If you are studying for only a short time in Sweden, it might be easiest for you to use your bank account and bank card from your home country, even if this means that your transactions will result in currency exchanges. You can withdraw cash in all ATMs and make your purchases with a bank card. For a fee, you can also pay any bills you receive during your stay in Sweden as a student. You can pay your bills at your choice of bank offices which have a cash service and other service locations. Via the Internet, you can continue to use your Internet bank which you are familiar with and is in your own language. Opening a bank account in a foreign country entails administration. All the documents must be in order and, in addition, this may seem a bit awkward since services, accounting and forms are primarily in Swedish.
If you will be studying for a longer period of time, it may of course be considered practical to open an account since you will have time to get fixed routines during your stay in Sweden as a student. However, you should consider the routines stated above which may also work for a little longer period of study.
As payment systems in Sweden have already been digitalized, having a bank account in Sweden can help you to get rid of using cash and pay easily everywhere such as in grocery shops, restaurants and transportation.
Swedish Bank ID is a personal and easy method of secure electronic identification and signing on the Internet. Individuals who have a Swedish personal identification number (personnummer) can obtain Swedish BankID through their bank.
Internet banking will make it possible for you to do all your banking operations online. You will be able to pay bills, make money transactions and check your account from anywhere anytime. This service is generally included in the whole bank account “package” however you mostly need to activate it. Your bank official will explain how to do that, but remember to ask about it. They can issue you with e-identification.
On the Bank ID website, there is a list of all the banks that issue Mobile Bank ID for mobile devices or Bank ID using a smart card and reader or computer file.
However, you can find some information about the most practical and well-known banks below.
ICA Bank Card is a MasterCard that works everywhere. If you pay with the card at ICA or Apotek Hjärtat, you collect regular points which can then be converted into a bonus. If you pay for your purchase with one of ICA’s cards at ICA and Apotek Hjärtat (physical pharmacies), you will receive 20 extra regular points.
This is included in the bank card:
ICA Bank Card is a Mastercard that works everywhere. It includes travel insurance with cancellation protection when you buy a trip with the card. You can withdraw or pay with the card at ICA or in Apotek Hjärtat’s physical stores to get regular points. You can make payments and transfers in the app or on icabanken.se. There you can also:
- Open and close the map for different regions.
- Block the card and order a new one.
- Send us messages.
- Start fund saving.
- Open new accounts.
- See insurances and loans that you have with us.
Best benefits of being an ICA student:
- Bank card free of charge (SEK 0) while you study
- Real discounts on food – see examples here
- Discounts on pharmacies, books, travel and more
- Check the money via the web, the app and the store
- Opportunity for a double bonus at ICA and Apotek Hjärtat
- Student-adapted home insurance – one of our insurances.
When you graduate or stop studying, you can continue to have your ICA Bank Card for free for one year. After this, they will start charging for your ICA Bank Card. You will then automatically start being charged the regular monthly fee which is SEK 25 / month.
When you apply for an ICA Bankcard, a Swedish identification is needed.
ICA Banken Kontaktkort
(For Swedish Institute scholarship holders)
SI scholarship holders have a Swedish bank card from ICA Banken to get their scholarships,
The monthly stipends of the SI scholarship are paid using a pre-paid ICA card (ICA Kontantkort).
When you arrive in Sweden you should get in touch with the SI scholarship contact person at your University to be able to collect your ICA Kontantkort. Kindly note that you must bring your ID card or passport and you must collect your card by yourself. The card will not be given to anyone else other than the cardholder, not even with a power of attorney.
The envelope you will receive from your university includes three separate envelopes which contain: ICA Kontantkort, PIN code, and password.
You can pay with the card at all points of sale worldwide where there is a Maestro symbol. It works in most supermarkets, clothing and shoe stores, specialist retailers, restaurants, pharmacies, health centres and for ticket purchases.
You can withdraw money at any ATM. A 3 SEK fee will be deducted if you inquire about your balance in an ATM. There are limits on how much money you can withdraw:
- 5,000 SEK per occasion at ICA Banken’s ATMs.
- 2,000 SEK per occasion at other ATMs.
- 15,000 SEK in total over a four-day period, regardless of where you have withdrawn the money.
You cannot use the card:
- For online purchases,
- To pay bills online
- To transfer money to another account
- Without your PIN code
- To collect bonus credits at ICA’s supermarkets
Note that it is only the Swedish Institute that can transfer money to your ICA card.
Nordea Bank Abp, commonly referred to as Nordea, is a European financial services group operating in northern Europe and based in Helsinki, Finland.
Nordea can offer you for example Account; Online banking with payment service; Bank card VISA Electron.
In order to open an account at Nordea, you need the following documents:
- Valid passport
- Letter of acceptance
- Details of address in Sweden (contract with the landlord)
- Certificate from the Swedish national registration database (applies to students who are entitled to a Swedish personal ID number)
To apply to become a customer online, you need a Mobile Bank ID. You identify yourself with Mobile Bank ID on the next page after you have clicked on the “Start here” button on the right. When your application is approved, you will receive the Everyday Package which contains a Personal Account, Nordea Debit card and access to its Internet, Telephone and Mobile Bank. Nordea Debit is optional, if you do not need the card, you have the option to opt-out.
Nordea offers the following services:
- Savings Account
- Transfer Account
- Internet Bank
- Mobile Bank
- Telephone bank with personalized service 24 hours a day
- Debit card
You will find more information about becoming a customer online on this page. To complete your application online, you need to have your Swedish ID card, driving license, passport or other ID cards available, otherwise, you may approach one of the offices with the documents mentioned above.
Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB, abbreviated SEB, is a Swedish financial group for corporate customers, institutions and private individuals with headquarters in Stockholm.
In order to become a customer of SEB, you must schedule a meeting in person with them. This is something you can do right away. You need to bring all the requested documents with you to the meeting. Please note that you must have a current status of a student. You must also have a Swedish residence permit.
You need the following documents:
- A valid passport with a photo, indicating your citizenship
- An acceptance letter or certificate of studies. The document that you present must contain information about how long you plan to stay in Sweden.
- A Swedish residence permit. If you have applied for and obtained permanent resident status in another EU country, you must nevertheless have applied for and obtained a Swedish residence permit.
If you do not have a Swedish Identity Number (personnummer), these are the services SEB can offer:
- Personal bank account
- Maestro card (SEK15/month)
- Savings account
- Online banking
- payment service for internet (this costs SEK120/year)
To open this account, you need to bring the following documents:
- Certificate from the school you are attending including the study duration
- Residence permit
- Valid ID, please bring your passport
If you have a Swedish Identity Number (personnummer), then these services are available:
- Personal bank account
- Maestro card or SEB card
- Internet banking with payment service
- Personal telephone banking services in English
- Savings account
For students with the Swedish ID, the services offered by SEB are free.
Here is the link to how to get started with Mobile Bank ID by opening an account in SEB. You may visit SEB’s website for more detailed information.
Svenska Handelsbanken AB is a Swedish bank providing universal banking services including traditional corporate transactions, investment banking and trading as well as consumer banking including life insurance.
You will need the below documents to open a bank account
- Swedish national ID, EU passport, or non-EU passport with a Swedish residence permit.
- Personal identification number (Personnummer)
- Proof of address (utility bill or rental contract)
- Proof of school enrollment.
Handelsbanken offers the following services:
- Personal bank account
- Maestro card
- Telephone banking self-service
- Savings account
- Mobile banking
- Internet banking
You may visit Handelbanken’s website for more detailed information.
Swish is a mobile payment system in Sweden and a money transfer system between bank accounts in different banks in Sweden.
This requires that the user has a bank account in a Swedish bank participating in the system, and also a national ID number.
Users who have a Swedish bank account but no suitable phone can register for reception only of payments.
In order to open Swish, you have to ask your bank to do it while opening your account or after that.
You may visit Swish’s website for more information.
Revolut is a financial technology company that offers customers a prepaid debit card for chip, contactless and online payments and ATM withdrawals at home and abroad.
It has a mobile app that can be used to project and track spending by category (groceries, utilities, travel, etc.), merchant and country. With Revolut, you’ll get access to a debit card that gives you free ATM withdrawals and a 0% fee when you exchange currency.
Opening a Revolut personal account is simple. You just download the app and put in your phone number. Then you will set a password and a 6 digit code will be sent to your phone to verify the account. It will ask you for your name, birth date, address, and email. Additionally, you need to prove all with any of your ID cards and your picture.
You may visit Revolut’s website for more information.