Getting a bank account in Portugal is a top priority when living in the country. Thankfully, it isn’t quite the torturous task it has
What are the best banks in Portugal for foreigners? Where can you keep your cash? How can you get a local debit card? The chaos of moving abroad can be overwhelming, particularly for your finances. These are just some of the questions people ask us when getting ready to move.
So, if you are planning to relocate or spend an extended period of time in Portugal, understanding the country’s banking landscape is crucial for managing your finances effectively. Luckily, Portugal boasts an advanced bank system, making it relatively easy for both residents and non-residents to open an account.
Portugal’s banking system is hailed as being particularly modern and includes one of the world’s most advanced inter-bank networks through ‘Multibanco’. This network connects over 150 banks, including private national retail banks, public and cooperative banks, international banks, and mobile banks. Despite the decline in the number of physical bank branches over the last decade, Portugal still has about 32.8 branches per 100,000 population – nearly three times the global average.
Meanwhile, digital banking is growing in leaps and bounds. One such example is the Portuguese’s very own ‘MB WAY’, a mobile payment system that allows users to make instant money transfers, online and in-store purchases, and even cash withdrawals without a card. Operated by SIBS, the entity behind Multibanco, MB WAY is accessible to anyone with a Portuguese bank account and offers a convenient way to manage your finances digitally.
The good news is: You’ve got options. Whether you’re looking for a traditional retail bank, an international bank with a local presence, or a digital banking solution, below you can read all about the most prominent banking institutions in Portugal to help you make an informed decision about how to manage your money.
Alejandro Gomez Costa – General Director of DS Intermediários de Crédito & DS Seguros Faro Riamar, Albufeira Lancemar e Quarteira
Your ambitions deserve the right financial expertise. We’re here to facilitate your journey by connecting you with a specialist who can streamline the process.
Opening a bank account in Portugal is generally straightforward. You will need a passport or valid identification, proof of address, and a Portuguese NIF number. In some cases, you will need a residency permit and proof of employment or evidence of income. While most traditional banks require you to open an account in person, digital and mobile banks often offer the option to open an account online.
It’s true what they say: Banking in Portugal tends to be slightly more expensive than in other countries, with most banks charging a monthly service fee. Additionally, charges apply for services such as overdrafts and credit cards, so read the fine print before signing up for anything.
Money transfers within the Eurozone are extremely easy and can be done via Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) transfer. However, if you wish to transfer to or from outside the EU/EEA, your transactions will be subject to fees applied by Portuguese banks. For this reason, and for larger transfers, you may want to consider alternative solutions, such as CurrencyFair or Wise, that might prove cheaper and more convenient.
We sincerely hope this blog post has helped you feel empowered in the face of financial decisions. If you have more questions, please contact us today for a consultation with our financial experts, who know everything about traditional bank branches to cryptocurrency. We’re here to help you navigate banking in Portugal with confidence and ease!
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