The Spain banking system has had difficult times from time to time because of global reasons or domestic unrest. Spain has overcome these difficulties with the right economic policies. The two biggest examples of these difficulties are the post-WWII and 2008 economic crisis.
The Spanish economy went through a difficult period after WWII. It became the second fastest developing economy in the world in 1974 with the economic policy that started in 1959. This was the “Spanish Miracle”.
The Spanish government requested help from the European Union during the 2008 economic crisis. Banks acted in the light of The Memorandum of Understanding made in 2012. The Spanish banking system survived the crisis in 2014.
Spain has a developed banking system today. Banks in Spain provide various services for individuals and companies. Saving accounts, credit cards, short-term loans, mortgages, and investment products are just a few of these services.
You should choose the type of bank you work with carefully, depending on your purpose. Here are some types of banks;
Retail Banks: These provide general services like individual accounts, loan and mortgage services, investment accounts, retirement accounts, credit cards, different types of bank accounts, and wealth management services.
Commercial or Corporate Banks: These are for companies and businesses usually. They offer credit services, cash management, employer services, and trade finance.
Investment Banks: These provide complex services and financial transactions and assist with merger and acquisition activity. They are working with large corporations, financial institutions, hedge funds, and governments.
Central Banks: They are independent banks but authorized by governments. Their main duty is to manage the country’s money supply and monetary policy.
These are traditional bank types. Online banks in Spain have become more popular since 2010. Digital banks in Spain reached their peak during the pandemic period. People have used FinTech banks’ services to get cheaper maintenance fees and more comprehensive services.
FinTech is a portmanteau of “financial” and “technology”. It refers to any application or software that allows online money management.
These developments in local banking have caused a decline in traditional banks. People have chosen easier and cheaper services provided by neobanks and challenger banks. Challenger banks are similar to traditional banks because of their physical offices. However, they offer lower interest rates and more comprehensive services.
On the other hand, neobanks don’t have physical offices. They focus on providing the lowest bank fees and the most comprehensive services since they have fewer expenses. Traditional banks have also provided mobile apps after the increasing use of neobanks and challenger banks.
Advantages of Online Banking
Online banking or mobile banking in Spain presents unlimited services. Some of their advantages are as follows;
Online or mobile banking allows you to carry out all your transactions without carrying cash. You can make your payments, check your account, classify your expenses, money transfer, or withdraw cash whenever you want.
You can log in to bank applications with multifactor verification. You can personalize the verification steps. Even if someone has your information, they cannot easily access your account.
Banks will contact you immediately when they notice a suspicious transaction. Since they regularly keep records of your transactions.
Unlike using cash, online banking offers absolute control over your money. You can check and categorize the expenses in your account at any time. Thus, it allows you to easily manage your budget by understanding how much money you spend on what.
State of The Spanish Banks Digitalisation in the Future
The banking sector is also trying to keep up with technology. Although the banking system has been not fully online yet, it is inevitable. All banking transactions will be online in the near future.
Banks will be more global and people’s expectations will increase. Therefore, there will be always a new bank service. Spanish banks are strong and stable. They will continue to provide the best services to their customers by exceeding all expectations.
Opening a Bank Account in Spain for Non-Residents
Opening a bank account in Spain may differ for residents and non-residents. Many banks allow the opening of a bank account for non-residents if you consider moving to Spain or buying a property in Spain. All you need to open a Spanish bank account is a valid passport, NIE number, an official document like a utility bill as proof of address, and proof of income for citizens of non-European Union countries.
You can also open an online bank account in Spain. However, you should consult a person or give a power of attorney to open a non-resident bank account. Since the process of banking in Spain for non-residents can be complicated. Opening a bank account in Spain as an expat takes 1-5 days.