How to open a bank account in Romania

How to open a bank account in Romania

Romania is slowly but surely growing as a destination for expats from all over the world with pockets of expats all over the country specially in its capital, Bucharest. With over 40 banks to chosen from and thousands of branches and an ubiquitous ATM network it is easy to perform banking transactions in the country as a non-resident looking to study, work or retiree in the country with beautiful cities and friendly hard working people.

If you are thinking about moving there or if if you just landed, here is B2B Pay’s guide on how to open a bank account in Romania.

Documents to open a bank account in Romania

Here are the documents needed for Romanian bank accounts

  • If you work for a foreign company: passport and work permit
  • Other: passport or ID and a “Certificate of Fiscal Residential”

You may find that in Romania it will be difficult to find people that speak English, so it is best to have a Romanian friend with you. Also, be aware that banks can be understaffed. It is good advice to ask friends or call banks before visiting a branch too, so you know about business hours which may vary.

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

Yes, it is possible to open a bank account in Romania as a non-resident according to federal regulations. As long as you have all the basic necessary documentation and some patience you will be able to open an account that meets your needs.

Best banks in Romania

Banking has grown tremendously fast in Romania in recent years with the country featuring over 6500 branches and several thousand AMT machines. There are national banks such as Banca Transilvania as well as a large presence by all major large international banks such as ING.

Here are the top banks in Romania:

  • ING: Because of its excellent online banking system, we think this is the best option for individuals to open a bank account in Romania. It is affordable and with a smartphone you are able to perform virtually every transaction you need. You get a free debit card and access to a large network of partner ATMs. There are many free account options with ING and debit cards are also free. Not in English.
  • Banca Transilvania (BT): considered by many as the best account for small and medium sized business because of its financial products such as insurance and loans. For individuals, they have a series of current and savings account options with debit and credit cards. They have excellent consumer-grande product offers and affordable fees for transfers between banks in Romania. Their basic accounts come with a free contactless debit card and there is no maintenance fee every month. They have branches and ATMs everywhere.
  • Banca Comerciala Romana: this is Romania’s largest bank in every staple category with nearly 650 branches and a wide reaching 2400 strong ATM network. They are present virtually anywhere with over 10 thousand inhabitants and have a selection of current and savings accounts with debit cards included for non-residents. Their basic account is totally free with zero management fees for the debit card too.
  • BRD - Groupe Societe Generale: with 900 branches and many ATMs including partner networks, they have an excellent mobile banking tool in English and options for entrepreneurs, small businesses and those looking for purchase a home. You can open an account online with a call back service where someone will call you and start the process.

All banks in Romania will have excellent choices. We recommend that you choose a bank that will be convenient and affordable according to your needs. Opening an account could be a challenge as it will take a few years still before Romania catches up to its richer European neighbors and is able to offer better training to its banking staff. You will find information on each of these banks in English at least at a basic level and that is a good enough start.

When it comes to fees, ask for your bank agent for a list with all the fees. This will make sure you are not surprised with international fees when using ATMs outside Romania or outside of your bank’s network. These lists are often available online.

The virtual bank account alternative

Sending money outside of Europe from Romania is expensive

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If you need to transfer money anywhere outside of Europe from Romania, you are likely to use your bank. Your bank will tell you that it will only charge a nominal fee for the transaction called the SWIFT or wire transfer fee. This is not totally true because when exchanging money with other banks, your bank will need to cover its costs and profit by charging a high fee above the mid market rate (the rate used between 2 banks). For example, if you transfer 10 thousand euros to India, you in effect are only getting 9000 euros worth of euros deposited to your Indian bank account.

The more financially viable alternative is a virtual bank account with B2B Pay. You get a European IBAN that you can send or receive money with that you can use with a large list of currencies and countries. B2B Pay charges a flat fee of 1% for the transaction which means that in the example of the India transfer you would get 9900 euros in your india account instead of 9000. You save 80-85% in many markets and transfers are faster too: sometimes we transfer money the same day with most being performed in 24 hours.

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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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