bank means more security for you and your money. With more than 7 million customers in 25 markets and growing fast, N26 is the first licensed bank in Europe built for the digital generation. Your money is always protected up to €100,000, per EU regulations.

How to open an account with N26

How to open a bank account online with N26

You can set up your N26 bank account online in minutes and start using it right away. All you need is your smartphone, a valid ID, and a stable internet connection. Just follow these steps:

  1. Enter your information to start the process online

  2. Confirm your email address

  3. Download the app on your smartphone

  4. Verify your identity

  5. Create a PIN and wait to receive your debit card by post 

Your N26 account is active immediately, so you can start planning your new life in Slovakia. If you get stuck along the way, the N26 Customer Support specialists are happy to assist you. Simply get in touch via the in-app chat function, or visit the Support Center to find answers to FAQs.

Your money at N26

If you’re planning on taking advantage of Slovakia’s central location to travel around Europe, N26 offers a growing list of travel benefits, including free withdrawals and in foreign currencies and deals with exclusive partners such as Booking.com or GetYourGuide. Our N26 You and N26 Metal plans offer an extensive travel insurance package. With N26 you have everything you need to manage your daily expenses, so you can focus your attention on what really matters—getting to know your new home.

 

By N26

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