Whether you’re an expat, an investor or a student, Italy has a bank account for you. Unlike many other countries, Italy has implemented regulations for the specific purpose of providing financial flexibility to suit all your needs, regardless of who you are or where you’re from.
But, we know that getting familiar with banking processes in a new country can be a little confusing – so we’ve put together this guide to answer as many questions as we can.
Can a Foreigner Open a Bank Account in Italy?
Yes. Non-Italian residents are entitled to open non-resident bank accounts, regardless of citizenship or visa status. It’s worth noting that these non-resident accounts typically entertain higher interest rates.
Can I Open an Italian Bank Account Online?
While it is possible to open an account online, it can be tricky. You’ll need to obtain an application form from the website of whichever branch you choose. It’s important to do your research first, as not all banks will allow you to open an account online from overseas.
To open a bank account in Italy, there are certain documents you will need. The easiest way to obtain them is while visiting Italy. Also, if you successfully open an account online, you’ll eventually need to show up to the bank before using it for security reasons. When you consider these facts, it’s much easier to open an account in person!
What Documents are Needed to Open a Bank Account in Italy?
Whether you’re a resident or a non-resident business owner looking to open an account in Italy, you’ll need to provide your bank of choice with the following documents:
– Code Fiscale (*Italian tax code)
– Certificato di Attribuzione del Codice Fiscale (the document you’re given when you attain your tax code)
– Work Contract/Proof of enrolment at an Italian educational institution (for residents/international students only)
– Proof of Address
*You can obtain your tax code at nearly any tax office in any major city in Italy.
What Are the Best Banks in Italy?
There’s certainly no shortage of banks in Italy. You can check out our list of the most popular ones below.
Don’t forget, it’s important to do your research when comparing banks to find out which institution offers the best services for your specific needs.
Unicredit Bank has a long-standing, solid reputation and is the number one Italian bank. It has branches all across the country, and is also Italy’s largest provider of ATMs. Naturally, it offers a wide variety of products and services to individuals and companies.
After Unicredit, this bank is arguably the next most popular Italian bank. It also has numerous branches and ATMs all across the country, and offers a wide range of financial services.
Originally founded in Germany, Italy is Deutsche Bank’s second biggest market. The branch offers a wide variety of products and services for both personal and business banking.
Intesa Sanpaolo is another one of Italy’s bigger banks. It has strong partnering networks and has product offerings that cater to kids, students, businesses and families.
This bank offers a variety of accounts for businesses, institutions, individuals and investors. Something unique about BNP is that they abide by high corporate social responsibility standards. BNP is dedicated to giving back to the community and has been promoting positive social change all around the world since its establishment as BNP Paribas in 2000.
CheBanca is another popular bank in Italy. It was founded in 2008 as a retail bank of Mediobanca Group. One of it’s main services is a business deposit account.
This is a post office that operates simultaneously as a bank throughout Italy. They are well known for offering a family account in which you can give children debit cards to learn how to be responsible with card payments and manage money efficiently.
Founded in 1999, BancoPosta is also a postal service that also offers banking services. BancoPosta offers a wide range of financial services including prepaid cards and exchange brokerage services.
Important Factors to Consider When Opening a Bank Account in Italy
Bounced Cheques & Overdraft
Something very important that you should be aware of before opening that bank account is that it’s illegal to bounce cheques in Italy. If your cheques do bounce, you can be banned from holding a bank account and prosecuted.
An overdraft account is an easy way to navigate this scenario Although you would end up paying more in the long run as banks in Italy typically charge hefty interest rates and other extra fees on overdrawn accounts.
If you’ve opened a bank account in Italy from overseas, you’ll probably have to send an international money transfer to it from your local bank account.
In case you weren’t already painfully aware – banks subject international payments to very high banking fees and a poor exchange rate.
And not all of these transaction fees are disclosed up front either. You can be charged an international fee, a fee as a percentage of your payment, and also be charged an unfairly high markup when converting your payment into another currency. It really sucks.
Thankfully, if you’re looking to open a bank account that makes doing business internationally easier, then we have a solution that’s custom-built for you!
How Remitr Can Save You From the Hassle of Overseas Banking
Here at Remitr, we specialise in international business payments. It’s the entire reason our service was built.
When you sign up with us, you get access to a free Remitr Global Business Account (GBA). Your Remitr GBA provides you with virtual bank accounts in Europe, the US and the UK. Opening a Remitr GBA is FREE, and there is no monthly service fee.
What does this mean? It means you can send and receive payments like a local business. So if you’re getting paid in euros by customers in Italy, you can receive the funds without delays or the hefty bank fees and poor exchange rate.
You can then convert funds into your local currency and withdraw to your local bank account whenever you need to – all while saving up to 2% in conversion costs.
You can also hold the funds in your Remitr account, allowing you to make payments to suppliers, affiliates, freelancers and more – wherever in the world they may be.
Wondering how Remitr can best serve your company’s unique needs? Send us a message or arrange a call with our Business Payments Specialist today!