One of the biggest worries about anyone moving to a new country is “how to access banking facilities”, I have compiled information for all the newly arrived students in this blog post regarding the same. There are six major banks that I see everywhere, Nordea, SEB, Swedbank, Handelsbanken, Dankse Bank, and ICA (Yeah the same ICA as the ICA Supermarket).
Now, it’s a bit different in Sweden, you don’t get any interest on your savings account, but you rather pay for monthly facilities. If you’re a student, then you’re lucky because for students some of the banks offer these services for free.
The banks who offer free services to students are:
You need to take following things to the bank to create an account. You will need a Swedish ID Kort to open an account with Nordea.
The following documents have to be presented to the bank for account creation:
- Valid passport
- Certificate from the Swedish Tax Agency showing your personal number or coordination number (= personbevis)
- Contract of employment, scholarship contract, admission certificate, or other signed document stating your current position at KTH
- Completed if you are a student at KTH (available also at bank office)
- Completed (available also at bank office)
Possible alternatives when cashing out a check at Nordea:
• If you have a Nordea account, but no registered “Application / Change of employee information” (see above), it is enough to identify with passport / ID card when you cash in your check
• If you have neither an account at Nordea nor a registered transfer order to another bank, then you need to identify with the passport plus that a KTH employee with Swedish ID follows with you to the bank and guarantees for your identity
• If the amount of the payment slip is higher than 15 000 SEK, Nordea would pay the amount, but not the same day. Nordea pays out a maximum 15 000 SEK in cash without pre-ordering. The payment of higher amounts requires at least one day of pre-ordering.
If you draw a salary of any from KTH, regardless if you want your remuneration deposited into your Nordea account or transferred to another bank, you must fill in and send to Nordea the form Application / Change of employee information (Överföringsuppdrag) to be found in.
NB: Though the banking services are free for students at Nordea, you might be needed to pay a monthly fee after one year, if you’re not receiving any CSN money (which is the case with most of International Students), this is a new thing and the bank’s explanation on this has been quite vague.
Probably the best option for students, you get some free stuff as well initially, and account creation is also easy. And the process is completely online. It’s not mandatory to have a Swedish ID Kort for this, so the best option for anyone who is staying in Sweden for one year. If you don’t have a Swedish ID, apply online and then you must contact ICA Banken at 033-47 47 90 to inform them that you don’t have a Swedish ID (The transaction verification devices in both cases are different).
ICA Supermarket also has a lot of weekly offers at all the stores, which is great to save money. Just follow the weekly offers at the store nearest to yourself.
I haven’t had first-hand experience with Swedbank, but as far as I know, they also have free bank accounts for students.
Some Benefits: In addition to the services included in the Key Customer you also get access to several benefits. Among other things, you get to Key Customer Student three months free insurance when you sign up for at least one-year agreement.
A recent update from 2017, Danske bank offers Bank accounts for International students without personnumber using their passport as the ID document, I am not pretty sure about this because this is something I recently came to know through a student who contacted them. But if you are one of the students who are staying in Sweden for a short time and needs to open a bank account, then I would suggest contacting Danske Bank.
Probably the best thing about handling money in Sweden, makes everything easy and cashless when you can transfer money just using someone’s phone number.
My recommendation, get Swish as soon as you get a bank account, Get Swish
How would I get money in my account from my home country?
There would be an IBAN number associated with your account, this can be used to transfer money to your account from anywhere in the world.
Why can’t I keep using my Forex Card?
Well, you can but then paying bills also becomes tough in a lot of cases, when the payment has to be done using BankGiro, you can’t also take any subscriptions which need to configure auto debit with your account. And you can’t also use Swish.
PS: I haven’t talked about SEB & Handelsbanken because they don’t have any free accounts for students. SEB has free bank accounts for students who get their CSN money in their account which is a specific case for Swedish students, you can read about it here.
Read another detailed guide to banking from the new KTH blogger Oluchi here: