Banking Options for Expat in Lisbon
Portugal is a member of the Eurozone, and as such, its currency is the Euro.
If you are relocating to Lisbon, you will need to open a local bank account.
Opening a bank account in Portugal
To open a bank account in Lisbon, you will require the following documents.
A Passport or valid identification
Proof of address such as a flat contract or a utility bill
Portuguese NIF number
What is a NIF?
The NIF is the Numero de Identificacao Fiscal which you will need for all legal or business activity. In other words, it is your Tax Identification Number and is a nine-digit number that will show up on everything that you do.
Banks in Portugal
There is a large selection of banks to choose from in Portugal. In Lisbon, you are more than likely to find a bank that has English-speaking staff.
Portuguese banks are linked to the Multibanco ATM system that is widespread throughout the country. At these ATMs, you can withdraw money, pay bills, transfer money, top up your Portuguese mobile phone and make payments to Social Security and Tax department.
Banks are open from 8:30 till 15:00 Monday to Friday. Some banks may stay open till 16:00. You might find that your bank is also available on Saturday mornings.
ATM fees are free if you are using a Portuguese card. If you are using a foreign card, the fee can be high. Also, Multibanco ATMs usually only allow withdrawals of 200 euros.
The International Banks in Portugal
Private banks in Portugal
Portuguese banks offer the same services that you are used to from your home bank.
Standard savings accounts, student accounts, credit card options, Expat services
Digital and online banking.
Mobile banking by downloading the app
Business bank accounts
International Money Transfers
These days international money transfers are simple and cheaper if you use one of the following:
Are Portuguese bank accounts safe?
Yes. Portuguese banks are as safe as any bank. Every European Union country provides a bank deposit guarantee of 100,000 euro. In Portugal this is the Fundo de Garantia de Depósitos. It guarantees that should your bank crash, your savings will be refunded up to that limit.