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How to Open a Bank Account in Ireland

Bank Account in Ireland

Opening a bank account in Ireland or in Europe is a lot easier than you might imagine. In this article we will show you how to get a free European card and bank account

As one of the main destinations for exchange students in the world, Ireland shows up more and more as a choice for people who want to live abroad or have an experience, to study or to work, outside of their national territory. And, of course, for those who want to live outside their country of origin, banking transitions can be tough. That’s why opening an account in Ireland is ideal for those who want to make the country their temporary or even permanent home. 

Opening a bank account in Europe or in any other country abroad is important not only because it makes carrying out transactions in foreign currency easier, but also because you will save money by avoiding excessive fees and conversions. 

For short stays, it is still recommended to take part of the payment in euro – if you are going to Ireland – because it avoids paying any taxes on what you will spend during the trip. But if you are planning on a long stay or even on moving to a new country, opening up a bank account may be a better idea.

Free Bank Account in Ireland

Opening a bank account in Ireland. Credit: Dimitry Anikin / Unsplash

The N26 Bank, a bank developed in a fully digital environment, is a solution for foreigners who want to open a bank account in Ireland. Besides the account being operated on the app or on its website, it is 100% free and does not charge any fees to open accounts or for maintenance. 

Founded in 2013, N26 is a German startup that operates with a full banking license, authorized to operate by the European Central Bank, which allows financial transactions without restrictions. The bank currently works in over 24 countries, has over 1,000 employees and around 2.5 million customers worldwide. For banking operations such as withdrawal, debit and value transfer, the N26 is partnered with MasterCard and Transferwise.

While using the MasterCard credit card as a debit card, there are no fees charged for purchases made in Euros at physical machines. Once outside the Eurozone, the card can also be used on a regular basis without any extra fees charged for currency conversion depending on the current exchange rate. 

As well as easy purchasing and withdrawals, the account also allows transfers between accounts without any fees. To send money to accounts in different currencies, N26 works with Transferwise, reducing the cost and time of functionality. The digital account can also receive account transfers, European and foreign. For this, the bank provides IBAN and BIC (Swift) data for each customer. To use these features you must have a Transferwise account that also does not charge to open an account or maintenance fees. 

How To Open a Bank Account at N26

Bank Account in Ireland
Opening a bank account in Ireland. Credit: N26

Unlike traditional banks, N26 has a quick and easy account opening process. Developers promise the entire procedure can be done in 8 minutes. 

To open a N26 account you don’t need proof of income, but you need to meet the following requirements: 

  • Be over 18 years old;
  • Have an address in one of the countries where N26 operates;
  • Have a smartphone with internet access and compatible with the app;
  • Have an ID accepted by the financial institution;

People who come from outside the EEUU can use their passport or a permanent and valid residence permit issued in one;lp. of the countries where the financial institution operates to register in the N26. In case of a passport, from 2019, the bank also requests a residence visa for one of the countries where the N26 work, for at least 12 months. People who have European citizenship do not need to show proof of residence, just open the account with the European passport. 

Step by Step

Registering for N26 is a simple straightforward process, just follow the steps below:

  • Access N26’s website and click on “Open Bank Account”;
  • Choose your home country or the country where you want the card to be sent to if you do not live in Europe. In this step, you can select your home country as your residence. For now, your name will be on a waiting list until the N26 starts its operations in your country;
  • Fill in your personal data. Remember that the requested address will be the one where your card will be sent;
  • Choose the account type you would like: N26 (free) or N26 You or N26 Metal;
  • Validate your email and download the N26 App;
  • In the app, confirm your data by sending a photo of yourself and the data sheet of your chosen passport or document for verification;
  • Once approved, your card will be generated and issued. Choose regular delivery (free, within 10 days) or express delivery (€25, within 2 or 3 working days).

Once a N26 customer, the bank has a support team available via phone, email or chat, all working within the app or website. Currently, support is provided in English, German, Spanish, French or Italian.