If you’re looking to open a bank account with banks in Portugal, you’re not alone. In fact, Portugal is a popular banking hub for foreign non-residents from around the world. And, in recent years Portugal has become the most popular destination for digital nomads.
So, it’s no surprise that non-resident individuals are looking to open a non-resident bank account in Portugal. Of course, unless you have the right information and know exactly which bank will accept you, the account opening process can be very time-consuming and costly.
- Non-resident individuals and foreign business owners can open bank accounts in Portugal
- Banking with Portuguese banks can be challenging if you don’t know which banks to approach
- Banks in Portugal are SEPA compliant
- Non-resident individuals that struggle to open bank accounts in the EU may choose to bank in Portugal
- It is possible to open a bank account online in Portugal
Banks in Portugal 101
Opening bank accounts with banks in Portugal as a non-resident is possible. However, to unlock the benefits of banking in Portugal, you need to meet bank-specific regulations and know which banks accept your client profile. Additionally, you must confirm fee schedules and account closure procedures before applying.
In this article, we’re going to share important tips on how you can open a bank account in Portugal as a foreign non-resident. We’ll also discuss why foreigners and digital nomads are attracted to Portuguese banking. And lastly, we’ll highlight some of the benefits you can access when you open bank accounts in Portugal.
But, before diving in, if this is your first time visiting GlobalBanks, don’t forget to download your free Non-Resident Banking Starter Guide. It’s designed to help non-resident individuals open bank accounts in top banking hubs around the world, including Portugal.
Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.
Table of Contents
- Why Open a Bank Account in Portugal?
- Benefits of Banking With a Portuguese Bank
- Challenges of Opening Accounts With Portuguese Banks
- How to Open an Account With a Portuguese Bank
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Ready to Open Accounts in Portugal?
Why Open a Bank Account in Portugal?
Whether you’re a foreign non-resident, digital nomad, or foreign business owner, it is possible to bank in Portugal.
In fact, Portugal is one of the most accessible EU banking options available — if you know which banks and bankers to approach.
And, for the right clients, there are many reasons why Portuguese banking makes sense.
To help illustrate this point, here are a few of the reasons why foreigners and digital nomads consider bank accounts in Portugal…
Reasons for Opening Bank Accounts in Portugal
- Relatively low fees compared to other EU jurisdictions
- Access to the euro and multi-currency bank accounts
- Accessible option if you’re struggling to open elsewhere in the EU
- Required if you’re acquiring Portuguese citizenship
- It is possible to open a bank account online 100% remotely
- Deposit guarantee up to €100,000
- Excellent customer service
While certain non-resident individuals may be drawn to Portugal for the above benefits, the real attraction is Portugal itself. It’s an affordable destination that offers an excellent quality of life and has accessible visa options. Plus, it’s easier for non-residents to unlock the benefits of EU banking through Portuguese banks than elsewhere in the EU.
Additionally, if you’re struggling to open bank accounts elsewhere or you don’t want the expense of traveling to Portugal, you may have the option to open a bank account remotely.
However, this will depend on the bank you choose to open with, your specific banking needs, and the types of services you are after. But, with some preparation, it is possible to open a bank account in Portugal 100% remotely.
In fact, if you are looking to open a bank account remotely, you should review our free article Open a Non-Resident Bank Account in Portugal for more information.
Benefits of Banking With a Portuguese Bank
There are benefits to Portuguese banking that non-resident individuals can unlock.
But, it’s important to remember that banking here isn’t for everyone.
In fact, whether or not you can unlock these benefits will depend not only on the bank you decide to open a bank account with but also on your client profile, the services you’re after, and your banking needs.
So, it’s important to understand why you want to open a bank account in Portugal in the first place. But also, what you’re looking to benefit from having a Portugal bank account. This will help you determine the best Portuguese banks that align with your profile.
With that said, let’s take a look at some additional benefits non-resident individuals can unlock when they open a bank account in Portugal.
Additional Benefits to Banking in Portugal:
- SEPA compliant banks (Single Euro Payments Area)
- European business banking for foreign companies
Let’s dive into these a little further…
Portugal Banks Are SEPA Compliant
Foreign non-resident individuals and businesses seeking EU banking are able to access more efficient transactions across the Eurozone through SEPA-compliant banks.
And, if you’re a non-resident looking to access simple and convenient transfers, but are struggling to open elsewhere in the EU, you might want to consider applying for a bank account in Portugal (which are SEPA compliant).
In fact, if you’re interested in learning more about SEPA-compliant banks and what they have to offer to non-resident individuals and foreign business owners, you can review our free article “SEPA Compliant Banks [Free Guide]” for more information.
European Business Banking in Portugal for Foreign Companies
For some foreign business owners, having a bank account in Portugal may be beneficial. However, it doesn’t come easy. But, with the right information and knowing which banks in Portugal to contact, it is possible for foreign business owners to open bank accounts in Portugal.
In fact, if you’re struggling to open a bank account elsewhere and are looking to access EU banking, then applying for a business bank account in Portugal for your foreign company may be the solution. However, there are banks elsewhere in the EU that are easier to access and accept a wider range of businesses.
Challenges of Opening Accounts With Portuguese Banks
As we’ve detailed in past articles, Portuguese banks have a strict bank account onboarding process. In fact, some requirements are mandated by local regulators, which means there’s no way to open a bank account unless you meet all of these regulations.
Such regulations include obtaining a Número de Identificação Fiscal (NIF), which is the fiscal ID number required to open bank accounts in Portugal. Of course, in almost all instances you’re required to show up in person to obtain this number. However, through GlobalBanks IQ, you learn how to open an account and obtain a NIF without ever stepping foot in Portugal.
That said, while it is possible to open bank accounts with certain Portuguese banks 100% remotely, not all banks offer this service. And, unfortunately, those banks that do allow non-resident individuals to open bank accounts remotely often require significantly higher initial deposits, though not always.
Some banks here do allow non-resident individuals to apply for bank accounts 100% remotely with nominal deposits between €300 and €500. We share these specific banks with our members in the GlobalBanks Database.
How to Open an Account With a Portuguese Bank
If you decide to go the traditional route and open a bank account with a bank in Portugal by physically applying at a branch, you still need to prepare. Most importantly, you need to meet all of the Portuguese banking regulations and obtain a NIF before applying.
Additionally, it’s important to know which bank will accept your client profile before applying. Unfortunately, most banks in Portugal won’t confirm this for you ahead of time. Instead, many people end up wasting time and money running around to multiple banks, only to be denied.
Naturally, all Portugal banks have different banking regulations. And, if you don’t have the required documentation when you walk into the bank, the chances of obtaining a bank account are slim. So, to ensure you’re well prepared, we’ve outlined the most common required documents for you below.
Required Documents for Opening Accounts in Portugal:
- Bank-specific application forms
- Two forms of government identification
- Proof of address in your home country
- Proof of income & source of wealth
- Portuguese NIF number
- Minimum deposit (varies from bank to bank)
- Some banks also require a Portuguese address & phone number
Like banking anywhere, documents can vary from bank to bank in Portugal. But, the documents listed above are the general documents required by all Portuguese banks.
However, don’t be surprised if a bank requests additional paperwork than what is mentioned above. Especially if you’re looking to open bank accounts in Portugal remotely.
Now, if you’re looking to open a bank account today, you can obviously use the information in this article to guide your search on how to approach Portuguese banking as a non-resident. Or, you can get started right now with the help of GlobalBanks IQ.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are two of the most common questions that we receive from people looking to bank in Portugal. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.
Which Is the Best Bank in Portugal?
The best bank in Portugal for you will depend on the type of banking services and products you are after. This is why it’s important to determine if the bank offers you the services you need and whether or not they accept your client profile, before applying. This way you ensure you’re choosing the best bank for your banking needs.
Which International Banks Are in Portugal?
If you are looking to open a bank account with an international bank in Portugal, you’re in luck. Portugal is home to a number of international banks including some of the largest banks from China, the US, and many other countries.
Ready to Open Accounts in Portugal?
If you’re ready to open bank accounts with international banks in Portugal, aren’t sure how to start, or you’re just starting to explore your options, we can help.
You can start now by accessing GlobalBanks IQ, our dedicated international banking intelligence platform.
GlobalBanks IQ gives you everything you need to figure out where you should (and shouldn’t) open bank accounts.
When you join GlobalBanks IQ, you immediately unlock the GlobalBanks Database of international banks – home to 250+ banks in 50+ countries.
And, you get access to our library of premium (members-only) reports. These include proven bank account opening strategies, country-specific banking options, and lists of banks for specific client types.
Plus, you unlock our bank account opening checklists, dedicated bank account opening alerts, and much more.
To get started, click here to see if GlobalBanks IQ is the right choice for you to start accessing the benefits and services of international banking today.