Over the past decade there has been a steady increase in the number of skilled professionals moving to live and work in Lithuania. Besides the business opportunities in the fintech hub of Vilnius, Lithuania’s attractive cities, low cost of living and friendly locals make it a wonderful place to live. If you are planning to move to the Baltic state (or have already arrived), getting a Lithuanian account will be near the top of your to-do list.
Whether you are working for a local business or are planning to set up a company in the country, our guide to expat payments in Lithuania will walk you through the key considerations. We'll look at the challenges of expat payments in Lithuania, options for personal and business accounts as well as newer fintech alternatives.
Is it difficult to open an expat account in Lithuania?
Not necessarily. Lithuania has a sophisticated and modern financial system and the actual process of opening an account can be relatively straightforward. Lithuania has a good reputation within the payments sector.
Generally speaking, if you are employed by a local company and have fairly ‘regular’ payment requirements, the process is quite simple. On the other hand, if you have a less ‘standard’ profile - such as being a digital nomad, being the non-working partner of an expat, or work in an emerging industry like iGaming – you may find it more challenging to open a local account.
How to open a personal non-resident payment account in Lithuania
There are numerous options in Lithuania, all of which will be happy to provide services to non-resident private individuals aged 18 or above. That being said, certain local providers are more geared up to the expat market - especially international banks such as SEB, Swedbank and Nordea.
You will normally need to visit a branch in person to complete the formalities (some are now allowing online applications). If you’re visiting a branch in person, sometimes you don't need to book an appointment, but it can be worth calling before you go to make sure that there is someone available (and who speaks your language).
When you are applying for an account in Lithuania you will normally need to bring the following documents:
· Your passport or identity card (for citizens of the EU, Switzerland and Liechtenstein)
· Proof of address in Lithuania
· Your temporary residence permit
· A completed application questionnaire
· Possibly a reference from your home country
· There is usually no requirement to make a minimum deposit when opening your account
Once this process is complete, your account will normally be opened in under a week, and you’ll get a debit card delivered to your home address.
How to open a non-resident business account in Lithuania
If you plan to set up a company in Lithuania, you are obliged to open a business account. The process is fairly straight forward. As with personal accounts, it's normally easiest to book an appointment with a local branch and complete the application process in person. You will usually need the following information when applying (but always check what’s needed before your meeting):
· Your passport or ID card
· Proof of your residence status in Lithuania
· Proof of home and company address
· A registration certificate for your company either in Lithuania or abroad
· Legal documents such as articles of association and incorporation documents
· Business documents, such as business plan and financial information
· Information on your personal financial history
· Completed questionnaires and forms
In some cases, this documentation may need to be translated into Lithuanian.
Digital expat payments in Lithuania
Lithuania has established itself as the leading fintech hub in the European Union and the second biggest destination for fintech organisations in Europe after the UK. Unsurprisingly various electronic money institutions, payment institutions and special purpose banks are popular among expats and locals alike.
The benefits of using digital payments alternatives as an expat in Lithuania include:
· Online only applications
You will not need to attend appointments to open an account - you can apply for digitally 24/7 from anywhere.
· Low cost or free international transfers
If you plan to send your earnings in Lithuania abroad, or bring money from your account back home to spend in Lithuania, transfers with digital only services are often much cheaper than if you used a local provider.
· Multi-currency accounts
Many allow you to hold your money in multiple currencies. If your expat lifestyle sees you travelling frequently or spending money in various currencies, this can make it easier to spend as you wish.
· Easy to use
Digital-only providers also offer mobile-friendly online services that is normally much more intuitive to use than the services provided by Lithuania’s more established operators.
Xace: digital payments for niche sectors
Xace is a digital-only payment institution licenced to operate and provide services to Lithuanian nationals and non-resident expats living in the country.
Our accounts are designed to meet the needs of professionals working in niche sectors including esports, gaming, ecommerce and other emerging digital industries. While many local and digital banks make it easy to open an account if you work in traditional businesses, they tend to be less open to customers from more cutting-edge sectors. And this is where a Xace account helps.
View our niche digital account products today, or apply for your account now.