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How to open a bank account in Ireland

A step-by-step guide to opening a bank account in Ireland, including your account options.

Opening a current account in Ireland has never been easier, with a new wave of digital banks letting you complete the process from inside an app. Traditional banks are also moving online too, with banks such as the Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Bank now offering online signup processes as well.

This guide will help you through the basics of signing up for a current account, as well as help you pick which bank is right for you, using the dynamic table below to compare banks across fees, features and benefits.

Open an account online using the table below to compare providers

Name Product Maintenance fee Fee period ATM transaction fee
Revolut Standard
€0
Monthly
€1 + 2% per withdrawal
Enjoy no monthly fee, no currency conversion fees up to €1,000 per month and hold an array of currencies in your account.
N26 Bank Account
€0
Monthly
€2 per withdrawal

Sign up for a new account with N26 before June 18, 2021, and get your first year of N26 You Premium for free when you upgrade with code “N26FREEYOU” A value of 9,90 EUR per month.

Benefit from no monthly fee, no currency conversion fees and a raft of in-app budgeting features to help you save.
bunq easy Green Personal
€17.99
Monthly
€2.99 per withdrawal
An account with an exclusive stainless steel card. Help the environment – a tree will be planted for every €100 you spend.
Revolut Premium
€7.99
Monthly
€1 + 2% per withdrawal
A combined current account and IBAN account with unlimited free currency conversions and international transfers in many currencies.
Wirex Multi-Currency Card
€1.20
Monthly
€2.25 per withdrawal

Get a Welcome Bonus of 1,000 WXT when you sign up with Wirex through Finder.

A multicurrency account that lets you spend abroad in over 150 currencies and an array of supported cryptocurrencies.
N26 You
€9.90
Monthly
€2 per withdrawal
A smart IBAN account with no currency conversion fees, complimentary insurances and no ATM fees here or abroad.
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Compare up to 4 providers

How to open a bank account in Ireland (step-by-step guide)

Step 1: Compare bank accounts to find the right one

Do your research to make sure that you have chosen the account that is right for you. Make sure to compare the cost of each account across things such as account keeping fees, ATM service fees, and deposit & withdrawal limits. Make sure to keep in mind the additional features available to you (eg, interest, international money transfers, Apple/Google Pay availability) as well as any unique benefits.

You can compare accounts by using the table above. Here’s a few tips:

  • Click on each column title to sort by that feature (eg, sort by “ATM Withdrawal Fee” to find the lowest)
  • Learn more about each account by clicking on the “More info” box at the end of each row.
  • Compare two or more accounts directly by clicking on the “Compare” box underneath the name on the left hand side.

Once you have found an account that suits you, you can skip the rest of this guide and jump right in by clicking on the green “Go to site” button which will take you to the bank’s website and take you through the rest of the process.

Step 2: Apply for your account online or in-app

Once you have chosen a bank account, go to their website by clicking on “Go to site” in the table above. Using this link will ensure that you have gone directly to the banks official website, which helps protect you against phishing attempts or scams.

You will then be prompted to either open an application online, or to download a smartphone application to get the process started. If using a smartphone, the website should be able to take you directly to the app download, and the rest is cake. Simply follow the instructions on screen once the app is ready.

If you are on desktop however, some websites such as Revolut’s will simply ask you for a mobile number, then send an SMS with a link for you to download the app on your smartphone.

Alternatively, if the bank does not use an app, then simply follow the instructions on the website which will likely involve creating an account and verifying it with an email address or mobile number.

Step 3: Have your documents ready to verify your identity & address

Once you have begun the sign-up process and filled out your basic details, you will then be asked to prove your identity as well as your address. To do so you will need one of the following documents for your identity, and another for your address.

To prove your identity

  • A valid passport or EU passport card
  • A valid EU National Identity Card
  • An EU/EEA drivers licence with a photograph (Irish Provisional permit accepted)

To prove your address

  • A recent utility bill (typically from within the past 6 months)
  • Official correspondence from a government body (eg, tax or healthcare)
  • Official correspondence from another financial institution in Ireland

What if I don’t live in Ireland yet?

You may open an Irish current account from abroad, but will need to do the following.

Provide two proof of address documents, with the name on those documents matching the name on your proof of identity document. These documents must be in English, and must be certified by a third party, such as an appointed official (ie, justice of the peace), public notary, government body, solicitor/lawyer or a member of your embassy.

Students moving to Ireland for study may also refer to their educational institution for help in providing documentation.

You may prove your identity by uploading your documents to the website or app. Digital banks sometimes require a short video call as well. Some traditional banks may instead require you to present your documents in person at a branch.

Once your identity has been approved, you can start using your bank account for things like deposits and transfers, however you will still need to wait for your debit card.

Step 4: Debit card arrives – all done!

The last thing to do is wait for your new debit card to arrive. Once this is done you should have access to the full range of services your bank provides. Make sure to read the instructions carefully, sign the back of the card and activate it online.

You may also want to consider switching your bills over to your new account, updating your payment details for things such as Netflix or Spotify, as well as learning what to do if your card is lost or stolen.

If you feel like a debit card isn’t enough for you, and would prefer some of the features that come with a credit card, then be sure to visit Finder’s guide to credit cards in Ireland before making any decisions.

What are the different types of bank accounts in Ireland?

A current account is the standard type of bank account for an individual in Ireland, and is what you will use to receive your pay, save money, and of course spend it.

Current accounts come with a debit card which lets you spend money in-stores, online or take out cash from an ATM. Depending on your bank, you might also be able to earn interest on your money by putting it into a special savings account within your current account. However, with interest rates at record lows, interest-earning accounts are sometimes unavailable for customers opening a new bank account.

There are of course other types of bank accounts available in Ireland, such as dedicated savings accounts or business bank accounts. However, this guide will focus on current accounts, as well as joint accounts, which some banks provide as a type of current account that can be shared between two people, such as a couple.

Digital banks – what are they and are they any good?

Digital banks are a new wave of banks which leverage advances in finance and technology to provide a banking experience which is typically more efficient and lightweight than using a traditional bank. This is because digital banks tend to focus on a smaller range of services, which also allows them to keep costs fairly low.

Digital banks are popular with digital natives and expats because they are quick and easy to sign up for and use. That being said, they offer fewer services than a traditional bank and are entirely digital – which means no face-to-face service. Although many offer their app services in several languages, and some like N26 have European based customer support call centres as well as online chat operators.

If you’re just looking for a standard everyday bank account, then a digital bank is an easy way to get one started. Most digital banks offer you a current account, debit card, and an app to manage everything for free. However, if you want something with a bit more teeth, like a bank that offers loans and mortgages, then you’re probably better off looking at a traditional bank which can meet those needs.

What do you need to open a bank account in Ireland?

To open a bank account in Ireland you will need to provide proof of identity as well as a proof of address. These can be either of the following:
Identity

  • A valid passport or EU passport card
  • A valid EU National Identity Card
  • An EU/EEA drivers licence with a photograph (Irish Provisional permit accepted)

Address

  • A recent utility bill (typically from within the past 6 months)
  • Official correspondence from a government body (eg, tax or healthcare)
  • Official correspondence from another financial institution in Ireland

If you do not yet live in Ireland but still want to open an account, then you will need two proof of address items in English certified by a third party (Eg, public notary, justice of the peace, lawyer).

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