Since the Bulgarian banking system is liberal, opening a bank account in Bulgaria isn’t hard. Having an account in this place will help simplify many transaction processes like receiving salaries for those working, making money transfers, settling bills, etc. Even non-residents can open an account as well.
There are generally three bank types in Bulgaria, that is, commercial, postal and international banks. But, the interest rates on all these banks along with other banking policies are regulated by the National Bank of Bulgaria.
Bulgarian Banking System
There are over 30 commercial banks, including foreign ones in this place while the Post Bank has thirty regional branches and 2300 post office counters. You’ll likely find these Post Bank counters in small cities which is a significant perk for people staying in remote places. International banks, on the other hand, are mostly used by regular travelers to transact in foreign currency. Also important to note is that Bulgarian banks open between 7 am- 4 pm, Monday-Friday.
How to Open a Bank Account in Bulgaria
Both residents and non-residents can open bank accounts in this place. However, non-residents since 1st August 2019, are required to have a Bulgarian residency card before opening an account.
All individuals who want to open an account in Bulgaria must produce their documents, especially passports and proof of address. You don’t pay anything to open an account but some banks may need you to make a minimum deposit for opening an account. This amount varies depending on the bank and can be made in euros or leva.
Also, note that banks allow individuals to choose either a euro or leva account. But, depending on your needs, one can choose both. This means that you can make quick transfers from and to different banks. Additionally, some banks offer internet banking that allows individuals to transact without going physically to the bank. But note that internet banking facilities aren’t fully developed hence the system isn’t widespread. Different banks charge different fees for internet banking. Therefore, confirm this with your particular bank.
Documents Needed to Open an Account in Bulgaria
It’s not difficult to open an account in this place. You’ll need;
- A Bulgarian residency card
- Valid National Identity Card or passport
- Company bank accounts require the good standing certificate
- An address for purposes of correspondence
- Some banks charge a minimum deposit amount for activating the account
Once your account is activated, you’ll be given your online login details. Note that the paperwork is heavy so expect to fill some forms and sign various documents. It’ll take approximately one week for your bank card to be issued. You can collect your bank card in person from the bank once issued or non-residents can choose to have it delivered at their address abroad.
Some Good Retail Banks in Bulgaria
Postbank– they are located in all towns and cities in Bulgaria and have many ATMs as well as branches. Postbank has various products like current accounts that can be opened easily.
DSK– these offer various credit and debit cards, accounts, and saving products. They’re best for investment customers as they offer internet as well as mobile banking as standard.
Raiffeisen– they’re banks from Austria that have a huge presence in Eastern and Central Europe. They have over 140 branches some of which have extended hours of opening. Many Raiffeisen is placed in shopping centers therefore is best for individuals who work for long hours.
UniCredit Bulbank- it’s among the largest banks in Bulgaria having many branches and ATMs. They offer all the banking products and have an English app.
Opening a Bank Account for Foreign Companies in Bulgaria
Companies registered in a different EU member state can still open an account in Bulgaria. However, because there are legal issues involved, we advise individuals to work with experienced attorneys. Foreign companies must provide an apostilled good standing certificate along with a memorandum of association.
The banking environment in Bulgaria is good. Citizens are provided with bank branches and ATMs countrywide. But, note that some regional banks have a stronger presence than local ones. It’s therefore wise that you consider this when deciding where to bank. Again, we advise opening an account in banks that can be accessed easily. Ensure that ATMs are easily accessible since you’ll be doing many transactions via the internet as online banking is popular in Bulgaria.