How to open a bank account in Portugal

Opening a bank account in Portugal is one of the most important steps in your investment on Portuguese soil. 

From buying a property to setting up a business or paying salaries, you're bound to need a bank account in Portugal for these and other aspects of your day-to-day life. 

The banking system in Portugal

The banking system in Portugal is one of the most sophisticated and efficient in the world. 

What's more, the Portuguese banking system includes a number of other options in addition to public banks, such as private, cooperative, and investment banks. 

You can open a bank account with any of these options, and all the banks operating in Portugal are part of the Multibanco interbank network, which is also one of the most advanced in the world. 

Portuguese banks are regulated by the Bank of Portugal - Portugal's central bank - and by the European Central Bank.

What is the ATM Network?

The Multibanco network is the largest interbank network in Portugal, and it connects the ATMs (referred to in Portugal as “multibancos”) of most Portuguese banks. 

ATMs can be used to:

  • Withdraw money;
  • Check balances;
  • Make domestic and international transfers;
  • Pay for purchases, services, and utilities such as water, electricity, or telecommunications;
  • Pay taxes and tolls.

The Multibanco network in Portugal also offers a service called MB Way, which lets you use an app on your mobile phone to make payments, transfers, and withdrawals without having to use a bank card.

Types of bank accounts in Portugal

Portuguese banks offer various types of bank accounts. These are the most common ones:

Minimum service bank account

This is a current account for essential services, such as deposits, payments for goods and services, withdrawals, interbank transfers, and home banking. This is the most economical option as, usually, this type of bank account either has no maintenance costs or they are very low.

Current (checking) account in Portugal

This is the most common type of bank account in Portugal and is usually associated with a debit card and a credit card. It can be a single, joint, or mixed account. It may also be associated with a salary and may have a credit line defined through the total or partial amount of the salary.

Savings Accounts & Fixed-term Accounts in Portugal

A savings account is a type of bank account in which the customer makes a deposit into the bank account, on a one-off or regular basis, and the bank pays interest on it. 
Fixed-term accounts involve making an initial deposit into the bank account to remain there for a certain period. At the end of the agreed term, you receive your initial deposit back with accrued interest. In both cases, you will be penalized in the interest receivable if you decide to withdraw the money before the agreed end date.

How do you open a bank account in Portugal?

Bank accounts in Portugal must be opened in person. Face-to-face service hours at banks are usually from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on weekdays. 

Accounts for non-residents in Portugal always require a face-to-face signature, or, if they are made outside Portugal, the signature will have to be notarised.

Under EU regulations and legislation countering money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), Portuguese banks are obliged to carry out due diligence on their customers before opening any bank account in Portugal. 

This due diligence is done through the application of KYC and KYB guidelines, among others, and is the bank's first line of defense against illicit and/or fraudulent activities.

What documents are required to open a bank account in Portugal?

Generally, to open a bank account in Portugal you will be asked for:

  • A personal identity document (Certified copy of Citizen Card or Passport);
  • A Portuguese taxpayer number (NIF);
  • Your taxpayer number from your country of origin;
  • Proof of address (issued by a public service);
  • Identification of the source of wealth and proof of occupation, if relevant;
  • Telephone and e-mail contacts.

Most of these documents are requested by NEWCO during our procedure for accepting new customers, so we expedite the opening of a bank account in Portugal, without the need to duplicate the sending of documentation.

 You can count on our specialized team to open your bank account in Portugal

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