In this blog, we will provide you with some basic information regarding the paperwork needed to open a bank account in Ireland. The choice of the bank is absolutely up to you as it depends on your future needs (regarding interest fees, loans, etc or just being more convenient location-wise).
We will tell you about the main types of bank accounts and what to consider when you are choosing an account and describe how to open your Irish account.
There are two main types of bank accounts – current accounts and deposit accounts. The differences between accounts include the services available, the amount of interest paid, and the access you have to the account.
Current bank account
Current accounts are offered by banks, credit unions, and An Post. You can use a current account to manage your money day-to-day. A current account allows you:
● To receive automated payments such as salary, wages, or benefits
● Transfer money in a branch, by telephone, or through a mobile or online banking service
● Pay your bills by Direct Debit or standing order or pay for things with a debit card or a digital wallet
● Withdraw money from ATM machines
● Access an overdraft (short-term borrowing through your current account)
Basic bank account
If you do not have a bank current account, you can open a type of account called a basic bank account- a current account that is free of charge for everyday banking for at least the first year. You can open a basic bank account with one of the main Irish banks if you are a resident of the EU and you do not already have another payment or current account in Ireland.
After a year, the bank will review your account. Free services include:
● Taking out money at an ATM (cash machine)
● Using a debit card in person or for online shopping
● Transferring money to another bank account or to pay bills/make payments
● Putting money into the account
● Getting regular bank account statements
● Using phone banking and online banking
Available basic bank accounts:
Deposit bank account
A deposit account allows you to build up savings and you can earn interest on this money. Deposit accounts are offered by banks and credit unions.
Before you open a deposit account, you should know what rate of interest you can earn on your savings. If you earn interest on savings, then you may have to pay a tax on the interest called Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT).
For some accounts, you make deposits at regular times, usually monthly, and these are called regular savings accounts.
Before opening a bank account, you should think about how you use your account and what features you want:
● Review your banking habits
● Know how to make your transactions
● Decide how you want to deal with your bank
Check what fees are charged. There may be maintenance fees that are charged regularly to keep the account open. Maintenance fees may include certain types, or a certain number, of transactions each month.
There may also be fees for specific services or transactions, for example:
● ATM withdrawal fees
● Debit card purchase fees
● Direct debit set up or cancellation
● Credit transfers
● Standing order setup, amendment, or cancellation
● Charges for refused Direct Debits and standing orders
● Non-euro transaction fees
Before you open your account, the bank should give you a fee information document. This document shows the most important services offered on the account and any related fees that you might have to pay.
Your bank must also give you a statement of fees at least once a year. This statement explains the fees incurred on your bank account and gives information on the interest rates applied to your account.
To open a bank account you usually apply in a branch or online. Before you open a bank account, you have to provide proof of your identity and verify your address. If you are opening a joint account, you both need to fill in the application and show 2 sets of documents for proof of identity and proof of address.
If you apply online, you still need to provide your documents. Most banks need hard-copy forms of documentation to be submitted in-branch or by post after you have completed your online application.
ADVICE: you can open a Revolut account quickly over their phone app, it’s a great way to transfer money from and to an account, pay bills, online payments, etc. The best thing about it is that you can exchange money easily, which is quite convenient when you are abroad. You can order a physical card free of charge and you will receive it at your address fast.