Banks in Canada charge fees based on the services they provide. The fee to open an account will different between banks. When looking for a bank, focus on themonthly service charges, telephone and computer banking options, transaction charges, and interest rates to find the bank whose services best meet your needs.

Banks located around the University of Calgary.

COVID-19 Update: Opening a Canadian Bank Account remotely

To help you settle your journey in Canada faster and save your time for later, do your research in advance to find a bank that meets your needs and allow remote banking setup options during your quarantine. Many banks are providing remote services at this time.

On-campus, there are two banks- ATB Financial and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). Both offer remote banking setup with certain conditions:

  • ATB Financial: Please email the Campus ATB team at to inquire more about remote banking setup. More information can also be found here.
  • RBC: To get in touch with an RBC advisor for setting up a bank account online, learn more here or email

To open a Canadian bank account, you will need to visit a bank in-person and bring official identification with you: 

1. Your passport or birth certificate 
2. A second piece of identification (e.g. study permit) 
3. Any money that you'd like to deposit
4. Your UCalgary Student ID card (UNICARD)

The bank staff will help you apply for an account. Remember to ask about a student rate or plan (often student accounts do not have fees while you are studying). 


If you are only in Canada for a short time (such as one academic term) and do not plan to work or receive any scholarships, then you may choose not to open a bank account. However, you must be able to access funds from back home to pay student fees and living expenses (via money transfers, using debit cards, and/or credit card).

If you do not have a Canadian bank account, you can pay UCalgary student fees (such as the UPASS charge) using Global Pay. View video below.

Visit the Finances page for more details about: 

  • understanding and paying tuition
  • preparing for Calgary expenses
  • budgeting
  • on-campus resources
  • awards and scholarships

You should choose a bank based on the services they provide or what is important to you. 

  • Is there a fee to open an account? 
  • Are there monthly service charges? 
  • Does the bank provide online banking services? 
  • Are there transaction charges or interest rates? 
  • Where is the physical bank located and is it convenient for you? 

There are several banks located within walking distance to campus or located on-campus. 

On-Campus Banks (in MacEwan Student Centre

There are also several Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) on-campus: CIBC, TD Canada Trust, ATB Financial, Royal Bank, Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal.

Pay your International Tuition through your Educational Institution’s Website