One of the first things you will need to do once moving to Barcelona or anywhere for that matter is to open a bank account.
It might sound as an easy and straightforward thing but when you are new to the country it can be very frustrating especially when using traditional banks.
While some requirements are pretty normal and logical such as:
- Being able to prove that you are 18 years old
- Being able to prove your identity (by showing either your passport, your TIE if you already have it or an identity card from your country of origin)
Some others requirements might sound weird depending on where you come from, such as:
- Provide proof of occupation
- Employment contract or employee payslip
- A letter from a professional body such as an accountant or lawyer who will vouch for your credibility
- Proof that you have some form of income from a foreign country such as a pension or disability payments
- Showing your student card in case you are a student.
Most often than not you will have to go to a local branch to open a bank account but lately some banks such as BBVA or ING offer the option to do so online (but might still ask for further verifications).
More modern solutions
If traditional banks seem too 19th century to you then there are other more modern options such as N26, Revolut etc. which do not have physical locations but rather work only by having accounts that you can manage through your Smartphone or PC.
You will get a spanish IBAN and a debit card and the requirements aren’t that extensive but you will still need to verify your identity either through a combination of scanning and uploading your documents and doing a video call, going to the post office or in some cases both.
Transferring money to your new bank account.
Of course you can simply do a wire transfer from your bank abroad to your new account but between the fees, the conversion rates and the time it takes you will be losing a lot of money so we would suggest to take a look at transferwise.com
It’s a relatively new service which allows you to quickly send money from one country to another by using them as an intermediary. We don’t want to make this seem like an ad more than it does so you can just take a look at their site yourself for more information on how it works.