How To Open A Bank Account in Greece [ Complete Process]

Desire to Open a Bank Account in Greece? There are a pile of reasons that one has to take into consideration so as to relocate in Greece
Ketcha Brandon
Open a Bank Account in Greece

Desire to Open a Bank Account in Greece? There are a pile of reasons that one has to take into consideration so as to relocate in Greece, starting from the mild climate to the exciting culture and to the long time history of the country.

No matter what you plan to go and do in Sweden either Starting a new life there or relocating on one their amazing islands, you will first of all have to open a Greece bank account online or locally depending on the one that suits you best.

In case you decide to open a local bank account, it will help you in receiving payments from a Greek employer, pay taxes, and to obtain a resident permit.

Even though the economic hardships of the country, it still remains a famous tourist destination due to its islands and coast that attracts retirees looking for warm climate, proximity to water and lots of delicious food, local wine and music that will keep them entertained.

Young creative individuals have fallen in love with Greek towns due to their vibrancy and affordability, that allows them to live more carefree lives. managing a mini business have numerous possibilities and through out the city, there are several tiny shops selling s variety of crafts, arts, services an items that tourist and home citizens might find interesting.

As a result of the financial crisis that took place in the year 2007, opening a bank account in Greece became more difficult, even though restrictions are slowly being relieved as the economy recovers. Nevertheless, you should be expecting a considerable amount of paperwork.

So incase you are planning to relocate to Greece and will probably be needing a bank account, then I recommend you to stay glued to this article as it comprises of a Complete process of how to open a Greek bank account online as a resident, non resident or as an expat.

Table of Contents

How to Open a Greek Bank Account Online

Banking in Greece is amazing but you should note that traditional and international banks in Greece do not allow you to open a bank account online.  So for this reason, it is an obligation for you to visit the bank in person in order to have your original documents verified and signature samples taken.

But obviously most of the banks in this country allow you to fill the application form online in case you want to get started and once you have already as far as you can with the online filling, you can now cal your local bank so as to schedule and appointment to activate your account.

As an option, you are also able to open a bank account with an online bank and if you find yourself looking for an online financial institution, it is better you look for a regulated bank rather than an e-money institution.

ALSO READ: How to Open a Bank Account in Poland [Complete Process]

What Documents Do I Need To Open A Bank Account in Greece ?

Regardless of the fact if you are a resident or an expat, opening a bank account in Greece demand a valuable amount of basic documentation, and the first step is for you to obtain your local tax identification number, also known as AFM ( Arithmo Forologiko Mitro).

You already have to include this in your to do list because you will need this number to obtain a job. All you have to do is to take your passport to the closest tact office and then fill out an application.

As for foreigners, they may be demanded to have their documents notarized and translated, which complicates the process. There are some banks that accept English language documentations so you can save both time and your funds by opening an account there.

As in every other bank, you will normally be demanded to make a minimum deposit of funds into the account in addition to the documentation and this amount varies for each bank.

Best Banks in Greece

There exist 4 main banks in Greece and these banks have many of their branches being accessible if you reside in Athens or another large city of the country. So let us get down and discover these banks;

National Bank of Greece

NBG (Ethniki / Εθνική) – having 1460+ ATMs and 350+ branches around Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, North Macedonia, Egypt, Malta, the United Kingdom and Australia.

The national bank of Greece is among the largest in the Nation if not the largest and it is a global financial and banking institution having an extensive ATM network.

These banks offers you with a wide range of account types for both personal and professional use. Do not forget to review the overdraft options available with the account type you desire using for yourself or business. Checks and a debit card are included with a basic account and you can also start the process online from your smartphone or laptop.

Piraeus Bank

(Pireos / Πειραιώς) – With 1390+ ATMs and 440+ branches around Greece, Germany and Ukraine.

Piraeus Bank is a worldwide financial institution with its headquarters in Greece providing services such as Agricultural banking, Consumer and mortgage finance, Green banking, capital markets, investment banking, leasing and electronic banking to medium size businesses.

This bank also have an extensive ATM network and English speaking employees. You are able to manage your funds more easily with a convenient 24- hour phone support line, as well as online and mobile banking.

One pros of this bank is that there is no minimum deposit amount for their basic current account and you get low interest rates, a low overdraft, checkbooks as an option and a debit card on top of that.

Eurobank aka Eurobank Ergasias

Eurobank is part of European group having over 920 ATMs and over 300 branches. They operate in Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Serbia, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom.

With Eurobank, you can open Greek bank account online before you arrive in the country and in order to ease your online transactions and payments, Eurobank features a contemporary mobile app and e-wallet.

You will find all the required features even in the online account and their branches and ATMs are conveniently located throughout this Southeast European paradise.

Alpha Bank

Having more than 300 branches and more than 860 ATMs, Alpha bank has a long history dating to the 19th century and it is now the countries second largest bank in terms of assets. Alpha Bank has subsidiaries and branches in London, Albania, Cyprus and Romania.

This bank offers  a full range of banking services, including retail banking for students, adults, and retirees, a full suite of cards (debit, credit, a modern Alpha Wallet for digital payments, prepaid cards, reward systems, and so on), as well as a full suite of cards (debit, credit, a modern Alpha Wallet for digital payments, prepaid cards, reward systems, and so on).

More to that, they feature a business specific product as well as premium option for established enterprises alongside loans, investment, Savings and insurance.

You can count on their extensive ATM network, branch network and digitalized services to in order to make your banking experience more convenient.

ALSO READ: How to Open a Bank Account in UK [Complete Guide]

More Banks In Greece

Putting aside those 4 main banks in the country Greece, there still exist some other minor banks in the country they include;

  • Viva wallet
  • Aegean Baltic Bank
  • Attica Bank - with 50+ branches all around Greece
  • Pancreta Bank- having 45+ branches in Crete, Athens and Milos
  • Optima Bank- Having 25 branches, mainly in Athens and Thessaloniki

Best Online Banks in Greece for Residents

Most individuals like online banks due to the fact that they come with more easier banking facilities and advantages such as low transaction fees, automated payments, and of course banking with online banks is one of the best banking strategy in Greece.

Traditional banks like Eurobank and Piraeus bank have online platforms where their customers are able to manage their bank account online via their smartphone.

The online platforms of these banks allows you to take advantage of online banking but even though there is a platform for online banking, you cannot open a bank account online with any of these banks in Greece but they can allow you to begin your online application before you eventually arrive Greece to complete it.

So as a resident of the country, you can take into consideration online banks to open your bank account in the country and these online banks reduce the cost of foreign transactions making you to save some extra cash.

Online banks such as N26 and B2B Pay have a good reputation and are well known in the European territory and their online bank account comes with an IBAN account, physical and virtual debit card that will allow you to withdraw your money from ATMs.

If you frequently conduct overseas transactions, you should be aware of the exorbitant expenses. For example, if you want to send 1000 euros to India, the costs could be above 100 euros, leaving the recipient with 900 euros. These online banks allow you to save money by providing SEPA bank accounts, which have numerous advantages.

Best Online Banks in Greece for Non Residents, Foreigners and Expats

Above we have seen how to open a Greece bank account for Resident but what if you an expat or foreigner? Well as an expat or foreigner, you can desire to reside in Greece and probably once in the country, you will have to ensure your funds and for this you have to start opening a  bank account from abroad before landing the country.

I will like to emphasize again that traditional and international banks do not allow you open an account online in Greece but however, you can begin the process the process online and coming to complete it in person when you arrive the country by visiting any branch.

But on the other hand, there are also online banks operating in Greece that allow you to open a European bank account that is functional in any Euro country. Below are some best online banks in Greece for Foreigners and expats.

  1. N26
  2. B2B

Opening a Bank Account in Greece as a Foreign Resident

Am sure as a foreign resident, you often ask yourself questions like " Can I Open a bank account as a non resident of Greece?"  If you among the people that often ask themselves this question, well the answer is YES you are fully eligible to open a bank account in Greece as a non resident as there is not any legal restriction that restricts non residents from having access to financial institutions.

But in order to do this, you should not have a bad record with the law or banks in your native country so as to be in good terms with these Greece banks.

How to Open a Greek Bank Account from U.K?

You can open a Greek bank account from anywhere in Europe, including the United Kingdom. Virtual banks such as N26 and B2B Pay allow you to open a Greek bank account online from the United Kingdom.

You can start the process online with Eurobank or Piraeus bank if you don't wish to open an account with an online bank.

However, once you are in the nation, you will require the following documents to complete your application.

  • Your passport.
  • AFM number (Greek tax number)
  • Proof of address (recent utility bill)
  • Funds to open your account.
  • Proof of salary (This can be a payslip, a letter/contract from your employer, or recent tax returns if you're self-employed)

Final Thoughts On How To Open a Bank Account in Greece Online as a Resident, Foreigner or Expat

You can open a Greek bank account from anywhere in Europe, including the United Kingdom. Virtual banks such as N26 and B2B Pay allow you to open a Greek bank account online from the United Kingdom. You can start the process online with Eurobank or Piraeus bank if you don't wish to open an account with an online bank.

However, once you are in the nation, you will require the following documents to complete your application.

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Open a Bank Account in Greece

How long does it take to open a bank account in Greece?

Visit the branch of the bank where you want to open a bank account. There will be some forms you'll need to fill in and sign. The process shouldn't take more than an hour. You might also need to deposit a minimum amount to activate the account.

What is required to open a Greek bank account?

You'll need to bring a few supporting documents in order to open a Greek bank account. These consist of a few forms of identification, proof of residence in Greece, an AFM (Tax Identification Number), confirmation of a mobile phone number, and a recent pay stub.

Can a foreigner open bank account in Greece?

Yes, it is possible to open a bank account in Greece as a non-resident. The banks would require from you the AFM, Arithmo Forologiko Mitro, a 9 digit tax number, which you can easily obtain at your tax office in your Greek neighborhood.

Which is the best bank in Greece?

Alpha Bank has been named “Best Bank in Greece” for 2020, at the “Awards for Excellence 2022” by the international financial publication “Euromoney” due to its adaptability, robust capital position and commitment to social responsibility throughout the recent COVID-19 crisis.

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