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Open a Bank Account in Italy

How and Where

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October 1, 2019

Open a Bank Account in Italy – How and Where

If you’re planning to stay in Italy for any length of time, opening a bank account is a must. It’s a pretty simple process whether you are a resident in Italy or abroad that could prove very valuable! Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about setting up your Italian bank account.

Why should you open a bank account in Italy?

Setting up a bank account is particularly important if you want to:

  • Work in Italy
    • A lot of employers will only pay into an Italian bank account.
  • Save money on commission fees
    • Often if you pay with a foreign bank account, you’ll have to pay commission on the payments.
  • Avoid currency exchange rates
    • Sometimes the exchange rates can vary greatly but if you have an Italian bank account, you’ll avoid them.

What do you need to set it up?

If you are an Italian resident, you’ll need:

  • Some form of ID like a passport or driver’s license
  • Your Codice Fiscale (Italian tax code)
  • Residence permit or work contract

If you are not an Italian resident, you’ll need:

  • Some form of ID like a passport or driver’s license
  • Your Codice Fiscale (Italian tax code)
  • Proof of address

Once you’ve chosen which bank, you’d like to set up your account with, you’ll need to go into your local branch. Usually you have to make an appointment to set it up and while you are there, it’s a good idea to go in and ask if there are any other documents you’ll need to bring. Just beware that sometimes the bank employees only speak Italian so if you aren’t a confident Italian speaker, you should take someone to help you!

What are the best banks for expats?

Italy has a huge number of banks to choose from, but which are the best ones for expats?


Intesa Sanpaolo

This is a very popular bank with both Italians and expats, let’s find out why!

  • They are so accessible! You can find their branches and ATMs pretty much anywhere.
  • There are so many options when it comes to accounts, insurance and mortgages that you can discuss with their helpful staff.
  • You can bank online via their easy-to-use app!



This may be the most trusted bank in Italy, let’s see why and what it can offer expats!

  • UniCredit features a whole range of accounts specially designed for expats.
  • They are extremely convenient as you can find ATMs and branches throughout Italy.
  • Thanks to its international reach, you’ll find that UniCredit is well-equipped to deal with foreigners.


Banco Nazionale del Lavoro

Banco Nazionale del Lavoro is a well-known Italian bank that is a great fit for expats, here’s why!

  • It isn’t quite as popular as UniCredit or Intesa Sanpaolo, but their branches and ATMs are pretty easy to find around Italy!
  • They offer a loyalty scheme called ‘Payback’ that allows their clients to get money back on certain purchases!


Poste Italiane

Poste Italiane isn’t just a post office, it’s also a bank that offers BancoPosta accounts. What do they offer expats?

  • If you have a family, it could be the perfect option as account holders receive debit cards which can be topped up by parents or other family members.
  • You can open an account at any post office in Italy! They’re easy to find around the country.



If you don’t mind not having a virtual bank instead of a physical one, give N26 a try. It’s becoming increasingly popular with expats and here’s why!

  • If you are short on time or don’t have a bank close by, you can offer a free account online via video call.
  • It comes with 3D Secure from the Mastercard SecureCode, it’s an extra layer of security which prevents fraud with online payments.
  • There is easy-to-use app that makes banking simple!
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Category: Rome, Blog, Milan