The Best Bank Accounts in Italy in just one more click
Compare the best options on the market and choose the one which best adapts to your day to day needs.
Our Rating: 9.5/10
Best Digital Bank for non-Italian speakers
✔️ Great for choosing to invest your money sustainably
✔️ Excellent money management features
✔️ Really worth it if you go for the higher tiers that aren’t free
✔️ Choice of Mastercard and Maestro debit cards, as well as a Mastercard credit card
Bunq Bank Review
Bunq is another one of the up-and-coming digital banks. Founded in 2015, this Dutch Bank is similar to N26 with its 3 tiers of accounts (Travel, Premium, and SuperGreen) and helpful English interface and support.
Besides online banking, it has extra unique features in creating sub-accounts and budgeting.
It automates a lot of things like its auto-save feature that rounds up payments to the nearest euro and deposits that money into specific sub-accounts. Or other things like automatic payment of invoices via scanning, making life a lot easier for you.
You also have the choice of having up to 3 cards of Maestro and Mastercard Debit cards, as well as a Mastercard credit card.
But what really sets apart from the rest is the “Freedom of Choice” in allowing you to choose if and how your money is invested.
Unlike other traditional big banks that might invest in funds and industries that might conduct unsustainable practices, with Bunq you can have more say in where your money is invested.
If you go for the highest tier of the SuperGreen card, on top of its advanced money management features, you also make the world greener by planting a tree every time you spend €100.
Bunq Bottom Line:
Bunq is a great option for those who want advanced features in the management of your money and how it is used sustainably. It also has some of the best ratings in customer service and satisfaction
It is worth noting the downside that if you use the most basic free Travel Card plan, the number of features you have access to is really restricted. There are even fees for services such as a €0.99 fee for ATM withdrawals using the basic Travel Card plan.
So to really bring out the best of Bunq and its free great features, you will need to upgrade to one of the higher tiers and have to pay a monthly fee.
Our Rating: 9.1/10
Best Italian Digital Bank
✔️ One of the few Italian banks where sign-up is quick and you don’t have to go to a branch
✔️ Huge range of Cashback programs
✔️ Is only in Italian and requires Italian residency
✔️ Great money management features
HYPE with Banca Sella Review
HYPE is the online mobile banking division of Banco Sella and one of the first challenger banks on the Italian landscape. Launched by Banca Sella in 2015, HYPE has grown to become one of the most popular challenger banks amongst Italians and foreigners.
With HYPE you gain access to a fully online banking service with a fantastic smartphone application to manage your money from. Also, you get an Italian IBAN and either a free prepaid card that you can top up, or a MasterCard debit card.
This gives you access to free ATM withdrawals and payments in Euros. Withdrawals and payments in other currencies even become free when you upgrade to the premium version. Payments can also be made with Apple Pay or Google pay.
The sign-up process is pretty simple in comparison to the other Italian banks. It can all be done from the comfort of your laptop or smartphone.
All you need to have on hand is a form of identification like a passport or identity card, as well as standard info like your fiscal tax code.
Then you can submit the info by typing it in and uploading photos of your documents and you’re good to go.
HYPE’s sign-up is definitely much less hassle than having to book an appointment online with a traditional bank and having to go to the physical branch and take at least 30 minutes to set up an account.
HYPE also has a fantastic range of cashback programs that will help you save money on purchases from a whole range of brands. Often you might actually save more money on your purchases with those brands than what it costs monthly to even have the premium version of HYPE.
HYPE also is able to offer liquidity if you need it, by being able to request a €2000 loan instantly if you pass their credit check.
Some of the advanced features HYPE offers include being able to buy and sell various Bitcoin currencies as well as categorization of spending, automatic budgeting, and hashtags similar to that offered by competitors such as N26.
You should note that while the free version offers a basic account with a prepaid card that you top up, it won’t necessarily be accepted everywhere.
Also, the free account has a maximum annual intake of €2500. Which is low, but ideal for someone who wants to try out the bank before committing to it.
One great thing with HYPE is that it allows a current account to be opened for your child if they are above the age of 12. It comes along with all the benefits of a free account and card, with none of the fees for any of its services.
As a parent, you can also monitor their transactions to keep an overview of their spending habits. Which is a great way to introduce your child to bank account services and the responsibility of money management.
The Premium version costs a relatively low monthly fee of €9.90, but comes along with massive benefits. It includes features like travel insurance in all forms (medical, baggage, flight), cashback programs with major brands, and an unlimited ability to top up your account and make transactions and withdrawals in other currencies.
HYPE Bottom Line:
HYPE is a great Italian online bank that comes along with great transaction services and money management, making it very popular.
It is one of the few banking alternatives in Italy that don’t make it a huge hassle to set up an account with or fix issues by having to go to a physical branch.
The only real downside could be the low maximum amount of €2500 that you can have in the free account.
Realistically though, even with the premium version that costs a monthly fee, you’re getting a much better deal at a low cost in comparison to all the other fee-heavy Italian banks.
Also, be aware, HYPE is only in Italian and requires Italian residency for its main products.
Our Rating: 8.9/10
Best Bank with investment and trading services
✔️ Access to massive UniCredit ATM network for free cash withdrawals
✔️ Access to trading and investment services
✔️ Low fees
✔️ Great app and money management features
Fineco Bank Review
Fineco is another fully online bank with over a million customers that is unique with its offering investment services such as trading, that other banks don’t offer.
The account itself is free to open and is usually free to maintain for the first year and for those under 28 years old. After this period it then costs €3.95 a month. Which is generally seen as quite cheap in comparison to many other Italian banks.
With the current account, you receive a free Visa Debit card. This means your payments should be accepted pretty much everywhere in Italy with no problems.
With Fineco’s Debit card, you have access to free Italy and EU withdrawals of up to €3000 from any UniCredit advanced ATM. As long as you withdraw above the €99 minimum.
Since UniCredit is the largest and most respected traditional bank in Italy. You shouldn’t really have any problems finding their ATMs from their massive network.
A great thing with Fineco is that you don’t even need to use your card and can instead just use the Fineco app on your phone to withdraw cash. Which really helps if you ever lose your card or don’t have one yet.
Instant payments can even be done with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and even Fitbit Pay. So you don’t even have to go through the hassle of taking out your wallet.
Fineco also has a “MoneyMap” function that automatically groups your spending into different categories. This helps you see where your money goes into and how to automatically create a personalized budget to help you save money and get better control over your finances.
You can also even see on Google maps where you’ve been spending money and with which brands.
Fineco also provides extra functionalities to make your life easier like paying your bills and invoices instantly from the app via scanning them with your phone camera.
But, even though they provide great advertised services, their customer service doesn’t have the best reputation and there have been complaints about how they handle their customers.
Fineco Bottom Line:
Overall Fineco is a good alternative online bank you can go for with its unique access to investment services like trading. Also, it has a decent payment ability and access to ATMs and money management features.
The downside is that it is known to not have the best customer satisfaction and you should make sure you have all your documents such as fiscal tax code and residency papers sorted out beforehand.
For a more positive customer experience, I would probably recommend you look at some of the other banks on this list.
Our Rating: 8.8/10
Best Traditional Bank open to Foreigners
✔️ Great Multilingual support
✔️ Access to loans, mortgages, insurance, etc.
✔️ Free accounts for those up to age 26
✔️ Very open to non-residents and expats
Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Review
If you’re not so comfortable with handling all your banking online and prefer face-to-face, then Intesa Sanpaolo is a great option for you.
Intesa Sanpaolo is another one of the largest and most respected Italian banks with branches everywhere, so they are easy to find.
With the current account, you gain access to online banking services to manage your money and make payments with a Mastercard Debit card. So your payments should be accepted pretty much everywhere.
Intesa Sanpaolo also has a very large ATM network for you to have free cash withdrawals from so you shouldn’t ever really run into any problems.
A great benefit with Intesa Sanpaolo is that it offers support to non-Italian speakers with a multi-lingual contact center to help with any questions you have. It also has a website that is also available in English.
Overall, they are quite open and helpful to non-Italians, and their account is relatively cheap and even completely free to have for young people between the ages of 18 to 26 years old.
In combination with their favorable rates and services, Intesa Sanpaolo ends up being a very attractive bank to have an account with.
Unlike the online neobanks on this list, they also offer a whole range of financial services like a savings account, loans, mortgage, insurance, etc.
So, after you’ve built up a good relationship and trust with them, you can go to them for more advanced products if you want to.
Intesa Sanpaolo Bottom Line:
Intesa Sanpaolo is a great option for those who don’t want to handle all their banking online and would prefer a more traditional bank that is open to foreigners. It also has a great combo of rates and services in comparison to the other Italian banks.
The only possible downside could be that since it is a traditional bank, you will have to deal with the typical bureaucracy of booking an appointment with them and showing up in person to open up an account and/or deal with issues you might have.
Our Rating: 8.8/10
Best Online Bank backed by a Traditional Bank
✔️ Biggest Branch and ATM network in Italy
✔️ €150 Bonus for signing up with them
✔️ Sign-up and support only in Italian
✔️ Great access to loans, mortgages, insurance, etc
UniCredit Bank Review
If you want to have the security of being with the largest and possibly the most respected bank in Italy, then look no further than UniCredit.
UniCredit has the largest network of branches and ATMs across Italy. So if you want to be with a bank that you’ll have no trouble picking up cash from or asking questions to at all, then UniCredit is the safest bet.
UniCredit offers a current account with a good combination of rates and services that comes along with a Visa debit card. This allows you to have no issues making payments all across Italy and the Eurozone. Also, you’ll have free ATM cash withdrawals from their giant UniCredit ATM network.
You should be aware though that UniCredit does charge fees to maintain the account. You should make sure to thoroughly read their terms and conditions to avoid as many fees as possible and even get their offered €150 bonus for setting up an account with them.
They are known for having good customer satisfaction, but their sign-up process and support is only in Italian. Also, you might not find all staff in their branches being able to speak fluent English.
So do try to have some basic Italian or be comfortable working with google translate before signing up with this bank.
Also, since this is a gigantic traditional bank, they also offer more complex financial products like savings accounts, personal/business loans, mortgages, insurance, etc.
So, if you want all possible services available in one single bank, then UniCredit is one of the best choices for you.
Unicredit Bottom Line:
Unicredit is a great traditional bank that has the advantage of being the largest with its branch and ATM network. So it is one of the easiest traditional banks to work with. Also, since it is a traditional bank, you’ll have easy access to more financial products and services. Making it a great candidate as an all-in-one bank for you.
Things to know about Italian Bank Accounts
Just a quick 2 min read about the most common issues we see with our readers:
What is a “Code Fiscale” and do I need it?
The “Code Fiscale” is also known as the Italian Tax code and it is required alongside its certificate (“Certificato di Attribuzione del Codice Fiscale”) in order to open a bank account as well as for other legal activities in Italy.
So it is extremely important that you get yourself one.
You can apply for your Italian Code Fiscale through any Italian tax office or through an Italian consular office or Embassy.
If you are an EU citizen or any other country that doesn’t require a visa for a short-term visit to Italy then you only need your passport in order to apply for a Code Fiscale.
If you are from a country that needs a visa in order to visit then what you need is your visa to apply for a Code Fiscale.
Once you have your Code Fiscale and the supporting certificate, make sure to check it for any typos or incorrect information since it can sometimes happen. If it does, make sure to contact the office again so they can correct it.
Usually, applications for the tax code takes just 1 working day but can sometimes take longer. To be on the safe side as with many things in life, try to apply for it sooner rather than later since you will definitely need it.
How do I open a checking account at these banks or any other bank in Italy?
Opening a checking account with a bank in Italy differs a lot in difficulty between banks. If you open with one of the traditional banks, you will have to book an appointment with one of their branches online.
Once that is done, the actual appointment itself will take 30 minutes. The bank account can then open either within a few days or longer depending on the bank you sign up with.
Even if you try to set things up online with these banks (if they offer it), usually you will end up having to go to a local branch anyways to verify your identity before you can actually use the account.
Digital Banks like N26 or HYPE offer sign-up processes that are usually much shorter. And they can be done from the comfort of your phone or laptop where you can scan your documents using your webcam or phone camera.
But usually, there are some information or document requirements that may vary from bank to bank. If you follow this list, you should be pretty safe.
Usual requirements for opening checking accounts in Italy:
- Completed application form with Name, Address, Nationality, Income, etc
- Valid Passport, ID, or Visa (if you are opening a joint account with another person, make sure they have their documents too)
- Proof of address or registration (like a recent utility bill)
- Initial Deposit (depends on your bank how much they will require as a minimum)
- Proof of income, employment, or enrolment at an Italian educational institution
- Code Fiscale: Italian Tax Code (very important)
- Certificato di Attribuzione del Codice Fiscale: the supporting document associated with your tax code
Whether you are an Italian resident or not will also affect what type of current account you can have (“resident” or “non-resident” account) and which banks you can sign up with.
It’s best to check out their websites or speak with them directly to find out. They’re usually very helpful in giving you the information you need.
International online banks like N26 usually tend to be the easiest and most open to non-residents, but it’s also worth checking out local ones like Intesa Sanpaolo or UniCredit.
How to close or change bank accounts in Italy
Closing or switching bank accounts is pretty simple to do in Italy as long as you don’t owe the bank any money.
For a traditional bank, you normally have to send a registered termination letter containing your signature to the bank branch of the bank where you have your account based.
If you have a joint account, make sure the names and signatures of all the account holders are contained within the letter.
Or, you can either visit a physical branch or call them and they’re usually very friendly in helping you out in closing your account.
If you want to start a switching procedure then it is best to call or visit the branch in person to make sure you start the procedure properly with all the documents you need.
Make sure to ask that you’re following all the correct requirements and don’t have any fees that you have not paid off yet.
Things you have to make sure to do are:
- Make sure you don’t get charged any penalty fees for closing the account before a specified “minimum” time has elapsed since you opened the account.
- Get written confirmation in the form of a letter or email that the account has officially been closed
- If you’re switching over to a new account, transfer over all future incoming and outgoing payments such as direct debits, salaries, or standing orders. Usually, either the old bank or the new bank that you are switching to will take care of this if you ask.
- Make sure you’ve transferred all your money out of the old account and into the new account.
- Let your employer and others who would transfer money to you, know that your old account will no longer work.
So overall you can see, choosing a bank account can be hard at first, but becomes easier if you know what exactly that you want. So try to make a list of the things that are important to you such as language or having physical branches, etc.
Then, try visiting their websites or even physical branches if they have any, to check out the different accounts (if they have more than one) and other products that they offer. You should be able to get a feeling for the banks pretty quickly and which one suits you.
If you feel comfortable with these banks you may even want to get more products from them like savings accounts to earn interest on your money.
Once you’ve developed a relationship with your bank, later on, you might even get a business account, loan, or mortgage from them once you develop a bit of credit history that they can evaluate you on.
But don’t worry too much about it if you end up opening an account with a bank which you don’t end up liking later. Banks in Italy allow you to close an account and switch over to another pretty easily and without a hassle.
Keep in mind though that I personally find it very useful to have two checking accounts instead of just one. So that in case there is ever an issue with one, you can still access your money in the other, so you’re not left stranded with no money.
Personally, I’ve become a fan of the online digital banks because of how simple and easy it is to do everything with banks like Bunq, N26, or HYPE from the comfort of my phone or laptop. But of course, you should only do so if you’re comfortable with doing all your banking online.
On the other hand, online banks tend to not offer more complex financial management services like loans, health insurance, or mortgages that you would find at a traditional bank. So if you want some of those more complex products, you might need to look at more traditional banks like Intesa Sanpaolo or Unicredit.
But don’t worry. You can easily have a checking account at an online bank and still have other more complex products from other banks.
If you’re arriving in Italy soon, make sure to sort out your bank account sooner rather than later in case there are any delays, depending on the bank you sign up with. Life will be a lot more difficult if you don’t have one.
In the end, it is up to you and what you need that will decide which is the best bank for you. Hopefully, this article will have helped you with it.
Good luck with opening a bank account in Italy. If you have any questions or want us to write another post on something else too, let us know here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a foreigner or non-resident open a bank account in Italy?
A person of any nationality can open a bank account in Italy, but some banks might require at least a residence in Italy or in the EU/EFTA region depending on the accounts available.
If you are a non-resident, you will only be able to open a “conto corrente non resident” (non-resident current account) and you will be usually subject to higher interest rates and might be limited in some services at traditional Italian banks.
Usually, it tends to be the online banks that are the most open with residence requirements and some even allow residence from pretty much anywhere in the world.
But, it is important to check with a bank yourself if they accept your country of residence. You can usually do so on the website or during the sign-up process.
Can I have two bank accounts in Italy?
Yes, you can have as many bank accounts as you like in Italy. Just be aware of the extra hassle and possibly extra cost if you go for accounts that charge monthly fees.
Even if you go with a “free” account as the extra one, check that you keep meeting the minimum flow of income if it is required to keep them from charging you a fee. Some banks like UniCredit tend to do this so check in case.
Can I keep my Italy bank account even after I leave Italy?
Yes, you can keep your Italian bank accounts even after you leave Italy, but be aware of some changes that might happen with how you handle your account.
Your tax status may change, or some banks may not be able to send you important notifications and PIN numbers if you change to a foreign number. But these things vary a lot from bank to bank and its best to ask them and they should be happy to help. Overall it’s usually very helpful to keep your account since it might come in handy later.
How long do applications for bank accounts in Italy take?
Once you’ve booked and arrived at the appointment made at the physical branch, traditional banks usually take anywhere from 2 days to even a week to approve and open a new bank account.
They usually tend to take longer than digital banks since they sometimes need to send you documents to your address.
Online digital banks instead usually approve and open your bank account for you within 24 hours.
How can I set up an overdraft?
The process to set up an overdraft will depend on the bank itself and will often have very different policies and requirements. Usually, you have to complete an overdraft application form in order to set up the facility for an overdraft in case you might need it.
Digital banks tend to reply and approve/reject your application within a few days or even within the same day. On the other end, traditional banks can sometimes take weeks to process your application.
Be aware that some banks tend to be quite strict with their overdrafts and may require months of credit history before accepting an application.
Banks will also differ in the amount they allow for you to have on your overdraft. Some will allow a fixed amount (such as up to €10,000 for an N26 overdraft) or an amount relative to your average net monthly income.
But be careful with your overdraft and make sure to pay it off as quickly as possible to avoid the interest charges (which vary from bank to bank).
What is the minimum age to open a bank account in Italy?
Usually, banks require a minimum age of 18 in order to open your own bank account, but this can vary from bank to bank, especially for digital banks.
Normally, banks tend to allow parents or legal guardians to open bank accounts for their children if they are under the age of 18.
An example of this would be HYPE with Banca Sella that allows a parent to open a free account for their child if they are above the age of 12.
Can I open a bank account for my children?
Yes, you can open a bank account for your child if he/she is under the age of 18. Remember that you will need to provide the ID or Passport for both you and your child. Some banks might require that the parent needs to already have an account with the same bank too.