How to open a bank account in Cyprus

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How to open a bank account in Cyprus

Cyprus is one of the wonderful little island-countries located in the Mediterranean sea, famous for its great weather, food, beautiful ancient architecture, and dramatic, almost biblical nature and landscapes. For some, it is also known for low taxes, casinos, fancy hotels, and luxurious holidays. Because of its complicated history and affordable living costs, you can meet here large populations of British, Turkish, Greek, and Russian nationals, as well as citizens of others European and non-European countries. You will find them living in big cities and tiny settlements tucked somewhere between mountains and forests, in beautiful, sprawling villas with swimming pools and charming farms. Because of the island's international community, as well as a history of being occupied by the British Empire, English is a lingua franca in Cyprus, next to Turkish and Greek spoken by its biggest populations.

How to open bank account in cyprus as a non-resident

If you are looking to make this lovely island nation your home as well, whether you come as a student, worker, retiree or investor, we're here to offer you a simple guide explaining how to open a bank account in Cyprus. One important information: Cyprus is a country divided into two parts, and the North has been under Turkish influence for over 50 years now and is not recognized as a separate state by most of the world's countries. This guide does not apply to banks in the North of the island - but for many foreigners, it will be easy to open an account in the south and use it when they visit/move to the North.

Documents needed to open a bank account in Cyprus

In order to open an account in Cyprus, you don't need to have a residency - all you will be asked for is a set of documents, including:

  • Passport or a valid identity card
  • A reference from the bank in your home country
  • Proof of address
  • Anticipated turnovers
  • Information on why you need the account

Of course, for companies, the requirements are different and will include company incorporation documents and all documentation by its shareholders.

Documents you need to open a bank account in cyprus and best banks

Best banks in Cyprus

Most Cypriot banks have focused on business and private wealth management, but there are plenty of options for normal current accounts and everyday banking services such as loans, bills, insurance, phone customer service, online banking and ATMs. There are at least 3 large players in the country offering all of these options: Hellenic Bank, Bank of Cyprus and Alpha Bank.

  • Alpha Bank: With an English site and plenty of services and products, this Cypriot bank meets all your basic needs, including online banking, online applications for a variety of services, cards with cashback, ATMs, and branches around the country.
  • Eurobank is a bit more of a specialized bank, catering primarily to business and corporate clients, with a focus on company-oriented services and wealth management. Still, it is possible to open a personal bank account with Eurobank and take advantage of its digitalized services and online banking application.
  • Hellenic Bank has a great English language site and plenty of services and products. It is easy to find its branches in major cities and its ATMs all over the country. Hellenic Bank is a relatively new institution but it has grown to become one of the most important players in the country. It prides itself with a great selection for customers needing a simple current account as students, temporary workers, or long-term dwellers, with special offers that include debit cards and low fees.
  • Bank of Cyprus is the largest retail bank and financial group in the country. It offers a full spectrum of services including savings and current accounts, multi-currency accounts, loans, insurance and expert advice if you are an investor or a business owner. All accounts include debit cards, optional credit cards, SMS service and online banking. The advantage of this bank is that it has branches in various countries (Romania, Greece, Russia, China and Ukraine), which makes it possible for you to open an account in one of the offices before arriving in  Cyprus.

There are more banks worth considering such as SGBC, Astrobank, RCB, and National Bank of Greece.

The virtual bank account alternative

It is expensive to send money overseas from Cyprus (if you use a bank)

If you need to transfer money anywhere outside Europe, you will probably consider using a traditional bank transfer. Because banks use the mid-market rate to transfer and convert money between one another, in order to cover their expenses and to profit, your bank transfer will be subject to considerable charges. For example, if you transfer 10.000 euros from Cyprus to India, your recipient will get around 9000 euros worth of rupees, depending on the bank you use, the currency of the transaction and the charges this operation incurs, including exchange rates.

With a virtual bank account offered by B2B Pay, you get your own European IBAN account, which you can use to receive or send money from/to anywhere - it is especially convenient in Europe. Second, B2B Pay uses mid market rates as a basis and only charges a flat fee of 1% of the total transaction. For the above transfer example, your recipient would get 9900 euros worth of rupees within 24-48 hours, a much faster time than in case of regular bank transfers.

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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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