Currency and Banking
National currency - The Euro
The Finnish national currency and monetary unit is the euro, made up of 100 cents. Bank notes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 and coins in denominations of 1 and 2 euros and 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents. Although the coins of one and two cents are legal tender, they are not used in Finland, unlike in most euro countries. Shops may refuse to accept one and two cent coins, and €500 banknotes. Prices are rounded to the nearest five cents.
Single European Payments Area (SEPA)
Finland belongs to the Single European Payments Area (SEPA), which allows fast, cheap and secure money transfers anywhere in the euro currency area. SEPA credit transfers can be used for the payment of invoices and salaries to Finnish and other euro area accounts. The International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and the Business Identifier Code (BIC) allow the identification of any account in the SEPA countries.
Banks and ATMs
There are several branches of many banks in all cities. Banks are usually open Mon-Fri from 09:00/10:00 to 16:00/16:30.
You can withdraw money from cash points/ATMs (automatic teller machines) with Finnish bank cards (free) and with most of international cards as well (fees may apply). Cash points/ATMs can be found all over your campus town and the country, and they are marked with a yellow OTTO sign. Insert your card into the yellow slot if there is no microchip on your card. If you have a microchip on your card, please insert your card into the blue slot.
If you lose your Finnish ATM card, please call immediately tel. +358 20 333 to report the incidence (24 hour service).
Further information about opening a bank account can be found at: http://www.finanssiala.fi/en/material/Expatriate_Banking.pdf
Please note that if you pay bills at the bank desk, quite high service fees are charged. Therefore most people prefer to use internet banking (online banking). Online banking is the cheapest and most convenient method to pay bills and transfer money. Online banking services are available 24/7, wherever you have access to Internet.
All banks also have special banking terminals (maksuautomaatti) for paying bills. Using them is also cheaper than paying bills at a bank desk. Please ask the bank for a price of a service package and list of other charges (e.g. paying bills, online banking, credit/debit card fees) when opening a bank account.
Cheques are rarely used in Finland. They are not accepted as a method of payment in shops and businesses. International credit cards (e.g. Visa, MasterCard) are widely accepted.