Opening a bank account in Austria

Banking in Austria
Updated 2021-07-20 15:01

Banks in Austria are regulated nationally and are very secure, meaning expatriates can feel confident when banking within Austria. The larger banks that cater to expatriates can be found below. Opening a local bank account after you arrive allows for easy purchasing and cash withdrawals, and will allow for your employer to set up salary deposits.

How to open a personal bank account in Austria

If you are a resident, setting up a bank account is not difficult. If not, be sure to choose a bank that does support you.

Opening a personal bank account can be done easily after arriving in Austria. After deciding which bank would best suit your needs, you can visit a local branch of the bank to open an account. Account options can vary from bank to bank, with some banks charging fees for various banking options, so it is helpful to research banks before opening an account.

Expats are required to show their passport as identification and proof of residency, including a local address. Proof of employment and a residence registration form may also be required. An appointment is not necessary for opening an account. Some banks can open your account online, before arriving in the country.

After filling out some paperwork, the account is opened, and bank cards are usually posted out to your preferred address within a week. Online banking is also available through Austrian banks, allowing you to set up auto-payments and transfer funds easily.

Banking services in Austria

The different types of services that banks usually offer are:

Girokonto (current account), Sparkonto (savings account), Daueraufträge (standing orders), Dispokredit (overdraft facility) and a Bankomatkarte (debit card). If you require a credit card, it might be useful to contact your bank since it is usually not granted if you open a bank account. One really good thing about banking in Austria is that student accounts are usually free of charge.

If you already have a bank account with an international bank that operates in Austria, you may wish to stay with your current bank after you relocate. Banking hours can vary, but they usually offer longer opening hours on Thursdays. In regional areas, banks may close for a lunch hour.

Credit and debit cards in Austria

After opening your account, you receive a debit card (bank card), locally referred to as a “Bankomatkarte”. Bank cards in Austria have the Maestro sign and can be used to purchase something in most retail establishments. Be aware that some smaller businesses may only accept cash. You can find ATMs all over the country, which accept both Austrian and international bank cards. Fees may be charged if you are using a bank ATM that you don't have an account with. If you wish to obtain a credit card locally, it is better to wait several months to build up an employment and credit history in the country, as this will increase your chances of approval.

One thing to remember is that in Austria numbers are written with punctuation like this: € 1.000,00 (one thousand euro)!

 Useful links:

Erste Group Bank
Bank Austria
Raiffeisen Zentralbank
Banking Austria

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