Despite all the hatred demonstrated towards Icelandic banks and their practices, I personally find that having a bank account in Iceland is important.
Almost all financial transactions in the country can be settled through debit cards, credit cards, and on-line fund transfer. So convenient! I have been paying all house bills, university tuition, car insurance, taxes, from the comfort of my own home, and I have on-line banking services to thank for that.
I remember the time when I had to drive my mum to some governmental bank in Jakarta to pay Pajak Bumi dan Bangunan, or some phone bills, or any other bills, which was so annoying and time consuming (don’t even get me started on the traffic jams I had to endure during those trips). I wasn’t sure if it was because my mum was very old-fashioned and computer-illiterate, or if it was because such easy on-line facilities simply does not exist.
Anyway, another thing that I find amazing in here, is that there is no minimum limit for credit card purchases! Imagine buying a hot dog for 200 ISK (around 20,000 IDR) and using a credit card to pay for it. Bliss, I tell you!
So, to all of you newly immigrants in Iceland, once you settle in the country and obtain your Icelandic ID number, rush to your nearest bank, and set up an account on your name. I assure you, it will make your life in Iceland so much easier.