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.
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 some 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.
One possible way to avoid some bank charges would be to get a current account from online bank N26 . They have no fees on debit card spending here or anywhere in the Eurozone. They are online only – and don’t cater for cash or cheques. Many people use them as a second account in Ireland.
See more details of Current Account Charges in Ireland
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 €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.
See some information here about 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.