27 August, 2009

Banking in Sweden

Its meant for Swedes. They don't have English translations of anything banking related. Its confusing.
We opened a bank account a few days after receiving our personnummers (that took about a week and a half, after first being rejected for putting the wrong address on the paperwork!)
We went first to Handelsbank, which is a block from our new apt. They didn't want to open an account for us, even though we had all of the paperwork they said they required, because we did not have a Swedish ID card. The ironic thing is that it has been the Swedish banks that issue ID cards for the longest time. We were even told that we could probably get one at Handels! Whatever. No arguing, we left.
And opened an account at Nordea, a half block further down. They had no problem with our paperwork or American IDs, and we got all our stuff on the spot! Including the wierdest little card reader ever:

(I blurred out my card numbers because I don't know who really reads this blog. Välj funktion just means choose a function)

It is how you make online transactions with Nordea. You slide your card in, type in the website's unique code for your session, then your PIN, then it spits out another unique code that you type into your bank's website. THEN you can see your balances, pay bills, transfer funds, etc. Every time you bank online.
Anyway, we haven't gotten hit with any fees yet, but I have been told you get charged a monthly fee for having a debit card, for paying bills online, for existing as a customer basically. Great. Oddly, our account is called a "CheckIn" account, which confused me the first time I heard it. This country (maybe every European country?) does not do checks.

Now I just need to fill this account up! Ha. We have to pay a few thousand kronor to get our stuff through customs and delivered to our new apt (yay!!) so it'll all be eaten up soon enough.

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