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#toptip campaign: Are you thinking of opening an account remotely? This information is for you

#toptip campaign: Are you thinking of opening an account remotely? This information is for you

Did you know that you can now open a current account using remote communication?

Find out if the bank you want to open an account with allows you to do so remotely and what conditions are required. 

Whatever channel you use to open an account, whether in person or remotely, the bank must provide you with clear and complete information and answer all your questions. 

A current account allows you to withdraw the funds deposited at any time. You can make deposits, payments and withdraw cash. It's usually possible to link a number of payment services, such as cards, transfers and direct debits to a current account.

Before opening an account

#1 Make sure that the bank you want to open an account with is registered with the Banco de Portugal.

#2 Find out from the bank you want to open an account with if it’s possible to open an account through digital channels. 

  • Not all banks allow you to open an account through digital channels. In some cases, the process can be initiated via the bank’s website or app, by filling in personal data, but you may have to go in person to the institution to provide proof of some identification detail. 

#3 Check the security of the bank’s website or app.

  • Check that the address you want to access begins with “https://” and that a padlock appears at the end of the address or in the bottom bar of the window. If this is not the case, the page is not secure.
  • Only install apps from official app stores.
  • Adopt the usual security procedures to protect your computer, tablet or mobile phone:
    • Keep antivirus and anti-spyware programs up to date;
    • Don’t click on links or download content from unknown sources;
    • Don’t use public or unknown wi-fi networks;
    • Don’t use public devices to make payments or other banking transactions.
      Don't enter your data (name, mobile phone number, email, citizen card number, bank account numbers or credit card numbers) on sites that you're not familiar with or whose authenticity you don't trust.

#4 Analyse the information provided before opening the account.

After you have accessed the bank’s website or app and filled in your details, the bank should provide you with detailed information on the account you want to open:

  • Standardised information sheet – document with the characteristics of the account;
  • Fee information document – document with information on the fees associated with the most representative payment services;
  • Depositor information template – document with information on the deposit guarantee scheme;
  • General terms and conditions of the account.

Carefully analyse all the information provided and compare it with alternatives, taking into account:

  • Charges associated with the account, for example, maintenance fees;
  • Charges associated with making payment transactions from that account, for example card or transfer fees.
When opening an account

#5 Check the procedures required to open the account through digital channels. 

The steps to be followed to open an account remotely should be explained on the platform used to open the account, namely the bank’s website or app.

As a rule, you will have to:

  • Read the documents with the characteristics of the account;
  • Fill in your personal data;
  • Provide proof of your identification details. 

#6 Provide the bank with proof of your identification details 

To open an account, you will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Full name, date of birth and type, number, expiry date and issuing entity of your identification document;
  • Tax identification number;
  • Profession and employer, if any;
  • Full address of permanent residence.

Proof of the customer’s identification details can be provided using the Mobile Digital Key, electronic use of the citizen card or via videoconference.

When using videoconferencing, please note that:

  • The videoconference must be recorded by the bank and held in real time and without pauses, with an indication of the date and time, and with sound and image quality;
  • During the video conference, you will be asked to show the front and back of your identification document so that the bank can capture the image of the identification elements, including the photograph and signature;
  • During the video conference, you will be asked to enter a “one-time password” (OTP) into the platform used to open the account. The code is sent by your bank to the contact you indicated (mobile phone or email);
  • You may also be asked for other supporting documents, such as proof of address (e.g. a water or electricity bill) and proof of your employment status (e.g. a pay slip). 

#7 Keep a copy of the account opening agreement. 

  • Keep a copy of the account opening agreement.  The bank is obliged to provide you with this copy on a durable medium.
After opening the account

#8 Always keep your details with the bank up to date. 

  • You should inform the bank of any changes to the identification elements and contact details provided when opening the account, such as your address, telephone number or email address.

#9 Use your account responsibly. 

  • Keep sufficient funds in your account to cover your transactions.
  • The bank may allow you to use funds beyond your account balance but be aware that this is a loan and you’ll have to pay it back, plus charges.

#10 Know that you have the right to close the account free of charge. 

  • Closing your account is free of charge, but you may be required to give one month’s notice. This means that once you notify the bank that you want to close the account, it has a maximum of one month to do so.
  • You can confirm the closure of your account by consulting your Bank Account Database, available online through the Banco de Portugal’s website, the Bank Customer Website or in person at the respective branches.