How to open a bank account in Poland

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How to open a bank account in Poland

Poland is one of the up and coming economies of Europe and as such is attracting a massive number of professional expats to the country which also features beautiful livable cities, amicable locals and a rich cultural heritage that serves as a backdrop for those looking to study, live or retire in the country.

If you are considering Poland as a permanent destination, opening a bank account should be one of the top priorities for yourself. Opening a bank account in Poland is a fairly straight forward process as we explain below.

What documents do I need to open a bank account in Poland?

As a resident it is rather easy to open a bank account in Poland and for non-residents it can be a bit more tricky. Here are all the documents you will be required when opening a bank account:

  • Passport or a national identification card
  • Proof of address such as a rental contract or a residence card
  • For credit cards or overdraft options: employment history and salary slips

Banks in Poland usually will have someone that speaks English and sometimes have English speaking staff at their phone and customer service centres. If you have questions about documentation, contact your preferred bank and you should be able to find help.

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

It is best to investigate with individual branches what are their individual requirements. There is a need for proof of address to be provided when opening an account but there are reports of individuals that were able to open accounts with PO Boxes.  Additionally, a bank may offer international accounts for non-residents with limitations in place and for specific purposes.

Best banks in Poland

Poland features a healthy and strong banking infrastructure with many banks being parts of international conglomerates. All of them offer a full set of services and financial products for your every need from students to large corporations. Poland’s ATM network is vast and you are able to perform all basic transactions that are expect from modern banking such as bill payments, transfers and so on.

We advice that with verify with your local bank if it has a banking correspondent relationship with any of the Polish banks which means that if there is this alliance in place opening an account could be as easy as switching over to the polish bank.

Here are four of the major national banks in Poland:

MBank: this is an internet and phone bank which means it tries to focus on desktop and mobile banking for all of services and takes advantages of third party deal with ATM networks to serve its more than 5 million users. Account fees are low but the fees structure may not meet your needs as out of network ATM fees are rather high.

Bank Pekao: Bank Pekao has over 85 years of history in banking, a large network and offers a full set of banking and financial services which includes personal current and savings accounts, card and investment services. Banking can be done either by phone or the internet and they have English speaking agents in their service centres.

Bank Millennium: with a free current account, Bank Millennium is a good offer with a nice cashback deal included. Besides this account, it offers all the expected banking services you grew accustomed too such as credit and debit cards, savings and investment options and a partnerships with many ATM networks.

PKO: being one of the largest banks in Poland, PKO offers a full set of banking and financial products. PKO is one of the largest banking brands in Poland, offering a large range of retail banking solutions. PKO also has a full range of mortgage, investment and business loan products.Not in English.

Your bank account opening experience in Poland should be straightforward as long as you have all the necessary documentation. We recommend that you visit a few branches and always choose the bank that will be the most convenient for you in terms of ATM and branch coverage as well as a bank that makes sense for you financially. Also, pay attention with fees as these can be rather specially for ATM charges. Always ask your bank agent for a list of banking fees so you know exactly what you are getting into.

The virtual bank account alternative

International money transfers are expensive in Poland

When it comes to international money transfers in Poland, these can cost a lot for expats because banks do not stick to the mid market rate which is the rate that a bank users when trading currency with another bank. Banks tend to go a lot above this in order to make a profit and also tack on the SWIFT fee on top of it. The bottom line is that you end up spending 10% of the total transferred amount in currency conversion and fees when doing international money transfers to certain markets.

With a virtual bank account by B2B Pay, these costs are reduced but as much as 85% and you get your money twice as fast back to your home country’s bank account. This is possible because B2B Pay only charges a flat 1% fee above the mid market rate and you do not ever pay a SWIFT fee. You also get your own European IBAN which means you can also receive payments and send money anywhere in the world with the market’s best fees.

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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.

  • Barclays
  • Techstars
  • Nestholma
  • Nordea
  • Tekes
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