Armenia bank accounts are available to both local and foreign individuals and companies. However, opening a bank account in Armenia can be a challenge, as we’ll share below.
First, it’s important to acknowledge that while Armenia is an alternative to many European non-resident banking options, it is not part of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).
So, if SEPA transfers are important to you, please review our SEPA countries article for other options instead.
That said, if you do not require SEPA and you want to explore opening accounts in Armenia further, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss the steps to successfully open accounts and the challenges you will likely face.
Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.
Table of Contents
- Armenia Bank Accounts 101
- Considerations Before Opening in Armenia
- Challenges to Banking in Armenia
- Frequent Questions
- Ready to Open Accounts?
Armenia Bank Accounts 101
Armenia is sandwiched between Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkey, and the Republic of Georgia. Not exactly a friendly neighborhood from a banking and compliance perspective.
And while Georgia has gained some popularity for non-resident banking in recent years, we still view the region as a “last choice” or “back up” banking hub.
In other words, if you can open accounts elsewhere, you probably should. Of course, there are still people that want to bank in Armenia, here’s why…
Armenian banks have increased in popularity for a few reasons, including:
- Higher interest rates on fixed-term deposits (above 8%)
- Low deposit requirements for “private banking”
- Not participating in ‘Automatic Exchange of Information’
- Relatively easy account opening compared to elsewhere
- Remote account opening for foreign & offshore companies
- Alternative to Georgia and other “backup” jurisdictions
Of course, even if the above points make Armenia interesting to you, there are reasons why you may want to bank elsewhere instead, which we explore below.
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Considerations Before Opening in Armenia
Before diving into Armenia’s specific banking challenges, it’s important to talk about a few regional considerations, in particular war.
Armenia and its Eastern neighbor Azerbaijan have been fighting over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh since the late ‘80s. This includes direct military conflict as recently as 2022.
While this conflict is taking place far from Yerevan (Armenia’s capital), it’s worth considering, as it could have financial and political implications for the country at large.
Additionally, conflict zones are considered extremely high-risk by banks – so sending and receiving transfers from Armenia could become challenging if direct military conflict flares up again.
Challenges to Banking in Armenia
Conflict aside, there are a few banking-related challenges that non-residents might face when opening accounts here, including:
- Tedious account opening process
- Numerous banking fees (opening, maintaining, transfers)
- Translation requirements (depends on the bank)
- High deposit requirements (depends on the bank)
We dive into these challenges in greater detail in our article Armenia banks for non-residents, which you can access from our European banking content hub.
Here are a few of the most common questions that we receive about bank accounts in Armenia.
Which Client Types Should Consider Banking in Armenia?
Armenia often attracts foreign non-residents seeking easy account opening, enhanced privacy (non-AEOI), remote opening, and those seeking a “backup” jurisdiction.
So, the client types that should consider banking here typically include those individuals and business owners seeking these perceived benefits.
Can Foreigners Open Bank Accounts in Armenia?
Yes, foreigners can open bank accounts in Armenia. In most cases, foreign non-residents can open a bank account 100% remotely.
Is it Easy to Open a Bank Account in Armenia?
Opening a bank account in Armenia is easier than opening accounts in more developed banking hubs like Singapore, UAE, the UK, or the USA. However, it can still be challenging if you do not know which banks to approach or how to navigate the account opening process. For these reasons, we typically suggest that foreign non-residents focus on banks with English-speaking staff and banking services that are known to cater to foreign clientele.
Does Armenia Use IBAN?
Armenia is not currently a member of the IBAN standard and therefore does not participate in SEPA transfers. This may change in the future, so it’s best to check with your bank or financial institution to see if they can process transactions to Armenia without an IBAN via SWIFT.
Ready to Open an Account?
Whether you want to open a bank account in Armenia or you’re just starting to explore your options, we can help.
You can access GlobalBanks IQ, our international banking intelligence platform, in just a few clicks. Unlock our bank database, individual bank profiles, account opening strategies and reports, banker scripts, and more.
But, if you want a 100% personalized account opening service that taps into our team’s expertise and provides direct banker introductions, you can get started with GlobalBanks Insider.
Of course, if you have any questions before deciding which solution is best for you, don’t hesitate to contact us directly!