Opening a bank account in Ireland or Europe is much easier than you can imagine. In this article we present a way to have a free European card and bank account 

As one of the main destinations for exchange students in the world, Ireland is increasingly appearing among the choices of Brazilians who want to live abroad or have an experience, whether studying or working, outside the national territory. And, of course, for those who intend to live outside their country of origin, banking can be a headache, especially considering the high exchange rate between the dollar and the euro. Therefore, opening an account in Ireland is ideal for those who want to make the European country their temporary or even permanent home. 

open a bank account in europe or in another country abroad is important not only for the ease of carrying out transactions in foreign currency, but also for the savings in avoiding excess fees and conversions. To make payments and purchases, transfers, withdrawals and more operations, one of the taxes that most discourage Brazilians is the IOF (Imposto sobre Operações Financeiras). 

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Since 2011, this tax, which applies to all purchases made with a credit card abroad, ATM withdrawals and also when making the exchange to the currency of the destination country, is 6.38%, that is, leaving your trip well more expensive.

For short stays, it is still recommended to take part of the payment in euro – in case the destination is Ireland – as it avoids paying the fee in part of the amount you will pay during the trip. But if your plans are for long stays or even a complete move, opening an account in the destination country can be more advantageous. 

Free Irish bank account

open account in ireland

Bank N26, a bank fully developed for digital, is a solution for foreigners who want to open a bank account in Ireland. In addition to the account being able to be operated by the application or by the site is 100% free, with no account opening or maintenance fees. 

Founded in 2013, N26 is a German startup that operates with a full banking license, authorized by the European Central Bank, which allows financial transactions without restriction of use. Currently present in more than 24 countries, the bank has more than 1,000 employees and around 2.5 million customers worldwide. For banking operations such as withdrawals, debits and money transfers, N26 has partnerships with MasterCard and Transferwise.

When using the MasterCard as a debit card, there are no fees charged for purchases made in euros at physical machines. Once outside the Eurozone, the card can also be used regularly without any extra fees being charged other than a currency conversion fee depending on the current exchange rate. 

In addition to the ease of buying and withdrawing, the account also allows transfers between accounts without charging fees. For sending money to accounts with balances in different currencies, the N26 works integrated with Transferwise, reducing the cost and time of the functionality. The digital account can also receive account transfers, European and foreign. For this, the bank provides the IBAN and BIC (Swift) data for each customer. To use these features it is necessary to have a Transferwise account which also does not charge opening or maintenance fees. 

How to open a bank account on N26 

Unlike traditional banks, N26 has a quick and easy account opening process. Developers promise that the entire procedure can be done in 8 minutes. 

To open an account at N26, you do not need proof of income, but the client must meet the following requirements: 

  • Be over 18 years old;
  • Have an address in one of the countries where N26 already operates;
  • Possess a smartphone with internet access and that is compatible with the application 
  • Have one of the identification documents accepted by the financial institution

In the case of Brazilians, to register on N26 a passport or a permanent residence permit issued in one of the countries in which the financial institution operates and which is valid for at least one year is accepted. To use the passport, since 2019 the bank has also asked for a visa that proves authorization to reside legally in one of the countries where the N26 is present, for at least 12 months. Brazilians who have European citizenship do not need to present proof of residence, just open the account with a European passport. 

N26 does not yet operate or send cards to addresses in Brazil, but has already announced plans to cover the country in its operations. Meanwhile, to open an account it is possible to select an address in Europe that the customer trusts for sending the card. 

Step by step 

Registering on N26 is a simple and hassle-free process, just follow the steps below:

  • Access the N26 website and click on “Open Bank Account”;
  • Choose your country of residence or the country where you want the card to be sent in case you do not reside in Europe. In this step, it is possible to select “Brazil” as the residence. For the time being, your name will be placed on a waiting list until N26 begins operations in the country;
  • Fill in your personal details. Remember that the requested address will be the one used for sending the card;
  • Choose the type of account you want: N26 (free) or N26 You or N26 Metal;
  • Validate your email and download the N26 App;
  • In the application, confirm your data by sending a photo of yourself and the data sheet of your passport or chosen document for verification;
  • Once approved, your card will be generated and issued. Choose regular (free, within 10 days) or express delivery (€25, within 2 or 3 business days).

Once a N26 customer, the bank has a support team available via phone, email or chat, all within the application or website. Support is currently provided in English, German, Spanish, French or Italian.

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