Open a Bank Account in Austria
Austria’s banking system, with more than 700 banks, is known as a stable and safe place to store your money. In addition, EU regulations protect the money in your bank account if for some reason your bank collapses. This includes both savings accounts and checking accounts. Your money is protected up to 100,000 euros or the equivalent amount in local currency. This limit applies to a person and to a bank.
Types of Bank Accounts in Austria
Girokonto (current account) is the most popular type of bank account in Austria. It is intended for personal use and is part of retail banking. Current accounts include a debit card that allows you to access ATMs. As a rule, they also come with an overdraft. You can set up standing orders or direct debit, and you can transfer money both locally and abroad from your current account. You can also have a linked savings account. Checks are available, but they are currently being used less and less in Austria.
Sparbuch (savings account) is a safe way to store money for short—term savings. It rarely even covers inflation, but it’s a good option if you just want to save some money for a rainy day.
This type of bank account is designed for couples, so you usually get two bank cards to one shared account. You can also receive instant notifications when there is activity in your shared account. Keeping track of all your transactions together is designed to make budgeting easier in the long run.
Usually Kreditkarte (credit cards) are issued by various companies, such as Visa and Mastercard. They are not covered by the usual bank charges, so you may have to pay extra. The credit card must be approved by your bank, and most of them issue it only to an existing customer.
How to open an account in an Austrian bank for a foreigner
Firstly, to open a bank account in Austria, you must have the following documents at hand:
- your identity card (for example, your passport)
- proof of residence (for example, a residence registration form or utility bills)
- your proof of employment (for example, an official employment contract)
If you are an EU/EEA citizen, you will find that opening a bank account in Austria is much easier than for third-country nationals. Some banks, such as Erste, allow non-residents to open accounts. In addition, foreigners can manage funds in all currencies, receive the latest exchange rates and make credit transfers in foreign currency. However, to do this, you need to personally contact the bank.
Opening a corporate bank account in Austria is usually a simple process consisting of a few simple steps. Here are some of the questions that the applicant should keep in mind:
- choose a bank: many international banks have branches in Austria, and the applicant can choose a bank with a profitable package of services or a bank that also offers merchant account services.
- prepare company documents: when opening a corporate bank account, the bank will require some company documents, such as the founding agreement and, possibly, samples of signatures of directors; this also applies to branches of foreign companies.
- have identity documents: you will also need identity documents of the company’s directors or legal representative.
- commission payment: different banks will have different fees when opening a bank account, as well as depending on the selected additional services and packages.
- If you decide to apply to open a bank account online, you will need to confirm your identity by providing a PostIdent. In this regard, there are four ways to confirm your identity:
- eID — For this option, your personal information and identity card are sent over the Internet.
- Photo — You provide a photo and record a video clip of your face to confirm your identity.
- Video chat — you enter personal data and use your webcam to call the operator of the Video-Ident call center. They will take your photo and confirm your identity.
- Post Office – You can visit the post office in person using your personal Postident generated by the Postident portal.
The most popular banks in Austria
When opening a bank account in Austria, you can use the services of one of the following banks:
- LGT Bank (Austria) Ltd;
- Deutsche Bank (Austria) AG;
- Anglo-Australian Bank;
- Erste Bank AG;
- Raiffeisen Bank International AG;
- Euram Bank AG;
- Benduro Bank (Austria) AG, etc.
When opening a corporate account with the bank, you must provide:
- the tax number of the company and the registration number of the legal entity in the register;
- company registration address;
- company charter;
- certificate of absence of financial and tax debts.
Advantages of Austrian Banks
- Banking services are provided equally to all customers, regardless of nationality;
- Reliability of the banking system, proven by time and high demand;
- Additional measures to avoid double taxation;
- Lack of control over the amount of currency in the state;
- High level of confidentiality – information about deposits and owners can be declassified only in one case: when the owner’s activity is proven in court to be involved in illegal transactions;
- The image of the Austrian financial sector;
- Prompt processing of requests.
If you wish to open a business bank account in Austria, our team here at IB-IA GROUP UAB will be delighted to assist you. We have eight years of experience in helping clients to open bank accounts in Europe. We tap into our vast network of trusted partners in the European financial services industry to offer the most suitable and cost-effective solutions that improve the functioning of the businesses we serve.