Opening a European Bank Account Remotely - An impossible task?

(Andy) #1

Hi There, I’m a South African/Italian citizen residing in South Africa.
I’ve been searching for a way to accept credit and debit card payments from customers around the world through my online store. Options available to South Africans are limited and I haven’t been able to find a solution. And so I’m hoping I can open a bank account remotely in Europe as either a South African or EU citizen. I could then make use of Stripe to accept payments to a European bank account. Since I am only a resident of South Africa, my proof of address is here, I’m wondering if this will be an issue.
Does anyone have any advice or experience doing this? It’s been a huge stumbling block and I’ve been hitting walls at every turn. Any help would be hugely appreciated! Thanks!


(Craig Ferguson) #2

Andy you could try TransferWise. You can set up a GBP account that will give you a Sort & Account number. I have an account with AED, EURO and GBP
Also you can set up a Monese account with no proof of address
You could also register you business in the UK and then open up a
but you would have to look into the tax implications.

1 Like

(Simon Upton) #3

Hi Andy,
Agree with Craig re Transferwise, being NZ based myself has proved invaluable. Re the address, I used Clevvermail to establish a mailing address in a European location. I then used this for my N26 account without any issues, and then got Clevvermail to forward the related N26 Mastercard to me in NZ, a bit expensive but a 1-off cost. Also had the option of collecting it from them which I am now doing for other items
Also the N26/Transferwise combo is good as N26 uses TW for transfers to other N26 customers so is very quick
Cheers, Simon


(Akin) #4

Hello Simon,
Please how do I link transferwise with my N26 account?

Thanks, Akin


(Andy) #5

Thanks for the advice! @craigfer @sgupton
I registered for an address through cleverrmail, which came in handy with both Monese and N26. I signed up for both to test. Just as an FYI to anyone, although they don’t require proof of address, I still needed to provide address details to register - and it has to be in a country on their list. Both also require verification through a mobile app with ID/passport photos and checking your GPS location - had to get a bit creative there. Sorted now though!


(G) #6

You should be able to open an N26 account online if you have an address where you can receive your card in one of the supported countries in Europe


(Jase Rodley) #7

Everyone has talked a lot about Transferwise, which I agree about but believe you also need a payment processor.

You will need to do your research on what works best for your tax setup/any implications there but if you are able to incorporate somewhere in Europe, chances are you can get very favourable rates through Braintree.


(Paweł Krok) #8


I am partner of one Swiss Bank and can help open bank account remotely , but Switzerland is only EOG member - not EU. Did you though maybe about Poland? There are several banks in Poland, which agree on basis of Power of Attorney (POA) in the name of Beneficial Owner. Banks usually checks BO and run the due dilligence process (KYC/AML process) and if risk of Money Laudering is not high , they decide to open bank account for non-resident.


(Simon Upton) #9

Hi Akin,

Inside Transferwise you simply enter the details of your N26 account as a destination, and it remembers it for future transfers. Inside N26, I have only done 1-2 transfers but from memory it either comes up as an option or default

Good luck, Simon


(Akin) #10

Thanks Simon.
I will do that.

Br, Akin