[HowTo] 4: Bank Account
Updated: Jan 22, 2021
How to open a bank account (it. conto corrente) in Italy?
Based on our experiences, living in Italy without an Italian (or at least, EU) bank account might be difficult. Even though it is not obligatory, we strongly recommend having a bank account here. In this article we explained why we think this way and how to open one.
Whether you're a student, self-employed or an employee, in order to receive financial support from your parents, scholarship, payments from clients or your salary, you need a bank account. In fact, paying your rent or making business payments using a foreign bank account might be costly. Having a bank account here, you will be able to transfer funds to SEPA countries (Single-Euro-Payments-Area: EU, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, the UK, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City) momentarily, and with a very small fee around 50 cents, if not free. In addition, you will be able to request a debit card which will be a life-saver for daily transactions.
2) Codice Fiscale (we explained you here how to get one)
3) Permesso di Soggiorno* (we explained you here how to get one)
4) Residenza (en. Italian domicile) (for certain account types only)
4) Even though not obligatory, just in case, you can bring a document from your university or work.
*: Some banks accept applications without Permesso di Soggiorno as well, but we suggest you to have it ready prior to your application. This is in order to prevent loss of time and possible delays.
The best way to open an Italian bank account is to go to the bank in person with the required documents stated above. If you have a tight schedule, you better set an appointment by calling the bank. At the appointment, the bank representative shall check your identity and go through your personal ID information to comply with the Italian/European regulations regarding Anti Money Laundering (AML). The bank representative shall therefore ask for your personal information and passport, and ask you to sign a few documents which often are offered only in Italian. The bank account works immediately or within a few hours after the bank representative has completed entering all needed information into the bank system.
There are different account types with different focus points and with different yearly fees.
For citizens of Non-EU countries, the most common account type is "conto corrente per i non-residenti ", which means, bank account for non-residents. Through this account you can pay and receive foreign currency or import euros. There will be no commissions or interest on deposits made. However, this account type pays a higher interest than resident accounts.
Therefore, sometimes it can be opportune, though not always necessary, to appoint an Italian domicile (it. residenza - we explained here how to get one) to benefit from more complete banking services or better conditions, with lower fees.
Italian banks do not require the assistance of an Italian lawyer. As said above, basic requirements are codice fiscale, a valid ID, permesso di soggiorno (for certain account types) and in person visit at the bank.The formalities, terms and conditions and policies regarding this type of bank account may vary from bank to bank, and sometimes even between branches. Hence, we recommend you to contact the local branch prior to your visit, to make sure the local representatives are familiar with non-resident bank accounts and to check in advance if they have specific policies and additional requirements.
Bear in mind
The debit card we have mentioned above is not the same thing as a credit card. To have a credit card from an Italian bank, you must have an earnings statement and/or paycheck.
Due to political events and updates in the banking regulations, requirements may change depending on your country of citizenship. This article has been written based on personal experiences of the MISC team.
Let us know if you have any further questions.
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