How to open a swiss bank account ?

How do I open an online bank account? Opening a bank account in an online bank is a relatively simple procedure, which requires, among other things, filling out a subscription form on the Internet. It is also possible to open an online bank account in a traditional bank. What supporting documents do I need to provide? What are the deadlines? What are the conditions of registration?

All the steps to open a bank account online

It is now possible to open a bank account online, directly on the internet, from your computer or smartphone. Online banks in particular offer this means of subscription, but traditional banks are also doing it. Opening an online bank account is done in several steps:

  1. Choosing your online bank
  2. Check the eligibility requirements
  3. Fill out the online form
  4. Sign the contract
  5. Send your supporting documents
  6. Activate account and credit card

1- Choosing your online bank

It is possible to open a bank account from one’s computer in an online bank, but also in a traditional bank. Be careful, however, in this second case, the online form generally allows you to subscribe to the online branch of the traditional bank. The customer benefits from the same services at the same rates, but often does not have the opportunity to go to the branch to meet with an advisor.

However, online branches are not very competitive: as expensive as traditional banks, they remove one of their only advantages, the presence of a bank advisor in the branch. We therefore advise you to either open a bank account in a traditional bank or in an online bank, but not in an online branch.

2- Check the eligibility conditions

After comparing online banks, it is then necessary, before subscribing, to check that it corresponds to the eligibility requirements and can open an online bank account. Indeed, online banks require many conditions to subscribe (even if there are unconditional bank accounts).

But which online bank to choose?

3- Fill out the online form

Once the client has been able to choose his bank and check the eligibility conditions, the actual subscription must now be completed. To open a bank account, all online banks provide registration forms on the internet.

The process is simple, just fill out this form step by step. The customer will notably have to fill in his personal situation (name, first name, family situation), his contact details, his professional situation, then choose his banking offer (type of card, additional insurance, amount of authorized overdraft…).

Note that it is possible to save the form and continue the subscription at a later date if the consumer lacks time. He can also call a bank advisor at any time for help. Subscription is possible on both smartphone and PC.

After a summary page is displayed – the consumer can then go back if he or she wishes to make a change – it is possible to proceed to the signing of the contract.

4- Sign the contract

The vast majority of people today no longer need to send a signed contract by post to the online bank to open their bank account. All of them have set up a system called the electronic signature, which has exactly the same legal validity as a traditional signature.

How does it work? Online banking simply offers to send an SMS containing a code to the consumer. The consumer then simply has to copy this code into the online form. The electronic signature considerably shortens the time it takes to open an online bank account. It also eliminates the need to print out the application and the supporting documents that need to be provided. It allows you to open a bank account

5- Send supporting documents

The most tedious step, so to speak: sending the supporting documents. All banks are indeed legally obliged to ask their customers for at least one proof of identity and one proof of address, in order to verify their identity. The consumer must therefore at least present these documents.

However, online banks require more proof of identity:

  • A proof of identity (identity card, passport), and sometimes even a second one (driver’s license, passport, residence permit).
  • Proof of residence less than three months old
  • Proof of income: generally, the last two or three pay slips and/or the last tax notice are required.
  • A RIB in the name of the customer from a French bank
  • A signature on a white background (specimen signature)

Since the file is sent digitally, there is no need to print these documents to open an online bank account. Simply download them directly at the end of the subscription form.

6- Activate the account and the credit card

In order to activate his bank account, the consumer must carry out a first bank account online payment by check or bank transfer from another bank account in the name of the customer. Usually, the online bank asks to make this first payment at the end of the form, often by bank transfer. The amount of this payment will be available on the new bank account as soon as it is opened.
To finalize the opening of an online bank account, the first payment requested is often for 300$. It can be less in rare cases, such as at Monabanq which requires 150$.

Even if the customer has completed the form, he has not yet completely finished opening his bank account online. To do so, the bank must first give its approval and check the supporting documents. Note that a bank can refuse to open an account without having to justify itself. Therefore, it may happen that a customer is refused at one bank, but not at another.

Very soon after the first payment, the customer will receive a message from the bank indicating the acceptance or refusal of his application. In case of acceptance, he will receive his bank card, his secret code and his connection codes to his secure space within the following week. He will then have to carry out a first payment or withdrawal requiring to type the secret code to activate his bank card.

Open a joint bank account online

As in a traditional bank, it is quite possible to open a joint bank account online. The subscription process is exactly the same. At the beginning of the form, simply select « joint account » instead of « individual account » and fill in the information for each of the joint holders. Supporting documents will have to be provided by each of the co-holders.

Opening a joint account in an online bank allows you to benefit from a bank account and two bank cards free of charge. The savings are therefore doubly important, as joint accounts with two bank cards often cost more than a single account.

How long does it take to open an online bank account?

Opening an online bank account takes about 10 days minimum. However, the time it takes to open a bank account can vary depending on the periodicity (vacations, weekends, public holidays, important promotional offers) and the online banking.

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