Opening a bank account
Setting up an account in Finland can take a while. This is because you need to have a Finnish ID code that you only get after your DVV registration. Getting the code may last up to 8 weeks and this is why you should be prepared to take care of the DVV registration as soon as possible on the campus days.
When you want to open a bank account, always make an appointment with the bank and ask about the documentation you need to have with you when you visit the bank. Banks may be able to get your account number immediately, but getting a bank card will take longer and access to internet banking may take up to even four months. Online banking identification/codes often act as your electronc ID when accessing services for example health or social services or tax services. Many other services utilise the codes as well.
To open a bank account:
- Complete your DVV registration and get Finnish personal identity code. The DVV process can take some time, so it is recommended to get it started right after you arrive according to the process the University has agreed with DVV.
- Book an appointment in person at the bank to open a bank account. Remember always to ask about the documentation you need to have with you when you visit the bank.
- Get ready with all the documents (your passport, your residence permit card, a possible scholarship certificate, your Tampere University's Certificate of Student Status, your Tax Identification Number (TIN) from your home country etc.) and visit your appointment at the agreed time.
There are several banks to choose from in Finland and it is your choice which bank to use. The services are very similar and all banks are safe and good to use. This is because the banks are heavily regulated by legislation. You can choose the bank that fits your needs best (e.g. location). Almost all banks charge for their banking services; the fees vary from bank to bank.
Some of the most widely known banks are e.g. Nordea, Osuuspankki (OP), Danske Bank, Handelsbanken, Säästöpankki (SP) and S-Pankki. For example Nordea and OP have good basic instructions in English on becoming a new customer.
Nordea: How to open banking services when you are new to Finland
OP Tampere: Welcome to OP Tampere!
Generally speaking, we recommend you to use Internet banking services as most services have 5-8 euro fee when visiting a bank teller for a transaction. Personal cheques are basically not used in Finland at all, so they are no longer accepted in shops, restaurants, hobbies, etc. If you have cheques that you want to use, you need to cash these first at a bank and the process may take some time and money. The most common methods of payment for shops & services are bank or credit cards or e.g. different forms of mobile payment. However, it is a good idea to have some cash with you when you arrive to be able to take care of e.g. small miscellaneous starting items when setting up your new home.