How do I open a bank account in Ireland?

Sheila Mahon
Sheila Mahon
  • Updated

Banking in Ireland is changing, and digital current accounts are becoming more widely used along with traditional high street banks. Students can use the following resources for information on banking in Ireland.


Citizens Information
MABS (Money Advice and Budgeting Service)
Competition and Consumer Protection Commission to compare Student Current Accounts


Digital Current Bank Accounts

International students can set up a digital bank account online and get an IBAN (International Bank Account Number). They are usually referred to as 'digital only' banks because they have no high-street presence and operate entirely online with customers accessing their accounts via intuitive, user-friendly apps on their phone. The best known in the Irish market are listed below, 

  • Revolut 
  • Money Jar 
  • N26 

 

Revolut

Revolut is licensed and regulated by the Bank of Lithuania within the European Union. Their digital account provides an Irish IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and it offers accounts featuring currency exchange, physical debit cards, virtual cards, Apple Pay, interest-bearing "vaults", stock trading, crypto, commodities, and other services.

Currently Revolut can only be opened abroad if you are resident in one of these countries. If your home country is not on the list you can open it once you arrive in Ireland.

To open an account, you will need proof of identity such as a passport, a photo for verification and proof of residency.

 

Money Jar

** Important update 14 February 2024 ***  Money Jar have temporarily paused new account openings.  This pause does not impact current Money Jar account holders.

Money Jar is an Irish based company and their digital account provides an Irish IBAN, a physical bank card, and it's mobile app supports both Apple and Google pay.

International students can open an account with Money Jar before they travel to Ireland and obtain an Irish IBAN straight away, and unlike Revolut and N26, Money Jar is available to international students living in all countries.

To open an account, you will need proof of identity such as a passport and a photo for verification. You do not need proof of address and you can use a temporary address in Ireland such as a hostel or hotel and then update your address later.

NCI have partnered with Money Jar to give students free monthly fees for 9 months. See the MONEY JAR guide for NCI students. 

 

N26

N26 is a German Bank which now operates in over 20 countries across Europe. It provides a free basic current account and a debit card, with overdraft and investment products and premium accounts available for a monthly fee.

Currently N26 can only be opened abroad if you are resident in one of these countries. If your home country is not on the list you can open it once you arrive in Ireland.

To open an account, you will need proof of identity such as a passport, a photo for verification and proof of residency.

 

More Information about digital banking 

We found a few articles online that might help with your decision to opening a digital bank account and finding the right one for you:

Q&A: Should I switch to a digital-only bank?

What are digital banks and how is it different from a tradition high street bank 

Revolut vs N26 how do they compare 

 

Traditional High Street Bank Account

There are a few traditional high street banks in Ireland offering student current accounts for day-to-day banking and they are:

  • Allied Irish Bank (AIB)
  • Bank of Ireland (BOI)
  • Permanent TSB
  • Credit Union

What documents do you need to open a bank account?

  • Proof of Identity. You can use your passport
  • Proof you are a full-time student if opening a student account. You will need your NCI student card and/or the NCI bank letter
  • Proof of permanent address in Ireland

Generally, the following are accepted for proof of address and must be dated within 6 months.

  • A current utility bill (such as a gas, electricity or telephone or mobile phone bill).
  • A current car or home insurance policy that shows your address.
  • A document issued by a government department that shows your address.

Students who have just arrived in Ireland do not have the required documents for Proof of
Address. However, new students can request a bank letter from NCI when they have secured their accommodation. To request a bank letter please go to the Student Letter Hub on NCI360

 

Please note that only registered students will have access to the Student Letter Hub. New students will only have access a few days before classes start.

 

If opening an account with a local bank branch you will need to make an appointment at the branch.  At some branches it can take weeks or months to get an appointment with some high street banks. Therefore, we recommend that students open a bank account online with a traditional high street bank.

 

More helpful websites:

Compare the fees and benefits of the different current accounts available.

 

 

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