Cyprus is an excellent place to live and invest due to its favorable weather, low taxes, and its diverse culture. Most of the people living in Cyprus are British, Turkish, Greek and Russians. You can take advantage of the excellent living conditions in Cyprus, whether you are a student, worker, investor or a retiree. You can choose to live in one of its cities, such as Nicosia, the capital. This article will guide you on how to open a bank account in Cyprus.
Documents Needed to Open 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.
- Proof of identity by use of a passport or ID
- Reference letter from your home bank to show
- 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 need to provide the incorporation documents and other documents by its shareholders.
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.
Is It Possible to Open a Bank Account from Abroad?
It is possible to open a bank account 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. 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.
Do Banks in Cyprus have Online Banking?
Most banks in Cyprus have online banking. You can use online banking outside of the banking hours. You can also use it to check your balance, change personal details or make cash transfers. For complicated transactions, you will need to visit the bank.
Best Banks in Cyprus
There are several international banks in Cyprus. Here are some of the banks you can consider opening an account with.
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 TransferWise to send money around the world. Luckily, TransferWise has IBAN, which makes cash transfer in Euros cheap within SEPA. Alternatively, you can use a virtual bank account for cash transfers outside Europe.
Vincent is an experienced journalist from Kenya as well as a statistician. He has a degree in Applied Statistics with computing from the University of Eldoret.