Banking and payments
Here you will find information on what to keep in mind if you want to open a bank account in Sweden as well as some useful links.
General information - cash, checks and credit cards
Regardless of how long you will be studying in Sweden you should make sure that you have enough money to cover your expenses for the first months of your stay. As international debit and credit cards are widely accepted as a method of payment in Sweden we strongly recommend you to bring a VISA/Mastercard to give you access to funds in your existing bank account. You can withdraw cash in all ATM’s and make your purchases with your card. An ATM cash-machine is referred to as Bankomat in Swedish.
The best way to send money to Sweden is via online money transfer from the bank in your home country to your bank account in Sweden. Discuss this with your current bank before you come to Sweden.
Cash as a means of payment is in most cases not an option In Sweden, instead payment by card and other digital alternatives are the most common in society.
Please note: Never bring personal checks or large amounts of cash to Sweden! Personal checks will not be accepted and the bank will only accept cash deposits to some extent. Also, banks are reluctant to accept foreign currency.
The cheapest and most convenient way to pay your bills is by transfer through your Swedish or home country’s online banking payment service. If you are staying with KTH Accommodation, please use the pay site: pay.kth.se . If online payment is not available to you via your bank’s services, check with them about what alternative payment services are available for you, and at what cost.
Bills can be paid in the following locations (you will have to pay a fee):
DIREKTEN (convenience store)
Having access to a Swedish bank account during your stay in Sweden can be convenient for paying bills and receiving incomes, etc. However, depending on the agreement with your national bank, the fees of money exchange in Sweden might in total be less than the costs of a bank account, bank cards and payment fees. Please note that the offers from banks vary depending on how long you’re staying and if you have a Swedish personal identity number or not. The ability to have access to a bank account covered by the State’s deposit guarantee scheme, and to basic payment services, is open to everyone. This applies regardless of your citizenship and whether or not you have a Swedish personal identity number. You have to be able to identify yourself and answer questions about why you need a bank account.
Short term students
If you are studying 1 or 2 semesters (less than 12 months) in Sweden you cannot get a Swedish personal identity number and you will therefore only be offered limited banking services at Swedish banks (e.g. no internet banking). Consider using your national bank account and bank card for money transactions and withdraw cash at ATMs if necessary, even if this means that your transactions will result in currency exchanges.
Long term students
If you will be studying for more than 2 semesters (longer than 12 months) in Sweden you are entitled to apply for a Swedish personal identity number, which will make it easier for you to open a bank account and access banking services at a Swedish bank of your choice. Once you have a personal identity number you can also apply for a Swedish ID card which will simplify identification at the bank.
What do I need to open a bank account?
Read the checklist below to see what documents you need to prepare for opening an account. Also bear in in mind that Swedish banks are generally open only on weekdays between 10.00 and 15.00, but they normally have one evening a week with extended opening hours.
- Valid passport (Your passport must have a valid international standard for Swedish banks to accept it as an ID)
- Your residence permit (if applicable)
- Proof of admission showing the duration of studies
Please note that the bank may request that you also present other documents
To prepare yourself for which documents are required and questions the bank might ask, you can read the information on their website (the Swedish Bankers' Association)
As a bank customer always remember to:
- Inform the bank about changes in your contact information such as; your address, e-mail or telephone number
- Close your Swedish bank account before you leave Sweden! This should be done at the branch office where you opened your bank account. (Note: A single cash withdrawal from your account may have a limit and therefore you should plan the withdrawal in advance)