Cyprus is an excellent place to live and invest due to its favorable weather, low taxes, and its diverse culture. It has an international character due to it’s location at the crossroads of continents. Most of the people living in Cyprus are British, Turkish, Greek and Russians. (The Republic of) Cyprus is EEA, its currency Euro, so banking is easy. This article will guide you on how to open a bank account in Cyprus.
Opening a Bank Account in Cyprus
The process of opening a bank account in Cyprus is straightforward, whether you are a resident or a non-resident. Most of the bank staff speaks English. You will need to present the following documents to open an account.
Documents Needed to Open a Bank Account in Cyprus
- Proof of identity by use of a passport or ID
- Reference letter from your home bank
- Proof of residency by use of utility bills
- Expected turnover
- Why you need the bank account
In case you are opening a bank account for a company, you will also need to provide the incorporation documents and other documents by its shareholders.
Alternatively, if you open a bank account at an online bank, you’ll never need to visit a bank in person and need much less documents – with no loss of functionality, often a lot cheaper and a lot faster when you’re not a resident of Cyprus (yet).
Can I open a Bank Account as a Non Resident?
You can also open a bank account as a non-resident. However, to do so, you will need to have a good reason why you want to open one. For instance, it may be because you want to invest or employment. You will need to visit the bank premises and have a minimum balance. It takes two weeks to have the account approved. Or you can open a bank account at an online bank.
Can I Open a Bank Account In Cyprus Online From Abroad?
You can open a bank account in Cyprus online from abroad but only partly. It is possible to start the process long before you arrive. Most of the banks have online banking applications. You can start by filling in your details and then complete the remaining process when you arrive in the country. But eventually, you’ll need to visit a branch.
If you are situated in the UK, the Bank of Cyprus has a branch in London and you can open an account while at home. For most other banks, you’ll need to visit their bank in Cyprus. Or, as will be explained in the next section, you can open a bank account completely online at an online bank.
Cyprus Internet Banking
The Republic of Cyprus (to distinguish between the state and the part of this island annexed by Turkey) is EEA and Euro, so virtual bank accounts like Monese, Revolut and WISE are no problem here. Unfortunately, N26 has yet to reach this island.
The beauty of online banks is that you never need to visit a physical bank building. The following online banks are available and functional in Cyprus and can be opened from abroad.
Monese is a British Online Bank. Even after BREXIT, it’s available for anyone living in the EEA or the UK. Monese offers a multicurrency digital bank with IBAN and supports SEPA payments.
Revolut accepts customers that are resident of the European Economic Area (EEA, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. They are working on expansion across the world, “soon”.
Revolut is a crypto friendly bank that offers multi-currency accounts in 28 currencies, IBAN for personal accounts and business accounts, virtual cards, money transfer services and crypto trading.
You can open and use Wise online bank accounts in almost any country in the world with a few war-torn exeptions.
You can open an IBAN account as a foreign resident, free of cost. You only need an ID, an address to send card and documents and a phone. Only 2 withdrawals, totalling 200 Euro, are free each month (250 Euro from 03/01/2023). Above 200/250 Euro, it’ll cost 50 Eurocent per withdrawal plus 1.75%. But no monthly fee. And receiving money is free.
Best Banks in Cyprus
In addition to the online banks mentioned above, here’s a list of the best international, traditional banks in Cyprus. To open these, you’ll need to visit a branch sooner or later.
1. Bank of Cyprus
Bank of Cyprus is the largest bank in Cyprus. It has 121 branches in Cyprus, 4 in the UK and 1 in Romania; besides, it has representative offices in Greece, China, Ukraine and Russia. Some of the products it offers include:
- Online banking
- Mobile, app and SMS banking
- Visa credit available in three
- Visa prepaid
- Visa Direct available in classic, gold and platinum options
- Visa Credit available in classic, gold and platinum options
Besides, the bank has 18 to 25 student package and 18 to 25 new package. It is possible to make contactless payments through Tagpay. You don’t have to carry cash and cards around since it has a contactless visa card that is found inside a wearable device.
2. Hellenic Bank
Hellenic Bank is the second-largest bank in Cyprus with 68 branches. It offers the following services to its customers.
- It has several credit card options such as Visa Gold, MasterCard and MasterCard Platinum
- Pay band device that is worn on the wrist and works like a debit card
- Student pack for people between 18 to 26 years
- Current account opening that comes with a debit card with an overdraft limit
- Student pack
3. Eurobank Cyprus
Eurobank offers specialized services and provides all account types and cards. It has the following services.
- It has a contactless debit card that supports SMS alerts. You can also withdraw cash for free at some selected ATMs.
- Online banking services and e-statements that are accessible in English and Russian
- Pay bills to third parties through online banking
- Visa gold contactless credit card that comes with free travel insurance and purchase security
- Online banking pay bills to third parties
4. Astro Bank
Astro Bank changes its name from Piraeus Bank. It offers the following products and services to its customers.
- Savings and notice accounts. With a notice account, you can save money and earn some interest. The more money you save, the higher the interest rate.
- Platinum visa debit card that can be linked to a maximum of 4 current and savings account
- Youth accounts for people between 14 and 26 years. The account has free cash withdrawals and no annual fees
5. Alpha Bank
Alpha Bank has plenty of branches and ATMs in Cyprus. Most of its services are available in English. Among the services it offers its customers include online banking, various accounts such as savings and current accounts. You can start opening your account online before you can arrive in Cyprus.
Sending Money Abroad from Cyprus
Sending money around the world is expensive due to high operational costs and other fees, such as SWIFT fees. These fees can be extremely high when you sum them all together.
You can use Wise to send money around the world (which also offers a complete bank account, very convenient. With a Wise IBAN, cash transfer in Euros is free within SEPA. There are more virtual banks that offer this.