How to open a bank account in Spain?

Do you know the important steps to open a bank account in Spain to send money to India or another country? This article will guide you about the important steps to open a bank account in Spain. This piece will not show you the steps to open an account; rather, it will throw light on the entire banking sector operating in Spain.

Spain attracts people from across the world for different purposes. People of India also find it hard to resist the appeal Spain has for foreigners. They go to Spain to find employment in different fields and then remit their money back to India as expatriates. These expatriates prefer online money transfer companies such as ACE for money transfer to India. This way, Indian expatriates make contributions to the Indian remittance economy.

Now let’s take a look at the process of opening a bank account in Spain.

Spanish banking: Spain has established a comprehensive banking system through the Bank of Spain, the central bank, and acts as a regulatory authority. Its banking system is well entrenched in the global financial systems. Spain hosts a huge number of private, state-owned, cooperative, and international banks that serve and cater to the needs of the residents and non-residents.

Currency:- The official currency of Spain is Euro. Other currencies such as USD or GBP are not accepted.

ATMs:- ATMs in Spain are plenty, and almost every type of card is accepted. But bear in mind that there are certain withdrawal limits in different ATMs which depend on the banks.

Need for an account:- The need to open a bank account in Spain largely depends on the longevity of your stay. If you visit Spain as a tourist, you will not be required to open a bank account. But if you go there as a student or for jobs, then opening a bank account is a must to send money to India online.

Kinds of bank accounts:- Broadly, there are two main kinds of bank accounts. These are resident and non-resident bank accounts. Both of these accounts have slightly different requirements for opening.

Resident bank accounts:- People who have resident status can open this kind of account. It offers a different set of services. In this kind of account, you will be offered better interest rates, more options, and other facilities that are unavailable in the non-resident kind of account.

Non-resident bank accounts:- Spain considers non-residents who have stayed in Spain for no more than 183 days or six months. Even the ones who have lived for less than a year are also considered non-residents. People without dependents and the ones whose businesses are based elsewhere are also considered non-residents. One of the advantages of opening a non-resident bank account in Spain is that you will not be required to pay any taxes.

Let’s now take a quick look at the account types in Spain.

Current or checking account:- This is the most common bank account type. People prefer it since it helps them with their day-to-day running expenses such as bills and purchases etc.

Savings account:- This is preferred by people intending to save money and earn interest rates. Bear in mind that the Spanish banks offer higher interest rates but the range of services gets restricted in a savings account in Spain.

Digital account:- It allows you to carry out an online money transfer to India or elsewhere through mobile apps on your smartphones since Spain is home to many mobile banks.

Here’s a list of documents you will need to open a resident bank account in Spain.

  • Valid passport;
  • National Identity Card (applicable for EU citizens);
  • Address proof like a three months old utility bill or a recent bank statement;
  • NIE number (Foreigners’ Identification Number); and
  • Proof of employment such as a contract letter or employment card or unemployment documents.

Following are the requirements to open a non-resident bank account in Spain.

  • Valid passport;
  • National Identity Card (applicable for EU citizens);
  • Address proof like a three months old utility bill or a recent bank statement;
  • Proof of employment such as a contract letter or employment card or unemployment documents showing you are retired or on government pension; and
  • Non-residency certificate (Certificado de No Residente) showing you are not a native. This document can be had from a police station showing a passport.

Let’s now take a look at the costs of banking in Spain.

Maintenance:- Typically banks in Spain charge around 8 Euros per month as maintenance fees. It can either be deducted on monthly basis or annually.

ATM fees:- Withdrawing from the ATM of the same bank you have your account in will cost nothing. Withdrawal from other banks’ ATMs, however, will cost up to 2 Euros per transaction.

Funds transfer:- Different banks will charge you differently for transferring money. These charges vary from bank to bank and depend on the volume of the amount.

Consider the following factors before choosing a bank for account opening.

Charges:- Draw a comparison to ensure you find a bank with minimal charges as a service fee.

Location:- Look for banks with branches accessible easily to avoid commuting hazards.

Customer service:- As an expatriate, you will come across issues concerning communication in the local language. Make sure you find a bank with English-speaking customer service.

Accessible ATMs:- Look for banks with multiple ATMs so that you do not have to use other ATMs and pay additionally for every transaction.

Conclusion:- This article is your comprehensive guide about opening a bank account. It has detailed out all the necessary steps and the important documents for both the resident bank accounts and non-resident bank accounts in different banks in Spain.