Living in Bavaria

You are self-employed, working for an employer or are in an apprenticeship? Then you'll need an account for things like receiving your wages, transferring monthly rent and making payments by credit card. In Bavaria, there is an extensive network of banks and savings banks with varying fees. Be sure to gather information on which bank or savings bank can make you the best offer.


To open an account with a bank or a savings bank, you'll need:

  • Your passport,
  • A certificate of registration for your domicile,
  • A wage slip from your employer, potentially,
  • Your residence permit, potentially.
A young woman withdraws money from a teller machine.
Whether you prefer to pay in cash or by card - you'll need your own account in any case. ©iStockphoto.com/skynesher

An economical alternative: Online banking

While some value the personal contact of banking at a local branch, it is more important to others to find a low-fee bank. Those who perform their banking online, i.e. over the Internet, can often save money.

Most banks and savings banks with branch offices also offer online banking services. You can obtain information at a branch office and open an account on-site.

Additionally, there are direct banks that you can only contact online, over the phone or via post. In order to open an account, you have to verify your identity via the Postident procedure offered by the German postal service. You'll receive the requisite documents from your bank. You can use them to have the German postal service, Deutsche Post, confirm your identity when you present your passport.

Withdrawing cash and cashless payment

You generally receive an EC Card (Electronic Cash) for your account, as well as an associated four-digit PIN. You can use an EC Card to withdraw money from teller machines around the clock. Please note that withdrawing money from third-party financial institutions may be subject to fees. You may be charged up to 5 euros in fees per withdrawal.

One can often get by without cash: You can pay using your EC Card and the PIN at many petrol stations and larger shops.

Important note

Card security
Information on using cashless payment methods safely (website in German)

National and international transfers

If you've made a transfer, then the funds will be in the recipient's account no later than on the second day after effecting it. When selecting your bank, be sure to review the costs for transfers. Online transfers are usually free of charge.

SEPA transfers (Single European Payments Area) can be used for international transfers within EU member states, as well as Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Monaco. The
uniform account number needed for doing so is the IBAN

(International Bank Account Number) and the BIC (Bank Identifier Code): You can generally find the IBAN and BIC on your account statements and invoices, as well as on business letterhead.