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Whether you’re a German resident or expatriate residing in Germany, you may find opening a bank account in Germany to be essential. This guide will cover the type of bank accounts you may want to choose from, the application process for bank accounts in Germany and eligibility requirements you should take note of.
We’ll take you through the entire bank account opening process, from choosing the right account for you to completing your registration.
Before opening a bank account in Germany, you’ll first have to decide on your purpose for opening a bank account. Will you use your account for long-term savings or daily transactions? Will the account be used for corporate transactions or personal uses? These factors will influence the type of bank account you choose to apply for. Here are the main type of accounts to choose from:
Once you’ve decided on an account type, consider a range of German providers and pick the best bank account for your financial needs. Here are some factors you may wish to consider when comparing bank accounts in Germany:
Once you’ve compared these factors, you can visit the providers in the table above to compare their deals and choose to open a bank account in Germany that’s best for you.
Whether you’re applying for a digital bank account or traditional bank account, most providers today offer online registration. Visit the provider’s website and fill out the online application form. You will have to fill out important details including your full name, permanent address in Germany, email address and German ID. If you are using a mobile app to register, which is a common practice by digital banks, you may need to provide a selfie for identity affirmation purposes.
If you’re uncomfortable with online registration, you can always call up your desired provider to register over the phone or visit a local bank branch to sign up.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to open a bank account in Germany for business the process will be very different. Although online applications are available, you’ll most probably have to visit a physical bank for verification.
Depending on your provider, you may be able to submit these documents online or you will have to visit a physical bank branch with original copies of these documents. Here are some common documents that may be requested from you in order to open a bank account in Germany:
If you are an expatriate, you’ll provide your visa or residence permit instead of a German ID.
Business account holders will have to provide different documents, including their trade license, a list of shareholders and the business’ bank statements.
Your account will be ready in a few business days and you’ll subsequently receive a linked debit card. Once this has been sorted, you may request for online banking if that option is available (for standard bank accounts). Digital bank account users may even begin using their account the moment it is approved, via a virtual card.
Digital banks have become more popular than ever because of the convenience and control they offer. You can manage your money any time, anywhere and have a complete understanding of your finances. They’re quick and easy to apply for, and even easier to use. Popular digital bank providers in Germany include bunq, N26, Revolut and DKB bank. However, one downside is that digital banks might not offer financial management services that are extensive as those offered by traditional banks. For example, few digital banks offer mortgage payment features or health insurance purchasing options.
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