Opening a Bank Account in Ireland:
If you move to Ireland from overseas you will not get too far without an Irish bank account. Unless your employer pays you by cash- you will need a bank account within a month or two.
Bank of Ireland , Allied Irish Bank ,Ulster Bank KBC and PTSB are the major banks that operate current accounts with debit cards, online banking, electronic payments and branch facilities.
Some banks in smaller towns still close for lunch and don’t open until 10 am some days. Ulster Bank has brought in extended opening hours and Saturday opening in many branches.
Most banks will require proof of your address in Ireland – normally a utility bill. This could take up to 2 months to get – so be prepared for a delay. The bank will also require your PPS number, your passport and details of any previous bank accounts you have had.
It used to be possible to get free banking in Ireland – but all the banks now apply charges to current accounts. There are ways to avoid these charges -such as keeping the balance above a certain amount or lodging a minimum amount each month.
See more details of Current Account Charges in Ireland here
Even if the banks don’t charge you for day to day transactions – Banking is still not completely free in Ireland. Everyone has to pay 50 cent government tax on each cheque you write and a €30 euro a year stamp duty on credit cards and up to €5 euro a year on debit cards.
Debit Cards – in Ireland there were “Laser” Debit cards in use for several years . The Laser card was not accepted in many places outside Ireland or online and it was gradually phased out as the banks start using Visa Debit cards instead.
Halifax were the first to offer Visa Debit cards in Ireland – followed by Ulster Bank in 2009 and PTSB in 2010.
Bank of Ireland and AIB rolled out Visa Debit cards in 2013. See more here about Visa Debit cards
Credit Unions are popular in Ireland for savings – but most of them don’t offer normal current accounts with debit cards or online banking.
The Post Office (An Post) doesn’t yet have a current bank account facility – but they do work with other banks and allow AIB customers to make deposits and withdraw cash .
See some information here if you are worried about the collapse of the Euro and want to move your money into Sterling . Opening a Sterling account in Ireland
Internet banking is now widespread in Ireland – with AIB , Ulster Bank , Permanent TSB and Bank of Ireland all providing internet banking facilities. Even if you are going to use online banking – try and open an account with a bank that has a local branch. As good as internet banking is – there may be a need to make visits to the bank now and then to withdraw or deposit cash.