Non Resident Bank Account Europe {Full guide to opening an account}

non resident bank account in Europe


it is very difficult to have a non resident bank account in Europe. Unfortunately, the documentation requirements are ever increasing and some banks even ask foreigners for credit and background checks. With B2B Pay you get a non-resident virtual bank account. You can accept payments from 35 EU countries and we route your money to your home country’s account the same day - in most markets - with 80% savings in fees.

Problem and Solution


For many, international banking is time-consuming, frustrating, expensive. Without a non resident bank account in Europe, international payments can take almost a week. And due to the required mountain load of documentation it is fair to say that having a non resident bank account is a hassle.

Without B2B Pay, you:
  • Cannot get a non resident bank account in Europe
  • Cannot collect or send domestic wire transfers (SEPA payments)
  • Pay SWIFT fee of €30
  • Pay currency conversion cost of 3-6%
  • Cannot access local payment gateways
  • Suffer the frustration of bureaucratic banking processes
  • Cannot collect payments from marketplaces like Amazon
  • Take 2-5 days per transfer

Non resident bank accounts can be used to receive and make payments instantly. With a non resident bank account, you can centralise incoming and outgoing cash, which makes reconciliation easier. Your manual processes are reduced and the cost of operating the bank account itself is reduced because funds are routed directly to the master account rather than held in a VBA.

With B2B Pay, you:
  • Receive SEPA payments from 35 EU countries for free in 2-12 hours
  • Make SEPA payments to 35 EU countries
  • Save €30 SWIFT charges and +80% on FX
  • Take advantage of FX conversion automation
  • Use its IBAN to integrate with marketplaces and payment gateways
  • Access premium brokers to make global payments in 138 currencies
  • Get Instant notifications of incoming payments
  • Take advantage of online onboarding


Non resident bank account
Quicker processes
Financial viability


A global exporter from Brazil doesn’t yet have the volume to set up subsidiaries nor a non resident bank account in Europe, so it is forced to rely on wire transfers. These come with a 3% to 6% transaction fee and - almost certainly - delays. Neither the sender nor the receiver is kept up to date on the progress of the transaction. Non resident bank accounts are free to set up and have only a 1% transaction fee. Money arrives quickly, and both parties are notified at every stage of the process.

B2B Transfers are smarter with B2B Pay

B2B Pay offers its clients various types of bank accounts: personal and corporate, governmental, for students, as well as accounts for NGOs and small and medium businesses. Each of these accounts has a European IBAN number, allowing our clients to access safer, faster and cheaper bank transfers within SEPA and SWIFT systems. 

You do not need to be a resident in Europe to have a European account. Our solution allows our clients to receive payments within Europe, while each payment to their non-European, non-resident bank accounts will be sent for a fee 1% higher than the mid-market rate.

B2B Pay is based on a combination of a non-resident bank account in Europe with the best rates for international money transfers to your domestic bank account outside of Europe. If you have customers or partners in any of the 36 countries of the SEPA zone, they will now be able to make a basic local payment without the hassle of having to know reference numbers or providing additional information to their banks, straight to your own non-resident bank account.

European bank account for non residents

If you live in Europe, opening a European bank account is easy. All you need is a proof of your residence, with a current address (for example a few phone bills that include it) and an ID card. But opening a bank account in Europe without residency is either very expensive or impossible. If you want to open a personal bank account your options are quite limited. Opening a corporate bank account is even harder and will cost a fortune in various fees related to setting things up. The service we offer is perfect for those that don't need the full stack of banking services in Europe, but rather want to send and receive money between their customers, partners or clients.

Opening a personal bank account in Europe

There are some banks that will let you open an account if you're not a resident, but most will outright refuse you as a customer.

Opening a business bank account in Europe

It is possible to open up a European business account without a registered business in Europe if you have high enough transaction volume, starting from 10 Million euros per year. Nevertheless, banks will still require from you to set up a subsidiary in their country, which is an expensive and time consuming endeavour, involving lawyers, accountants, auditors, and bookkeeping.

Opening a non resident bank account

It is now possible to open a non-resident bank account without a registered business or address in Europe. Non-resident bank accounts have considerable advantages, both for private customers and companies, governments, NGOs. Such an account means a free IBAN that enables you to receive payments from all SEPA countries and instantly send it back to your account outside of the SEPA zone for a fraction of the costs.

Why is it so hard to get the service you want from traditional banks as a non-resident?

Many people without a residency in the European Union need a bank account in Europe for a very specific reason. However, banks usually try to sell complex packages to new clients that include unnecessary checking accounts, credit cards, global payment services, insurance, credit, etc.

Because of this business model and the subsequent requirements for risk management and compliance, applying for an account easily becomes a bureaucratic nightmare that takes a lot of effort and time. This is why a non resident bank account with B2B Pay is a convenient alternative.

What is it like to have a non resident bank account in Europe?

With a non-resident bank account, you get the service you need without the costs and complexity of a fully-fledged bank account. For example, if you want to collect payments in Europe, you probably have little interest in sophisticated internet banking, bank statements, audit reports and a dozens of other additional options.

What is a virtual bank?

A virtual bank is a bank without the hassle associated with traditional bank accounts. Generally speaking, a person can open such an account in just a few minutes, simply by using the phone call or by filling out an online form. There is no need to visit a local branch, where you then sign a mountain of documents. With a virtual bank, your funds are safe because the account is regulated the exact same way a “traditional” bank is: by the EU laws and national authorities. 

What’s even more important, a virtual bank works with multiple banking networks simultaneously, which means it is like having multiple banks in one. And a virtual, non-resident bank account with a free virtual IBAN is one of the hottest products in the banking world right now.

A business without a virtual IBAN account is missing out

Looking at the market from this perspective, B2B Pay recognises the need for a simpler entry to do business inside of the Eurozone, and Europe at large. If you're a global exporter that doesn't yet have the volume to set up subsidiaries in Europe, needed to meet the requirements to open a traditional banking account, you must rely on wire transfers from your importer. That often means delays and a steep fee of 3% to 6% per transaction. With B2B Pay's virtual IBAN account you can receive payments as if you were running your business in Europe.

With B2B Pay, you can open a non-resident bank account that provides exactly what you need from a bank account. There will be no complex applications or compliance processes, and no additional costs for services you don't need. It’s just great for the business.

The B2B Pay non resident bank account with IBAN in Europe

B2B Pay is offering a simple solution: after a basic compliance check you will get your own European IBAN number. You can then benefit from free bank transfers from B2B importers in all 36 SEPA countries. B2B Pay instantly transfers money to your domestic bank for a much better fee: up to 80% cheaper that when using traditional bank transfers and other services. There are also no maintenance fees.

After setting up your account you will receive your free IBAN account number. You can use it right away in your invoices and contracts with customers in the SEPA zone, which include all major European countries. You will get a notification when money has been transferred into your account.


Between which countries do our B2B transfers work?

Non-resident bank account for the US-based customers

For American companies that regularly export goods or services to Europe, a B2B Pay IBAN number provides an easy and fast alternative. This offer includes non-profit organisations working with partners in Europe, for example.

Non resident bank accounts for clients and individuals from India

Indian exporters  but also workers, students and non-governmental organisations, can expect to save even more money and paperwork with a non resident bank account in Europe.

Non resident bank account UK

UK citizens that need a non-resident bank account in Europe can get one with B2B Pay. Expect to save 80% on fees and no more paperwork.

Other countries

We are also working with customers in other countries, including Canada, Brazil, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, China, Chile and South Africa.

Full European bank account for non-resident companies

We get a lot of queries from companies who want a full-fledged online bank account in Europe, yet can’t get one as their company is not located in the European Union or in the EEA area. We have done a lot of research on this topic both while building the B2B Pay Virtual Bank Account and also while trying to help out customers. One way to get it is to register your company in Europe and then apply for it in your local branch. If you want to learn more about it, we have prepared this article with useful tips and resources for you. Another one, is to try out a solution like ours.

Getting a full online bank account in Europe

If you are not a European company its complicated and expensive to get an account in Europe. 

These are the "rules of thumb" for getting a non-resident bank account in Europe:

  • You make a large deposit of fund (around €100,000) into your new account, or
  • you have monthly transactions of €50,000 plus coming into this account and willing to pay fees per transaction, or
  • you are willing to pay between €300-€700 monthly costs in maintenance fees, or
  • you are very profitable, you need a European account and you don`t care about fees.

But just because you qualify for one doesn’t mean you should get one. Nowadays, there are plenty of options that will suffice with basic banking needs of a regular company. For example, if you need an account to pay wages in Europe, there are alternatives which are significantly cheaper, such as our account, or, for example, transferwise. If all you need is to collect payment, you can opt for a virtual account provided by B2BPay.

Why are accounts so expensive or require a large deposit?

For large banks in Europe the compliance costs of maintaining overseas customers is very high and they consider it to be a higher risk instance. Therefore, in order for them to cover the costs and time associated with opening an account for you, they ask you to deposit large sums of money as a security. It makes more sense for them to ensure large cashflows, and an opportunity to make revenue on transaction costs. If you happen to do anything considered to be high risk, no matter how much money you have, you will not even be able to open an account.

Having said this, there are plenty of reasons to open a bank account in Europe. They’re convenient if you manage incoming and outbound payments, they help reduce risks by maintaining cash flow in Europe, and they help you respond to customer needs in a more flexible and inexpensive way.

I have tried to categorise who you should consider approaching based on the type of providers:

Your options

Large Tier 1 West European Banks

Think Barclays, Rabobank, HSBC, Nordea, Santander, BNP Paribas, ABN AMRO etc.

These multinational, global financial institutions have relatively strict requirements for their new customers. They prefer low risk clients with long track records, such as manufacturers, IT companies, businesses dealing with import/export. You will also have to prove that you have enough capital to deposit large amounts of cash, starting from €100,000, and that these will be generating plenty of income from incurring fees. They welcome business with significant international payments and currency hedges. If you fall into this category, you have a good chance of getting an account with one of these big players. 

What are the benefits of starting an account with a traditional, big bank? You can be sure that the transaction fees will be lower on high volumes of transactions, but also count on their good reputation, global expertise, security and professionalism.

Second tier Banks (mostly located in the east part of EU)

Banks from the new member states of the EU, mostly Eastern, Southern and Central Europe, have been innovating the banking and financial system in the past decades. 

They have played an important role in providing free access to banking services to non-European customers, who would otherwise not be able to get an account with the big, established financial instutitions of the West. These newer banks are great at offering the latest technology (maybe most edge-cutting is the fintech in Estonia), but they lack the international reputation and reach of their Western counterparts. World finances are still run from Frankfurt , London, New York and Amsterdam.

General requirements in these second-tier institutions are easier to fulfill then they would be in Germany, but you still must be willing to pay high montly fees or have high turnover (of €50,000+ ). The fees can be as high as 1% for incoming transactions, but can also be negotiated based on volumes. You can expect eagerness to risk and try out new ideas, so these banks generally accept customers from most countries around the world, and from most industries. Count on a possibly longer due diligence.

E-wallet providers

E-wallets providers cost less in account maintenance fees and require less volume per month (10,000+), but they generally charge higher fees per transaction to make up for this. If your volumes go up, remember - everything is negotiable.

Card Payment processors

If you are a small business, or maybe just starting out in Europe, then this might be your best option. The fees per transaction are high in this case, but the setup costs and account maintenance fees are low. Generally these guys build their technology over the mastercard or Visa payment platforms.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding this article please drop us a message at [email protected].

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