Banking and paying bills

Here you will find information about opening a bank account in Sweden and about paying your bills.

The only way that you can pay your bills is via a bank. Okay, this is not strictly true, you can also pay at the counter at most banks but then you have to pay an extra fee. 

The Swedish Bankers Association has put together information on the rules for opening a bank account for international students, which is very useful. Please make sure to take a look at it.

A convenient solution is to open a bank account at a Swedish bank. You can transfer your money to this account and then do your transactions here without attracting a cost for using foreign currency or a foreign bank. There are a number of different banks in Uppsala, and this page will tell you a little about each.

If you are staying for only one semester there is only one option for you. You can open an account at Nordea, that is not linked to internet banking or a cashcard. The reason for this is that you are not registered as a resident in the conventional sense which creates problems for banks. That account could be useful if you are working at the nations (or anywhere else) since payments are made directly to bank accounts.

It is also not as easy as one would think to try and pay a bill in another country and another language. You will find an explanation of what a bill in Sweden looks like, and what you need to do to pay one further down. 

Banks in Uppsala

Here you will find a description of which banks can be found, and what services they have for international students. I can strongly recommend paying a little extra for an account with internet access - internet banking is common in Sweden and it is a very convenient way to pay your bills.

SEB

SEB is one of the major banks in Sweden. To get an account you will need a copy of your housing contract showing that you have a Swedish address, a certificate from school, an ID or passport and your right of residency (uppehållstillstånd/ not applicable to EU citizens). 

Address: Kungsängsgatan 7-9 

Opening hours: 

Monday to Friday: 10.00-15.00

Nordea

This bank has had a long history with Uppsala University and is quite helpful for international students. A simple account has no cost, access to internet banking will cost 12 crowns per month. There is also a fee for having a bankcard, which depends on which card you choose. They recommend taking a letter of recommendation from your local bank back home - or something that shows you have been a good customer, as well as your passport or other ID. It is probably best to take a letter of admission to Uppsala University, just in case!

If you are staying here longer than one year your are, as you should know, entitled to a Swedish personnummer. Nordea recommends getting your personnummer first and then opening an account.

Address: Dragarbrunnsgatan 49

Opening hours:

Monday and Thursday: 10.00-18.00

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 10.00-15.00

Swedbank:

This bank is a large Swedish bank and has good opening hours. To get an account you will need to take your passport and your letter of admission from Uppsala University. Make sure that your letter of admission states the extent of your duration in Sweden.

Address: Stora Torget 

Telephone:018-17 35 00

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10.00-18.00

Danske Bank Uppsala: 

Address: Östra Ågatan 31

Telephone: 018-490 00 30

Handelsbanken: 

This bank is known for being the only bank that didn't need government support during the 1990 banking crisis. Unfortunately they do not have any services for foreign students, although if you have a Swedish personnummer you should be able to open an account here.

Address: Dragarbrunnsgatan 40

Telephone: 018 655800

Opening hours:

Monday-Wednesday: 09.00-18.00

Thursday: 09.00-19.00

Friday: 09.00-16.00

 

Paying bills

Bills can be paid, as mentioned, at your bank (where you take in your bill and they will help you out) or via internet banking. There are a number of important things to note with your bill:

1) "Sista betaldag" means the last day for payment. This is of course important to note! In this case you can see that the last day was the 11th of February 2008

2) This is who the bill is adressed to, in this case to yours truly, the International Officer. Make sure that this is correct - it is not unheard of to accidently get someone else's bill!

Under this information you will find a whole lot of details about the bill. It is hard to generalise about what this text may contain, but if you don't understand and think it is important you may of course come in to the Student Union and ask one of us to help you out.

The important part however is down the bottom of the bill, usually separated by a perforated line.

Unfortunately the limits imposed on uploaded image size mean that the following image is a little small - so get your reading glasses out!

1) Again, this is who the bill is addressed to. Make sure that it is you!

2) Here you can see the words "att betala" and an amount, in this case 345,00. "Att betala" means simply "to pay" and the numbers that follow indicate the amount in crowns, with the comma or decimal point indicating the number of cents. So, this bill is for 345 crowns.

3) This long number is the important one. It is the "referensnummer" - or reference number. It is the specific number for your bill, and it allows the company to register and track your payment. When paying you will have to provide this number. Make sure that you write it out correctly, otherwise your money may dissappear without you actually paying the bill!

4) Again, you can see the amount you have to pay, divided up into crowns ("kronor") and cents ("öre").

5) The last thing you should note is who you are paying the bill to! There are a number of different types of accounts that you may be paying into - bankgiro, postgiro being the most common. This makes no practical difference to you, the payer, except in the case of paying through an internet bank service, where you may have to choose "postgiro" or "bankgiro" before writing in the account number. In this case you can see (if you squint a lot!) that it is a bankgiro account and the number is 5809-7262. The entity you are paying is "Uppsala studentkår".

 

You now have the tools to understand and pay all of your bills!