Online Banking in Finland
Foreign ID is accepted at Finnish banks
Many foreigners in Finland have had problems obtaining access to online banking as their foreign ID has been rejected by Finland's banks. On 22nd July 2014 Finland’s Discrimination Tribunal ruled that banks cannot discriminate against people who only hold identity documents issued by foreign governments.
National Non-Discrimination and Equality Tribunal of Finland: yvtltk.fi Search "banking"
Finland has, proportionally, perhaps the world's biggest online banking population. Many countires claim to be the "world's biggest users of online banking". I don't know who is right, but in the European Union's official news release of 18th December 2012 entitled Internet access and use in 2012 it was noted
"Finland was the leading Member State for internet banking (91% of internet users) and online travel services (69%)."
The most common use for online banking is paying bills, whether they are Finnish or international, but there's a lot more you can do with it - even buying shares! I have been using Nordea's Netbank in its various incarnations since 2001, and I can honestly say it's one of the reasons I love living in Finland. Mainly because I think I've actually been to the bank three times in the last 12 years.
All the major banks offer online banking for a very reasonable fee. Best of all, for the non-Finns amongst us, the services are offered in English as well as Finnish and Swedish. Online banking services are available 24 hours a day, wherever you have Internet access.
Quick Bank Links
Visit your bank's site to find out about online banking:
- Nordea > Language > English > Personal Customers Netbank
- Osuuspankki > In English > Private Customers OP Internet
- Danske Bank (formerly Sampo) > English > Personal eBanking
When you are opening a bank account, make sure you also sign up for the bank's online banking package. If you already have an account but you don't have the online banking package, visit your bank's website to find the simplest way of arranging it.
You don't need special software for the services, and they are compatible with almost all browsers, but it can't hurt to confirm the compatibility of your system with the bank's service while you are signing up for the package, particularly if you are using an unusual system.
Once that's arranged you will be issued with a user ID, access codes and confirmation codes for the service, and the address to access the service online. You should now be good to go!
Online Services: Using the System
There are far too many online banking services available to be described in detail here. Everyday finances (paying bills, fund transfers etc), managing your investments, arranging insurance, setting up bank services, managing your credit cards and more should be fairly self-evident once you are in the system.
If you have difficulties, help with the various features will be available at your bank's website - see links above.
Many people are reluctant to use online services for security reasons. Finland's online banking services employ a raft of security measures to keep things safe. Primarily, as mentioned above you will receive a user ID, access codes and confirmation codes for the online service (this is actually the case for Nordea's Netbank service, but I believe the other banks employ similar measures).
Accessing the System
The user ID is not your bank account number, it's a separate ID only for online banking. The access codes are for one-time-only use; each time you access online banking you will use a new access code, so even if somebody had seen an access code you used in the past, it won't help them in the future.
Those will get you into the system, where you can check your statements, make transactions et cetera.
When you have finished entering a transaction into the system, you will be asked to enter one of your confirmation codes to finalise it.
If you would like an extra measure of security, Nordea has an additional payment confirmation service which requires that you either call or send a text message as a final confirmation before a payment will be processed.
The online service will also time-out pretty quickly if it detects inactivity on your part.
Obviously you still need to take care of your access codes and other personal data, as well as keeping the security on your system (antivirus programs et cetera) up to date, but to my mind, in terms of security, this system is basically worry-free.
More Information (Nordea Netbank)
Nordea > Language > English > Everyday finances > Internet services
Here you can find detailed information on online banking, information security, features, technical information, prices and terms.