If you are planning to stay in Russia for a long-term study program, it is a must that you open a Russian bank account. 

Not only is it useful for saving money, but it can also make your life easier and more convenient. 

To help you, here’s a quick guide to opening a bank in Russia. 

An Overview of Banking in Russia

The Russian banking system has improved a lot in the past decade and has become more modern. Contactless payments, and online banking through apps have become more common. 

Although those things have become more common in the cities, in most rural areas, people still use cash in their daily transactions. Remember this when choosing the place where you will be studying and in doing your transactions in Russian cities and the countryside. 

Why Should You Open a Bank Account? 

Having a Russian bank makes it easier to do regular transactions, such as paying your bills, rent, tuition fees, and so on. If you are planning to work in Russia, it is also the best way to receive your salary. 

Moreover, having a Russian bank account also ensures you don’t have to pay a foreigner’s fee when withdrawing your cash. 

If you have plans to stay in Russia after you graduate, it’s a good time to start saving and earning interest in your account. 

Types of Bank Accounts in Russia

As a foreign national, you can choose between a current account and a savings account.

Basic Current Account

When you withdraw with a basic bank account, you don’t have to pay any fee when you use your provider’s ATM. Thus, getting a current account is good for your daily transactions. However, aside from that, you may have to pay for the bank’s other services. Often, they don’t have annual fees. 

Moreover, some of the perks of basic bank accounts include transferring money without charges, good saving rates, and some providers also offer an online account so you can make online purchases by only using your phone. 

Savings Account

If you want to start investing while saving money in Russia and have plans to stay there for a long time, then you can open a savings account. 

How to Open a Bank Account 

You can open an account on your own, or with the help of an employer (if you have plans to work while studying). Moreover, you can also do it in person or online. 

The documentation needed for opening a bank account varies per provider. For example, some providers may ask you to have a residence permit, while others don’t. 

Aside from a residence permit, other common requirements to opening a bank account include the following: 

As a non-resident of Russia, you can also open a Russian bank online, such as through the Alfa Bank, if you choose to do so. 

From a traditional bank account or a digital one, opening a bank account in Russia offers a lot of flexibility to students. 

Learn more about Russia including tips for international students by checking our articles at MSM Unify. To start, read our article on Getting Discounts in Russia for international students