The Federal Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs (BMEIA) can provide you with details of the support available if you are involved in an emergency abroad.
If you have connections in or work across multiple countries, you no longer have to maintain a separate bank account in each one. If you have an Austrian bank account, you can make cashless payments in euros from this account to any account covered by the SEPA system. SEPA covers all EU member states, as well as EEA members Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and non-EEA countries Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Vatican City State. The important thing to remember is that you must only provide the recipient/payee's IBAN (International Bank Account Number) for payments within the EEA. For payments to all other countries, you need to provide both the IBAN (or bank account number) and the BIC (Business Identifier Code, similar to a sort code) for the recipient's account.
Nevertheless, if you are leaving Austria, it is recommended to grant signatory authority over your account to someone living in Austria in order to resolve any difficulties that may arise.
You should also give the bank your new address abroad and complete a declaration certifying that you are no longer resident in Austria for financial purposes, if appropriate.
Banks are prohibited by law from charging higher fees for cross-border transfers in euros than they would charge for the same payment between domestic bank accounts. The requirement for harmonised fees also applies to cash withdrawals and card payments made in euros.
However, if you make a payment in a different currency that has to be converted, a fee may be charged for the conversion. Banks are under specific obligations to inform customers of these fees and the applicable exchange rates. These obligations apply irrespective of whether the amount concerned is converted at the point the payment is made or charged, or at the point at which the account is debited.
For more information about IBANs and BICs, see the section on "current accounts".
- USP Editorial Staff
- Federal Ministry of Finance