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Which Swedish banks still let foreign citizens apply for a BankID?

New rules mean that foreign citizens may no longer be able to apply for their first BankID online. And some banks have as a result blocked the service entirely for those who don't hold a Swedish passport or national ID. Here's what The Local has been told by banks.

Which Swedish banks still let foreign citizens apply for a BankID?
BankID is the most common form of electronic ID in Sweden. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

More than eight million people in Sweden use electronic IDs in their daily lives, to do their banking, shop online or access vital public services. Issued by ten banks, BankID is the most widely used. But as The Local writes HERE, a recent rule change requires new users to have a Swedish passport or a national ID card issued by the Swedish police to verify the user’s identity when applying online for their first BankID (existing BankIDs won’t be revoked).

This is because these IDs contain a scannable chip, which can be validated digitally, meaning that the applicant can prove their identity online. But these forms of ID are only available to Swedish citizens, and other generally valid IDs – such as an ID card issued by the Swedish Tax Agency or a Swedish driving licence, which are both available to foreigners – does not contain that chip.

However, it remains possible for banks to accept these IDs, which some banks in Sweden have chosen to do.

The Local contacted ten Swedish banks to ask if and how their foreign customers can get a BankID. Scroll down to read more. Please note that as before, a BankID can only be issued to people who are customers of the bank and have a Swedish personal number.


A foreign citizen with a valid Swedish ID (such as an ID card issued by the Tax Agency) and a personal number (personnummer) can as before get a BankID from Handelsbanken at an in-person meeting. A Swedish passport or national ID from the police are only required for remote applications, such as online. “These are the only documents that we can check and verify at a distance. This routine is in line with the authorities’ new guidelines for issuing ID documents,” a Handelsbanken digital security solutions officer told The Local.


It is possible to use an existing BankID to verify your identity, but if you don’t have one you need a Swedish passport or national ID card issued by the police. The Tax Agency ID or a Swedish driving licence are not valid.

A spokesperson told The Local: “Each bank must answer for its own checks and requirements, and we are aware that there are banks that are able to for example verify the customer’s identity at an office, which ICA Banken cannot. (…) We have assessed the risk we see based on our capacity as a distance bank, and decided that we were not able to offer driving licences as an option in certain circumstances where the customer does not have a previous BankID.”


Nordea writes on its website: “If you don’t have a Swedish passport or a Swedish national ID card issued by the Swedish police, call customer service and we will help you. In a few cases, you have to visit one of our branches for in-person identification.”


A Swedish passport or national ID card is required to download a mobile BankID online, but people who have neither can visit one of Länsförsäkringar’s branches. “There, they can use a valid Swedish SIS-marked ID card (for example the Tax Agency’s ID card or a Swedish driving licence) to identify themselves. When their physical ID has been checked, the office staff will help the customer download a mobile BankID to their phone,” a spokesperson told The Local.


If a customer applies for a BankID via SEB’s internet bank, they may in some cases be asked to verify their identity using a Swedish passport or national ID card. But if you have neither you can book a meeting at one of SEB’s branches instead. “You then show your ID (for example driving licence or SIS ID card) and get a mobile BankID from the bank,” a spokesperson told The Local.


A Skandia customer service officer told The Local that you need a Swedish passport or national ID issued by the police to download a BankID for the first time, but stressed that people who have neither of these can still use their banking services by instead downloading a certificate to their web reader.

Sparbanken Syd

Only customers with a Swedish passport or national ID card issued by the police can get a BankID.


Swedbank still accepts valid IDs other than passports and the police’s national ID, so a foreign citizen who has a Tax Agency-issued ID card and a personal number can order a BankID if they visit a Swedbank branch.


Ålandsbanken’s customer services told The Local that all customers who need a BankID for the first time have to visit one of its branches in person. “Those who do not meet BankID’s criteria for mobile BankID can apply for a mobile security ID (Mobilt SäkerhetsID) with us, if they can verify their identity in a reliable way (they too need to visit the office),” said a customer service officer, adding that the latter gives customers’ access to the bank’s own digital services, but cannot be used for identification in other situations.

Danske Bank had not responded to requests for comments by the time of publication.

Member comments

  1. My Skatteverket ID card (issued early 2020) has a chip in it, and I have a reader that is capable of scanning it, however it only works on the Skatteverket website (it’s called “AB Svenska Pass” on their login page)

    The card reader is/was available for about 200kr online but it’s not widely promoted. Not like you can just walk into a tax office and buy one.

    Seems to me like banks – and every other business in Sweden – would rather just not put the work in to support a range of eID because BankID is so ubiquitous.

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Millions of kronor stolen in spate of BankID scams

More than 20 million Swedish kronor was stolen in one single month in a spate of bank scams this summer.

Millions of kronor stolen in spate of BankID scams
Beware of BankID scams, police warn. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

BankID is an electronic identification system originally developed by banks and used widely across Swedish society, including government authorities, businesses, banks and other organizations.

But fraudsters are increasingly taking advantage of the scheme to get their hands on your money.

Last month alone, 19.6 million kronor ($2.14 million) was stolen in such scams, according to police figures reported by Dagens Nyheter. In June the figure was even higher: 21.6 million kronor.

“It has become a national problem that is threatening the system,” Stefan Larsson, the police's chief investigator of national serial crimes, told the Swedish daily on Monday.

READ ALSO: Beware of new bank scam, Swedish police warn

Two people were sentenced to jail at the end of July in Sweden's first BankID scam conviction, and another three people are expected to be charged in September in connection with a similar scam.

They usually unfold like this: someone calls to tell you that your bank account has been hacked. Pretending to be a police officer, they inform you that you should expect a call from your bank.

A second scammer then calls, pretending to be from the bank and asking you to log in to your account via BankID. But they have already typed in your Swedish personal identification number on the bank's website, so when you log in to BankID, you instead log them into your account.

They then ask you to try logging in again later – at which point the same thing happens and you end up inadvertently transferring your money to another account which they have set up.

The best way for BankID users to protect against the new wave of bank scams is to never give out your personal codes or information and never use it at the prompting of anyone who contacts you. If you receive a suspicious phone call, the best course of action is to hang up and then contact your bank's customer service to check on the veracity of the call and report the suspicious activity.