Banks, banking services and digital payment services

Last updated: 8/12-2022

Read more here about banks, bank cards, internet banking and digital payment services. You can also read about the BankID system and how you can make payments with a mobile app.

A woman is sitting with a laptop in front of her, on whose screen an online banking page can be seen. She holds a smartphone in one hand, with the mobile BankID app open.


A bank is a company that works mainly with three things: payments, savings and lending. Banks and credit institutions help you to make payments. They also help you to make savings and investments. They are therefore important to a well-functioning economy. Companies that provide payment services and electronic cash, lend money to consumers, hold your money against interest, and offer currency exchange and other financial services are also regarded as banks. If you are under 18 years old you are not allowed to take loans, but you can save money and make payments if your guardian allows you to. A child's parents are usually the child's guardian. Banks usually have various services for savings and payments, such as bank accounts, bank cards and banking by phone.

In order for your everyday life to function smoothly in society you need to have access to three important banking services: bank accounts, bank cards and internet banking.

Becoming a customer at a bank

If you have been granted a residence permit you have to get registered in the population register as soon as possible. You will then also be issued a Swedish personal identity number. Once you have that you can apply for a Swedish ID document, and once you have your Swedish ID document you can apply to open a bank account.

Before you can become a customer at a bank and get access to banking services, the bank needs to check your identity. The bank also needs to find out where your money is coming from and how you are going to use its banking services. You will therefore be asked a number of questions before you can have access to banking services.

Bank account

You have to have a bank account in order to be able to manage your personal finances. The account you need can be a lönekonto (salary account), transaktionskonto (transaction account), personkonto (personal account), privatkonto (current account) or a betalkonto (payment account), for example. It does not matter what the account is called. The important thing is for it to give you access to the following services:

  • Deposits, such as salaries or benefits
  • Payments in the form of account transfers, brevgiro (payment order by letter) or autogiro (direct debit)
  • Cash withdrawals

Bank cards

In order to manage your account efficiently you need a bank card. When you pay or make withdrawals with the card, money will be debited to the bank account your card is connected to. There are different types of cards, including Visa and Mastercard. You can do the following things with your bank card:

  • Pay for purchases in shops
  • Pay online
  • Make withdrawals from cash machines

Internet banking

Using internet or online banking for private individuals you can pay bills, take out insurance, and review your loans whenever you want to. Internet banking is also available for children and young people and for sole proprietorships. With internet banking you can do your banking errands at your own convenience. Once you log in you can get an overview of your accounts, cards, debts and assets. You can also manage services such as BankID and Swish via internet banking.


BankID is an electronic identity document, also known as e-ID. It is a simple way of providing your ID, e.g. when you enter into a contract, and electronically signing for payments on the internet. Using your electronic signature via BankID is legally binding in the same way as a physical signature.

Banks are the issuers of BankIDs. You need to have a Swedish personal identity number in order to obtain a BankID.


  • BankID is your personal e-ID. Do not use BankID if someone else asks you to do so, for instance if you get contacted by phone or via social media.
  • The security code for your BankID is personal. Never reveal the security code to anyone else. If you do, you risk being defrauded.

Send and receive money on your mobile phone

You can make payments using a mobile app. Available apps include Swish, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay. These apps allow you to transfer money to, or receive money from, private individuals and companies. The money is drawn from or deposited in your bank account. Bear in mind that each bank sets its own fees. You can receive money even if you don't have a smartphone.

How to get started with Swish:

  • In order to use Swish to send money you need to download the Swish app and have a digital BankID on your mobile phone. You can download the app from Google Play or the App Store.
  • You also need to log in to your internet or mobile banking service when you connect your bank account to Swish.
  • You activate Swish by starting the Swish app and linking it to your phone number.

Using your mobile phone to make payments and do banking business

Many people do their banking business and make payments using their mobile phone. If you hav not used your mobile phone for these things before, it might get some taking used to. There are good manuals for both iPhones and Android phones. They have step-by-step descriptions of how you can download and get started with BankID and Swish and how you can begin making payments using your mobile phone.