Opening a bank account
You may want or need to open a bank account in another EU country. If you study at BME with a Hungarian governmental scholarship (e.g., Stipendium Hungaricum), you are required to open a Hungarian bank account where your scholarship will be transferred.
How to open a bank account?
The bank is free to choose whether or not to accept your application. That is a private business decision for the bank. Before opening a bank account, the bank needs to get to know its potential clients. This may require more due diligence in assessing bank account requests from non-residents. Some banks may, therefore, have a policy not to accept non-resident customers.
To open a bank account, you must present your passport and another identification document (such as driver’s license, tax card, etc.), school attendance certificate which is proof that you’re student at the BME, and in most cases having a residence permit is not required (citizens of certain countries can be exceptions). We will help to get the required documents for you.
In Hungary banks are typically open on weekdays from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Banks are not open on Saturdays except some branches in shopping centres.
Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs)
ATMs can be found anywhere in Hungary and Budapest. Hungarian banks charge a commission for using ATMs. Note that higher service charges might apply for using an ATM that is not operated by the bank that issued your bank card. You don’t have to worry about exchanging Hungarian Forints before your arrival and carrying cash with you. ATM machines are widely available in major cities, and they accept Visa and MasterCard.
Please be aware of private ATMs in the city centre, as they charge extra fees when a foreign bank card is detected!
What is our recommendation?
Most of our students choose the largest and newest banks. OTP and Budapest Bank both have a large international clientele and an abundance of branches all across Budapest, but generally speaking, most banks offer similar quality of service. Here is a list of all banks that operate in Hungary.
Also, financial technology is on the rise throughout the world and several multi-currency virtual accounts can now handle Hungarian Forints, which will come in handy if you plan to transfer money to/from abroad or if you travel a lot.
For more information, read this quick guide about how money works in Hungary!
If you have any questions please check the FAQ or contact us using the form below! We aim to provide answers as detailed as possible, which can take some time. Please be patient, we cannot respond instantaneously.