How to do your Banking in Sweden
Sweden has a high rate of internet banking usage due to the country’s secure online banking system. Most residents manage their finances online from paying bills to buying and selling shares.
Although Sweden is an EU member it has not adopted the Euro currency and uses Swedish Krona (SEK). Literally, krona means crown in Sweden and one krona is subdivided into 100 öre. Credit and charge cards (such as American Express, Diners Card, MasterCard and Visa) are widely accepted. Cheques are rarely used in Sweden. Instead a document called giro is used; this gives permission for one bank to transfer funds electronically to another. Many bills will have a giro slip attached that can be detached and posted or deposited to facilitate payment. Those with currency and traveller’s cheques can exchange these in banks and post offices. Once you have your personal identity number, you can open a bank account. There are four large commercial banks in Sweden: Handelsbanken, Swedbank, Nordea and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB). They all offer full Internet banking facilities. When opening an account you will need proof of address and a passport or other ID card. These documents will allow you to open a simple interest-free personal account. But you cannot get a bank card (Visa debit or Maestro card) until the bank sees that you have a regular source of income deposited into your account. Those without a personal identity number can still open a non-resident bank account. Processing of the bank account and bank card is usually completed in approximately one week.