Opening a Bank Account in Skopje as a Foreigner (What You Need to Know)

If you’re a foreigner living or working in Skopje, you may be wondering if you can open a bank account in the city.

The good news is that it is possible for foreigners to open a bank account in Skopje, but there are certain requirements that you must meet and procedures that you must follow.

To open a bank account in Skopje, you will need to have a valid identification document, such as a passport, and proof of address.

You will also need to provide information about your income and employment status.

Once you have all the necessary documents and information, you can visit a bank in Skopje to open an account.

It’s important to understand the Macedonian banking system and the requirements for opening a bank account in Skopje before you begin the process.

This article will provide you with all the information you need to know about opening a bank account in Skopje (as a foreigner), including the procedure to follow, banking services available, costs and fees associated, challenges and solutions, and tips for choosing the right bank.

Key Takeaways:

• Foreigners can open a bank account in Skopje, but they must meet certain requirements and follow specific procedures.

• To open a bank account in Skopje, you will need to provide identification and proof of address, as well as information about your income and employment status.

• Understanding the Macedonian banking system and choosing the right bank are important factors to consider when opening a bank account in Skopje.

Opening a Bank Account in Skopje as a Foreigner

Understanding the Macedonian Banking System

If you are a foreigner looking to open a bank account in Skopje, it is important to understand the Macedonian banking system.

The banking sector in North Macedonia is relatively small but stable, with a few large banks dominating the market.

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

• The banking sector in North Macedonia is dominated by foreign-controlled banks from Greece, Slovenia, Turkey, Austria, and Bulgaria.

• Most banks in North Macedonia are universal banks that offer a range of products and services in retail and business banking.

• The banking sector in North Macedonia has been profitable in recent years, with most banks reporting profits.

• To open a bank account in North Macedonia, you will need to provide identification documents and proof of your address in the country.

• Non-residents can open bank accounts in North Macedonia, but some banks may require you to have a local legal representative.

• You can open a bank account in Macedonian denars (MKD) or foreign currencies like EUR, USD, GBP, or CHF.

When choosing a bank in Macedonia, it is important to consider factors like fees, interest rates, and the bank’s reputation.

You may also want to consider whether the bank has a branch or ATM near your home or workplace.

Overall, the Macedonian banking system is stable and reliable, making it a good option for foreigners looking to open a bank account in Skopje.

The Requirements for Opening a Bank Account in Skopje

If you are a foreigner living or planning to live in Skopje, you may be wondering if you are eligible to open a bank account in the city.

The good news is that it is possible for non-residents to open a bank account in Skopje.

However, there are certain requirements that you need to meet to be able to do so.

To open a bank account in Skopje, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • Your passport or ID card as proof of identity
  • Proof of address, such as a utility bill or rental agreement
  • Your tax identification number (TIN) or personal identification number (PIN)

It is important to note that the requirements may vary depending on the bank you choose to open an account with.

Some banks may require additional documentation, such as a reference letter from a current bank or employer.

Therefore, it is recommended to check with the bank beforehand to ensure that you have all the necessary documents.

In addition to the required documents, some banks may also require an initial deposit to open an account.

The amount required may vary depending on the bank and the type of account you are opening.

Therefore, it is advisable to inquire about the minimum deposit amount before opening an account.

Overall, opening a bank account in Skopje as a foreigner is possible, but it is important to ensure that you have all the necessary documentation and meet the requirements set by the bank.

Procedure to Open a Bank Account

If you are a foreigner and want to open a bank account in Skopje, there are certain procedures that you need to follow.

This section will guide you through the process of opening a bank account in Skopje.

Documentation

Before you start the application process, you need to make sure that you have all the necessary documents.

Here is a list of documents that you will need:

  • Valid passport
  • Proof of address (utility bill, rental agreement, etc.)
  • Tax identification number (TIN)
  • Proof of income (salary certificate, bank statements, etc.)

Make sure that you have all the documents in order and that they are up-to-date. Some banks may require additional documents, so it is best to check with the bank beforehand.

Application Process

Once you have all the necessary documents, you can start the application process. Here are the steps that you need to follow:

1: Choose a bank: Do some research and choose a bank that suits your needs. You can visit the bank’s website or go to a branch to get more information.

2: Fill out the application form: You can either fill out the application form online or visit a branch to fill it out in person. Make sure that you fill out the form completely and accurately.

3: Submit the documents: Once you have filled out the application form, you need to submit the required documents. You can either submit them online or take them to a branch.

4: Wait for approval: The bank will review your application and documents. If everything is in order, your account will be approved.

5: Activate your account: Once your account is approved, you need to activate it. You can do this by depositing money into your account.

It is important to note that the application process may vary from bank to bank. Some banks may require additional steps, while others may have a simpler process.

It is best to check with the bank beforehand to make sure that you have all the necessary information.

Banking Services for Foreigners

If you are a foreigner in Skopje, you can open a bank account in Macedonian denars (MKD) and foreign currencies.

However, it is important to note that Macedonian banks do not offer solutions in private banking or in asset and wealth management.

Once you have opened a bank account, you can access a range of banking services such as online banking, mobile banking, and international money transfers.

Macedonian banks also offer debit and credit cards with various benefits and rewards.

It is important to note that some banks may require a minimum deposit to open an account, and there may be fees associated with certain services.

Make sure to read the terms and conditions carefully before opening an account.

NB: While there are some limitations in offshore banking in Macedonia, foreigners can still access basic banking services. With the required documents and a minimum deposit, you can open a bank account and start managing your finances in Skopje.

The Costs & Fees Associated

Opening a bank account in Skopje may come with some costs and fees.

It is important to be aware of these expenses before making the decision to open an account.

Here are some of the costs and fees you might encounter:

Account Opening Fees

Most banks in Skopje charge an account opening fee. This fee varies depending on the bank and the type of account you want to open.

Some banks may waive the fee if you meet certain requirements, such as maintaining a minimum balance or setting up a direct deposit.

Monthly Maintenance Fees

Many banks in Skopje charge a monthly maintenance fee for their accounts.

This fee can vary depending on the type of account and the bank. Some banks may waive the fee if you maintain a minimum balance in your account.

Transaction Fees

Transaction fees may apply when you use your account for certain transactions, such as wire transfers, foreign currency exchanges, or ATM withdrawals. These fees can vary depending on the bank and the type of transaction.

Overdraft Fees

Overdraft fees may apply if you spend more money than you have in your account. These fees can be high, so it is important to keep track of your account balance to avoid them.

Currency Conversion Fees

If you plan on using your account for international transactions, you may encounter currency conversion fees. These fees can add up quickly, so it is important to be aware of them before making any transactions.

Miscellaneous Fees

Some banks may charge miscellaneous fees for services such as issuing a checkbook, replacing a lost debit card, or closing your account. These fees can vary depending on the bank.

Challenges and Solutions

Opening a bank account as a foreigner in Skopje can be a challenging process.

Here are some of the challenges you may face and some possible solutions:

Challenge: Lack of Documentation

One of the main challenges you may encounter when trying to open a bank account in Skopje is the lack of proper documentation.

Banks in Skopje may require a variety of documents from foreigners, including proof of identity, proof of address, and proof of income.

If you do not have all of the necessary documents, the bank may not allow you to open an account.

Solution: Obtain the Necessary Documentation

To overcome this challenge, you should make sure that you have all of the necessary documentation before you attempt to open a bank account.

Contact the bank ahead of time to find out exactly what documents you will need, and make sure that you have everything in order before you go to the bank.

Challenge: Language Barrier

Another challenge you may face when trying to open a bank account in Skopje is the language barrier.

Many banks in Skopje may not have English-speaking staff, which can make it difficult to communicate effectively.

Solution: Bring a Translator

To overcome this challenge, you should consider bringing a translator with you to the bank.

This can be a friend or family member who speaks both English and Macedonian, or you can hire a professional translator to accompany you.

Challenge: Lack of Credit History

If you are a foreigner, you may not have a credit history in Skopje, which can make it difficult to open a bank account.

Banks in Skopje may require a credit history or a reference from a Macedonian bank.

Solution: Provide Proof of Financial Stability

To overcome this challenge, you should provide proof of your financial stability.

This can include bank statements from your home country, proof of employment, or proof of income from other sources. You can also provide references from your home bank or other financial institutions.

Choosing the Right Bank

When it comes to opening a bank account in Skopje as a foreigner, choosing the right bank is crucial.

Here are a few things to consider when selecting a bank:

Accessibility

First and foremost, you want to choose a bank that is easily accessible to you.

Look for a bank with branches and ATMs located in convenient locations throughout the city.

You may also want to consider a bank that has a user-friendly mobile app or online banking platform, especially if you plan on traveling frequently.

Fees and Charges

Another important factor to consider when choosing a bank in Skopje is the fees and charges associated with the account.

Some banks may charge monthly maintenance fees, ATM fees, or foreign transaction fees.

Make sure you understand all the fees associated with the account before opening it.

Account Options

Different banks may offer different types of accounts, so it’s important to choose one that meets your specific needs.

If you plan on living in Skopje long-term, you may want to consider a bank that offers a savings account with a high-interest rate.

Alternatively, if you plan on traveling frequently, you may want to consider a bank that offers a checking account with no foreign transaction fees.

Customer Service

Lastly, it’s important to choose a bank with good customer service.

Look for a bank with friendly and knowledgeable staff who can answer any questions you may have.

You may also want to consider a bank with 24/7 customer service options, especially if you plan on traveling frequently and may need assistance outside of regular business hours.

Overall, choosing the right bank in Skopje as a foreigner requires careful consideration of accessibility, fees and charges, account options, and customer service.

Do your research, talk with locals, and compare different banks before making a decision.

Closing a Bank Account

When it comes to closing your bank account in Skopje, the process is relatively straightforward.

Here are the steps you need to take:

#1: Contact Your Bank: To cancel your bank account, you will need to contact your bank. You can do this online, but it could require a phone call to customer service or a visit to a local bank branch.

#2: Provide Identification: You will need to provide identification to confirm your identity and account details. This could be a passport, ID card, or other government-issued ID.

#3: Settle Any Outstanding Balances: Before you can close your account, you will need to settle any outstanding balances. This includes paying off any loans or credit card balances and ensuring that all direct debits and standing orders are cancelled.

#4: Close the Account: Once you have completed the above steps, you can close your account. Your bank will likely require you to sign a form or send a written request to close the account.

#5: Collect Your Funds: If you have any funds remaining in your account, your bank will transfer them to your nominated account. This may take a few days to process, so be sure to plan accordingly.

It’s important to note that some banks may charge a fee for closing your account, so be sure to check the terms and conditions before proceeding.

Additionally, if you have any concerns or questions about the process, don’t hesitate to contact your bank for assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for a foreigner to open a bank account in Skopje?

To open a bank account in Skopje as a foreigner, you’ll typically need to provide proof of identity, such as a passport or national ID card, and proof of address, such as a utility bill or rental agreement. You may also need to provide additional documentation, such as a work contract or residency permit, depending on the bank’s requirements.

Which banks in Skopje allow foreigners to open a bank account?

Most major banks in Skopje allow foreigners to open a bank account, including Komercijalna Banka, Stopanska Banka, and NLB Banka. It’s best to check with each bank directly to confirm their specific requirements and policies.

How long does it take for a foreigner to open a bank account in Skopje?

The length of time it takes to open a bank account in Skopje as a foreigner can vary depending on the bank and the specific documentation required. In general, the process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Is it possible for a foreigner to open a bank account in Skopje without visiting the bank in person?

Some banks in Skopje may allow you to open a bank account remotely, but this will vary depending on the bank and their specific policies. It’s best to check with each bank directly to confirm their specific requirements and policies.

Are there any fees associated with opening a bank account in Skopje as a foreigner?

Yes, there may be fees associated with opening a bank account in Skopje as a foreigner. These can include account opening fees, monthly maintenance fees, and transaction fees. It’s best to check with each bank directly to confirm their specific fee structure.


This guide was first published on August 12, 2023 and was last updated on February 22, 2024. For more information, please contact us at contact@skopjeguide.com.