As with most things, banking in Sweden needs a personnummer. Before you read any further, you need to make sure that you have, or have started getting, your personnummer (we have a full guide on getting a personnummer here).
Sweden has a great banking system and it’s pretty easy to get started with most of the banks, even as an expat. This is just a basic intro to banking in Sweden, and don’t forget that if there is anything else you’d like to know, just let me know in the comments.
Benefits with banking in Sweden
Most of the major banks are leading the way in modern security and mobile banking. An app called BankID is a very big electronic identification method in Sweden, and lets you verify access and payments to your bank account. With this, mobile banking in Sweden has become huge, with almost all of the banking apps letting you buy in the go, pay invoices, transfer money and more.
There is also an app called Swish which is also a partnership between banks, that lets people transfer money between them for free. It’s very common for people to “swish” money to each other for all sorts of payments, so check that your bank offers Swish support.
Finally, there is a popular finance app called Tink (Swedish tech company) which syncs with your bank and reports on your spending, savings, budget, etc. I would definitely recommend testing the app which is free, and they add a layer of security with BankID.
Odd things about banking in Sweden
Most Swedish banks have a separate consumer and business departments. You need to make sure you are looking at the “Privat” or consumer sections of their website to get all of the relevant information. Also, Swedish banking websites seem to be very complicated and dry. For the best details, speak with other expats, research online and go into a branch near you. The advisors will be much more helpful.
Some banks charge for card services which is something that I still do not understand. You may need to pay a yearly fee of 300kr. in some cases to have a debit card with chip and pin, online banking, and other regular banking features. I’ve not paid for this (yet) but that’s something to think and ask about in branch.
When you go to open your bank account, make sure you take a passport and an employment contract. Some banks like Swedbank require you to have a Swedish ID Card as proof of ID to open an account and won’t accept a passport.
Which are some good banks for expats?
Nordea is a major bank in Sweden and really easy to get set up with as a new expat in Sweden. Just head to their office (full list here) with your personnummer, employment contract, and passport and ask to open a bank.
I also have a few expat friends that use the following:
Savings in Sweden
For a good standard savings account, you should check out SBAB, who offer a standard 0.65% for any deposit amount and access to your money at all times. For better rates, take a look at Compricer and enter how much you want to save and for what time length.
So there are my top tips on banking in Sweden and saving money here too. I hope that’s useful and I’d love to hear your tips and experiences in the comments below.
Imports and Exports
For businesses who are using banking services in Sweden, we’ve come across Trade Finance Global’s Guides for importers and exporters.