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How To Open a Bank Account in Hungary Online (Even Without Proof of Residency)

Byron Mühlberg, writer at

Byron Mühlberg


Feb 26, 2022
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Hungary may not be the best-known destination in the world for expats, but it certainly punches above its weight. Not only does it attract adventurous newcomers for being home to world-famous thermal baths, Romanesque and Baroque beauty, and — of course — goulash stew, but modern Hungary also maintains a good standard of living and stable economy.

However, whether you're wanting to move to Hungary full-time or simply make and receive payments in forints, a bank account will be high up on your agenda. Fortunately, opening a bank account in Hungary is relatively easy to do for foreigners and non-residents. In this guide, we go through exactly what you should know to get the job done.

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In short, here are our recommendations for opening a bank account in Hungary:

  1. If you only want to transact in HUF: Wise Multi-Currency Account, which comes with Hungarian bank details and a Visa debit card to spend in 50+ currencies, including Hungarian forints.
  2. If you want more extensive banking coverage: OTP Bank, which offers a wide range of banking services in English with reasonable fees.

Overview of Banking in Hungary

Hungary has a comparatively small but robust banking sector, being home to several local banks and a number of foreign banks (especially from neighbouring countries). As of 2020, there were 55 banks operating in Hungary, of which seven are regarded as "major banks".

Types of Hungarian Bank Accounts

The most common types of bank accounts you'll find in Hungary include:

  • Current account: The equivalent of checking accounts in parts of the English-speaking world, these accounts are used to process cashless payments and are geared toward everyday use.
  • Basic account: A basic checking account found in all EU countries that costs no fees per month, but is only designed for minimal, core banking needs.
  • Savings account: An account that allows funds to be deposited while restricting withdrawals and (historically) accruing interest.
  • Foreign currency account: Many Hungarian banks offer separate accounts allowing balances to be held in Euros, US dollars, British pounds, and other foreign currencies.

What Do I Need To Open a Hungarian Bank Account?

The following documents are normally requested by all Hungarian banks in order to open a bank account. Although some local banks are more relaxed than others, it's generally a good idea to have all of the following in order before you apply for an account in order to help the process go as smoothly as possible.

  • Proof of identification: Usually only a passport, driver’s licence, or ID card is accepted.
  • Proof of residence: A Hungarian address card, a residence card (which can be temporary), an immigration or settlement permit, or proof or address abroad are all usually accepted.

Without further ado, below we go through the four main options to open a bank account in Hungary as a foreigner:

Option 1 — Local Big Banks

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Hungarian banks are by and large accessible and welcoming to foreigners and non-residents. Most major Hungarian banks have websites and customer service teams available in English (and sometimes even German) and the administration required to set up a bank account is straightforward — even if you don't live in Hungary permanently.

Hungarian banks do, however, generally require new applicants to visit a bank branch in person to open an account.

Hungarian banks also generally charge a large number of fees on basic banking services, including an account maintenance fee of between 200 and 600 HUF per month and other fees for bank transfers, direct debits, cash withdrawals, and practically all transactions made abroad.

Here are the two local banks whose service we think is best suited for expats and newcomers in Hungary:

OTP Bank

A famous bank not just in Hungary but across Eastern Europe and the Balkans, OTP Bank is Hungary's largest bank in terms of total assets and revenue. Fortunately for expats and non-residents, OTP Bank is welcoming to foreigners and offers easy account opening, service in English, and a relatively wide range of services. Here's the account we think is most suitable for non-residents in Hungary:

  • Classic Account: Costing HUF 327 (around €0.90) per month, this standard account package comes with a debit card, internet and mobile banking, and free direct debit transactions up to HUF 30,000 (around €82) per month.

This account is a middle-of-the-road current account, sufficient for everyday purposes but limited in terms of coverage. OTP Bank also offers a base package for even lower fees, as well as premium current account packages with higher fees. Visit their website here to find out more.

K&H Bank

K&H Bank is another large Hungarian bank catering in English to non-residents. We find the following account package to be the best value for newcomers (particularly if you don't often intend to make transfers, direct debits, or cash withdrawals):

  • K&H retail bank account: Coming in at HUF 557 (around €1.50) per month, this account offers the standard debit card and online banking platforms. It also comes with an associated savings account. However, most types of transfers and transactions come with a small fee.

In addition to the two above, there are also numerous other banks in Hungary that offer English service and easy account opening for non-residents in Hungary. These include Budapest Bank, CIB Bank, and the Austria-based Erste Bank.

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Pros of Local Banks

  • Wide range of financial services (e.g. overdraft, investments, credit card, etc.)
  • Mostly available in English.

Cons of Local Banks

  • Some local banks ask for rental contracts in Hungary.
  • An in-person account opening is required.
  • Almost all transactions come with a small fee.

Option 2 — Online Banks

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Digital or online banks are fully-fledged banks offering all or most of the usual banking services. The main difference is that they don't operate out of branches, with all banking services being handled online instead. These banks generally offer a more limited range of services than the traditional banks discussed above, but at a fraction of the price and over a user-friendly web or mobile app interface.

See Monito's rankings for the best online banks in Europe here.

Let's take a look at some of the major digital bank offerings available for opening a bank account in Hungary:

Revolut Bank

The world's best-known online bank is available in Hungary, where it holds a specialised banking license. (Revolut is also a bank in many major EU countries, including France, Germany, and Italy.) Opening a current account doesn't require Hungarian proof of residence.

Account name: Standard

Account type: Current (Lithuanian bank details).

Total cost: HUF 0 per month.

Noteworthy features: EU bank account details, multi-currency balances.

Proof of address: Hungary (or EU, UK, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland)

More info: See our full Revolut review.

Vivid Money

A partner of German bank Solarisbank AG, Vivid Money isn't a bank in and of itself but a fintech company offering a digital account and card. You can open a Vivid current account if you have a valid residence in the EU (though this doesn't have to be in Hungary specifically).

Account name: Vivid Prime

Account type: Current (held by Solarisbank, German bank details).

Total cost: €9.90 per month.

Noteworthy features: Cashback program, fractional investment (stocks, ETFs, crypto, precious metals), multi-currency balances, insurances.

Proof of address: Hungary (or any other EU country).

More info: See our full Vivid Money review.


For those who don't mind paying higher fees every month for an online bank account, Dutch neobank bunq's starter plan comes packed with many interesting features and perks to take advantage of.

Account name: Easy Bank

Account type: Current (French, Spanish, German, or Dutch bank details).

Total cost: €2.99 per month.

Noteworthy features: Bill splitting, Wise money transfer integration,

Proof of address: Hungary (or any other EU country).

More info: See our full bunq review.

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Pros of Online Banks

  • Low costs for most services.
  • Seamless interface on web and mobile.

Cons of Online Banks

  • Only provides core banking services (e.g. current account, card, etc.).
  • No bank branches.

Option 3 — Wise Multi-Currency Account


In our opinion, the best bank in Hungary for foreigners is Wise's Multi-Currency Account. Alongside its accompanying virtual or physical Visa debit card, Wise allows users to pay and be paid like a local in Hungary and in countries across the globe.

Fortunately, after opening your account online, you'll only be required to verify your identity through their interface and you won't need to show proof of residence in Hungary to signup and obtain the Visa debit card (although you will need to show proof of residence in the EU/EEA, US, Singapore, Japan, Australia, or New Zealand to sign up). Here's what Wise has to say about opening an account without proof of residence in the UK, although the same applies in other countries such as Hungary: "You can then choose to either supply proof of address from a standard list of documents, or to send in a selfie, in which you’re holding your proof of ID. This can be a great alternative if you’re still waiting to move to the UK or haven’t yet got bills and other paperwork registered in your name."

Product Features

Once you're signed up for Wise, you'll be able to take advantage of the following unique features:

  • Local bank details in Hungary, the EU, the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Romania, Canada, and Turkey.
  • Hold, exchange, and top-up up to 56 currencies.
  • A multi-currency Visa debit card that's handy for paying in foreign currencies without hidden fees.
  • Access to Wise's powerful international money transfer service right from your account balance.

Transferring to Forints in Hungary

To get a sense of how useful Wise can be for expats, let's say that you've just moved from the Eurozone to Hungary and you'd like to spend in forints before you've got your proof of residence sorted out. With the Wise Multi-Currency Account, you'll be able to:

  1. Send Euros from your bank account to your Wise Hungarian forint account;
  2. Convert to forints at a low fee. E.g. if you add HUF 550,000 (around €1,500) and pay in Euros, the total fee will be around 0.44% or €6.03*);
  3. Pay with your Wise debit card, make or receive SEPA (and SWIFT) payments, and set up direct debits.

You'll also have a dedicated set of Hungarian bank details to share with friends, colleagues, clients, and even your employer. This comes in the form of a Hungarian local bank account number, which can be used to send and receive money domestically in Hungary in the same way as an ordinary Hungarian bank. What's more, these payments are very fast:

  • Transfers up to HUF 10 million take few seconds.
  • Transfers above HUF 10 million take up to one business day.

However, all payments into your Wise HUF account will need to be made in Hungarian forints (not in any other currency) and the account will not accept international SWIFT payments.

* Conversion made on 26/2/2022

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Pros of Wise

  • Low-cost, handy multi-currency account and card.
  • No proof of residence is required in Hungary.
  • Cheap money transfers to and from the forint.

Cons of Wise

  • Doesn't offer overdraft, and you won’t earn interest on any in-credit balances.

Option 4 — Open a Basic Account

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The final option for opening a bank account in Hungary as a non-resident is to open a basic payment account (known as an EU Alapszámla in Hungarian). These bank accounts offer basic banking services for free or at a low cost and are available so long as the applicant is an EU resident. This means that both EU nationals and holders of EU visas (including those with refugee status) are eligible to open one.

Basic payment accounts are offered by all major Hungarian banks and typically include the following day-to-day financial services:

  • Deposit processing: Top-up money into your bank account.
  • Withdrawals: Withdraw cash at ATMs.
  • Direct debits: Set up recurring payments where funds are automatically dedicated from your bank account.
  • Payment card: Use a bank card to make cashless payments and withdraw money.

Following EU law, basic payment accounts are also insured of up to €100,000 in deposits for individual accounts and €200,000 in deposits for joint accounts, making them a very secure option. Banks in the EU cannot refuse EU residents from opening an account in another country solely based on not living there.

Which Bank Is Best in Hungary for Foreigners?

The best bank account in Hungary will depend partly on your needs and preferences, and partly on what's actually available to you in the first place. Below, we compare the different accounts explored in this article head-to-head:


K&H Bank

OTP Bank

Revolut Bank








Retail bank account(↗)

EU Basic Account (↗)

Standard (↗)

Multi-Currency Account (↗)

Card Type

Mastercard debit

Visa/Mastercard debit

Mastercard debit

Visa/Mastercard debit


English, Hungarian

English, Hungarian

English, Hungarian and 19 others

English, Hungarian and 14 others





HUF and 50+ others

Monthly Fee

HUF 557

HUF 1,490



Residence Required?

Ideal For

Those looking for a fully-fledged bank account with multiple services.

People living in another EU country and working in Hungary.

EU residents looking for a low-cost fully-fledged bank account.

New arrivals in Hungary looking to spend and withdraw cash before acquiring a local bank account.

Try K&HTry OTPTry RevolutTry Wise

Last updated: 2/2/2022
¹ Credit card upon request.

How To Send Money to a Hungarian Bank Account

If you're moving in from abroad, one thing you'll need to consider is how to transfer your funds into your new Hungarian bank account. (This process can be especially costly if you're depositing money from a currency other than Euros.) To deposit money into your new Euro account from your home currency before you move, you'll need to go to your online banking and choose between one of two options:

  • Sending a wire transfer through your bank directly;
  • Sending a bank transfer via a money transfer specialist.

In general, we don't recommend using your bank to transfer money internationally, as the fees can be exorbitant and the waiting times can be lengthy. This is mainly because banks wire funds over the SWIFT network, which adds many timely and expensive steps to the money transfer process.

Instead, if the amount you'd like to send to Hungary is in the order of several hundred or thousand US dollars or equivalent, then we recommend you use a money transfer specialist service (Wise is generally the cheapest to Hungary from countries such as Germany, the US, and the UK.) To compare which services are cheapest for your transfer amount and home country to Hungary, run a search on Monito's real-time comparison engine below.

On the other hand, if you're moving large amounts of money from your home currency to your new bank account in Hungary, (i.e. anything upwards of $30,000 or equivalent), then services such as Wise may not be your cheapest bet. Instead, we recommend exploring your options among the foreign exchange brokers that support transfers from your country to Hungary. These services specialise in negotiating favourable exchange rates on your behalf and are the most cost-effective option for transferring large sums of money (such as life savings or liquid investments) across borders.

To find out which service will offer you the best deal in real-time, run a search on our comparison engine below:

Send Money Cheaply to Hungary

Frequently Asked Questions About Opening a Bank Account in Hungary

Non-Resident Bank Accounts in Hungary Vs Other Countries

Many countries allow non-residents to open a bank account within their legal jurisdictions, but exactly what kind of requirements non-residents face can differ drastically from country to country and even bank to bank. See the list below to get a better idea of this:


Which non-residents can open an account?

🇬🇧 United Kingdom

Parties with close ties, expats, immigrants, investors, students

🇮🇪 Ireland

Any interested party

🇩🇪 Germany

Parties with close ties

🇫🇷 France

Parties with close ties, investors, students

🇮🇹 Italy

Parties with close ties, Investors

🇨🇭 Switzerland

Investors only

🇪🇸 Spain

Parties with close ties, investors, students

🇵🇹 Portugal

Parties with close ties, investors, expats, students

🇳🇱 Netherlands

Parties with close ties, investors

🇩🇰 Denmark

Parties with close ties, investors

🇳🇴 Norway

Parties with close ties, investors

🇸🇪 Sweden

Parties with close ties, investors

🇦🇹 Austria

Parties with close ties, investors

🇬🇷 Greece

Parties with close ties, investors

🇭🇺 Hungary

Any interested party

🇱🇺 Luxembourg

Parties with close ties, investors

🇱🇮 Liechtenstein

Investors only

🇬🇮 Gibraltar

Investors only

🇮🇲 Isle of Man

Parties with close ties, investors, expats

🇯🇪 Jersey

Parties with close ties, investors, expats

🇨🇾 Cyprus

Any interested party

Last updated: 23/2/2022

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