Opening a bank account in Germany

  • 17 December 2021
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In case you are in the process of opening a bank account in Germany: 

We recently tried to open one for Statefree. As you can imagine, verifying my identity was a bit of a hassle, but it did work in the end. We chose the “Postident” process and I was surprised that there was at least a little knowledge around different forms of identity documentation stateless people have. 


My context: I have a “Reiseausweis für Ausländer” aka travel document for foreigners and a residence permit

The bank:  GLS Bank 

:x:Ways that didn’t work: 

  1. Verification via PostIdent App - Although the app did offer a drop down menu with different document types (see screenshot below) I couldn’t finalise the verification in the app. Might have been a technical issue, so maybe it works for you:grimacing: ...

  1. Verification at the post office - The alternative was to go to the post office and verify my identity in person with my document. Unfortunately the post office is using a specific machine to scan and check the document. This machine rejected my document with an error message and there was no way for the person at the counter to verify my manually in the system. 


:ballot_box_with_check:THE way that worked (for me):

Verification via video call in the Postident app - It took quite a while (approx. 45 min) but eventually the person on the other side of the screen was able to verify my identity and add the information that I’m stateless and have a travel document. The program the person was using to document my information was even able to differentiate between XXX (undetermined nationality) and XXA (stateless)


In case you know any other ways that allow stateless people (with documents) to open a bank account, share them in the comments :) 


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