How to open a bank account in Brazil

How to open a bank account in Brazil

Brazil is breathtakingly beautiful and dynamic, famous for its incredible nature and balm weather, mixed with fast-growing economy and growth opportunities which attract students, expats, retirees, and adventure-lovers. As a nice bonus to all the forests and coastlines and bustling cities, comes free healthcare, provided by the federal government to everyone on Brazil’s territory. 
 
For those of you who want to try and settle in Brazil, and for those who’d like to start their business there, we’ve compiled a list of tips on how to open a bank account in this South American country. We will walk you through it step by step: what documents are needed, and how to go about opening an account with one of the banks operating in Brazil. And for business owners, we have an alternative solution - a cheaper and faster way of opening a bank account for your enterprise without the regular, bureaucratic hustle. 
 

Documents needed to open a bank account in Brazil

The basic requirement for any foreigner to open a bank account in Brazil is to have a residence visa. With that, you can prepare for your visit at the local branch of the bank, and bring with you the following documents:
  • Permanent or temporary resident visa (with a minimum duration of 12 months)
  • Identity document – Either passport or the foreigner's identity card (Cédula de Identidade para Estrangeiro – CIE). To speed up the process, you can apply for this document before your arrival in Brazil. For those who didn’t get yet the CIE, but want to open their accounts, it is enough to bring a proof that the procedure has been opened. More about it here. 
  • National tax ID number - CPF (Cadastro de Pessoas Físicas)
  • Proof of domicile (try to obtain an address, even a temporary one, as soon as possible)
  • Proof of income (when opening a salary payment account)
In some cases, proof of income might not be requested - especially in case of students applying for the account. It’s also a good idea to take a Portuguese speaker if you don’t speak the language, as many of the bank workers are not required to know English. 
 

Can I open a bank account in Brazil as a non-resident?

It’s rather difficult to open a bank account in Brazil without showing either the above-mentioned identity card, or at least a document called National Register of Migrants (RNM), which travelers are also required to obtain after arrival. You can get it by registering at the Federal Police. You can also schedule an appointment with the local police office before your arrival. 

If you need a bank account in Brazil for your company contact us for our solution.

What kinds of accounts can you open? 

You can choose an account that serves you best. It can be a current account, conta corrente, used for daily transactions and payments, or a conta de poupança, savings account, where you can store your money. Another form is conta salário, salary account, on which you receive your payments, with some saving advantages, and with the same features as a regular current account. 

Best Banks in Brazil

Banking in Brazil is a huge business with most of its largest banks having countrywide presence all over the country, even in small villages. The most popular are Banco do Brasil and Caixa Economica Federal, with branches and ATMs virtually everywhere. There are als “Banco 24 Horas” ATM machines, easily found in most places, with which most banks in Brazil cooperate. By choosing the right option, you will be able to withdraw the money from these machines with no fees. 

  • Banco do Brasil:  it’s the oldest bank in Brazil, with the majority of its shares owned by the federal government, as a result many consider it the safest in the country, and most resistant to economic crises. They offer good rates, they’re present in all parts of the country, and they have a variety of options for different uses and age groups.
  • Bradesco: this bank offers you an option to operate your account entirely online, so if you don’t like visits at the branches, it’s a good choice. They are a large bank with many ATM machines, a choice of different accounts and a fast, simple process to open your account. Only the opening of that account will require a visit at the bank. 
  • Itau: another of the country’s largest banks, with a wide network and excellent online banking app. Account offers include special accounts for retirees and children. Internet banking is standard, and you have access to their phone assistance.
  • Caixa Economica Federal: also known as Caixa, is one of the world’s largest banks with 80 million customers having their accounts with them. As the previous banks, you can expect to find Caixa’s branches and ATM everywhere in Brazil. A bonus: they have franchised lottery stands in all of their branches as well.

There are many other, small and big, banks present in Brazil, you can choose from. One important thing when you’re doing your research for the best bank is to check for the fees, as many of them can be exceedingly high. This applies especially to international bank transfers, subject to high fees, but also interest rates on your credit card can get as high as 20% monthly. If you plan to spend a lot of time outside of the main cities, it’s worthwhile exploring which bank offers you good rates on ATM withdrawals. 

The virtual bank account alternative

If you transfer money out of Brazil using a bank, you are spending too much

Sending money out of Brazil is expensive.To give you an example, if you choose to use your bank to transfer 10.000 dollars worth of rupees to India, the recipient will receive about 9000 dollars worth of rupees in India. Such fees for international transfers are commonplace in Brazil. 

That’s why we offer you an alternative. Using B2B Pay virtual bank account, as in case above, you get 9900 dollars worth of rupees in India - it is saving you 900 dollars. You also get a virtual bank account with your own IBAN which you can use to send and receive money in Europe for free and send money abroad anywhere for a 1% flat fee in 33 currencies.

 

How to open a bank account in Europe

We have a few guides to guide you through the process of opening a bank account in multiple European countries and explaining why a virtual bank account with B2B Pay may be a better alternative if you are transferring money outside of Europe and taking advantage of a better rate.



How to open a bank account overseas

We have a few guides to guide you through the process of opening a bank account in multiple countries all over the world and explaining why a virtual bank account with B2B Pay may be a better alternative if you are transferring money outside of Europe and taking advantage of a better rate.


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