How to pay bills in Croatia

Pay uplatnica in Croatia
Photo by Jorge Láscar

LAST UPDATED: 28/6/2021

Live in Croatia long enough and you’ll have to start paying bills or invoices, called “račun” in Croatian. It may seem simple, but if you’re coming from abroad, it’s probably different than what you’re used to.

I was confused when I first started paying bills, as the process was very different than in the United States. If you have also been confused by the process, this post will help clear up the mysteries of paying bills in Croatia.

There are a few ways you may receive bills/invoices and there are a few different ways to pay. We’ll go over all of them.

In this post, we’ve cover:

The facts are these…

Types of bills and invoices (račun)

There are many types of invoices, so let’s get a bit granular and start with the basics.

#1 Store receipts

If you purchase something in a shop, supermarket, café, restaurant, or bakery, you’ll get a račun as it is required by law. It functions more as a receipt of payment, but it is still considered a račun.

#2 Utility bills

These types of invoices include electricity, water, garbage, and city taxes for the apartment or house where you live. Maybe the bills come to you, maybe they come to your landlord. In my situation, all of these bills are mailed to me, but the accounts are in my landlord’s name. [Read: How to find an apartment to rent in Croatia]

All printed utility bills come with a payment slip, called an “uplatnica”, that is usually outlined in red. You’ll see examples further down in the post.

There are two types of utility bills that you’ll encounter.

Non-fixed utility bills

Your water bill is an example of a non-fixed utility bill. You receive an invoice each month and the amount varies depending on your usage. For the water bill, it is not uncommon for you to report your water meter reading to your landlord or building manager on a monthly basis for the calculation of what you owe.

The garbage bill you receive from Čistoća is also an example of a non-fixed. This bill is calculated based on the number of people in the household, so the amount is usually the same. The reason I am putting it in the “non-fixed” category is because it comes every month, or frankly whenever Čistoća feels like sending you one.

Your phone, internet, and television invoices are also examples of bills that are invoiced on a monthly basis. Each invoice will come with an uplatnica used for payment. We’ll get into that in a bit.

Fixed utility bills

There are certain invoices that will be sent to you in batches e.g. you’ll receive 6 months’ worth of uplatnica at once. This does not mean you must pay all 6 months at once. I mean, you can if you really really want to, but it’s not expected.

For example, HEP Elektra, d.o.o. (the state-run electricity company) uses averaged billing. Every 6 months, they look at your usage for the previous 6 months and create an average cost that you must pay every month based on that usage. For 6 months, you pay a flat rate for every month based on that average cost.

At the end of that 6 months, they recalculate your usage again. If you prepaid more than what you used, then they will credit your next bill accordingly and your monthly payments for the next 6 months will go down. If you prepaid less than what you used, your next bill will include the difference you owe and your monthly payments will go up.

HEP will send you 6 uplatnice at a time for the same amount, each with a different due date on them. It is your responsibility to pay each one at the appropriate time.

Depending on your jurisdiction, you may also be required to pay a tax to your city. For Split, there is a tax of about 58 kuna that must be paid every month to Grad Split. It’s a flat rate every month, but they send the uplatnice 6 months at a time just like HEP.

Here is an example of a packet of fixed-rate electricity uplatnice from HEP with personal redactions:

HEP invoice

#3 Straight up invoices

Usually, you’ll receive one of these when you are purchasing a service or product from a business that you can’t physically visit or a government institution that doesn’t accept payments on site.

Here is an example: Recently, I had some blood tests done at the hospital. Because I didn’t have “dopunsko”, the supplementary health insurance, I owed 50 kuna for these tests. [Read: What is “dopunsko” and why you should have this health insurance] About a week after the test, I received an invoice in the mail from the hospital. It did not include an uplatnica. We’ll address what to do in this situation further down.

Here is another example: A few years ago, I bought a special edition National Geographic coffee table book of Croatia for my mother as a gift. They sent me an invoice by email, which I paid at the post office, which we’ll address further down.

#4 Just an account number

If you need to send money “on bank account” (“na račun”) to someone, sometimes they’ll just give you their IBAN which starts with an “HR”.

Technically, this is not an invoice, but it does fall into the arena of requesting a payment so I’m putting it on this list.

Here is an example: I ordered olive oil from my favorite producer in Istria. They emailed me the IBAN number and amount to pay, with no invoice. We will not address the illegality of this right now. [Read: Olive picking in Klis]

Here is another example: There is a cool printmaker in Split that I follow on Instagram. She created neat notebooks with an awesome octopus print on them that were for sale. She sent me her IBAN for me to pay.

Here is yet another example: My friend and I split the cost of a gift for a friend getting married. She made the purchase, so I sent her money on account for my half. [Read: How to attend a Croatian wedding]

How to Pay bills, invoices & račun

There are several ways to pay a business or a person. Let’s go through each one.

#1 Hrvatska pošta (Post office)

If you do not have a Croatian bank account, then Hrvatska pošta – HP (Croatian postal office) is an easy way to pay bills. [Read: Hrvatska pošta – Croatian postal office]

Take your uplatnice to the closest location and you can pay by cash or card. They will charge you 1.83% of the payment amount in kuna per bill. The lowest fee is 5 kuna and the highest is 80 kuna. However, bills issued by HP partners can be paid free of charge. A list of HP partners is available here.

If going to the post office, I recommend going around 14:30. I have found this to be the sweet spot when the lines are the shortest, likely because everyone is at home finishing their lunch.

#2 In person

You can go in person to each utility or company to pay most bills, but don’t. It is simply not worth saving the bill payment fee considering how long you’ll be in line. Better to stand in one line at Hrvatska pošta than in 6 different lines at each utility.

#3 Through a bank account

Paying through a Croatian bank account is the easiest and cheapest way to pay invoices. [Read: Do I need to open a bank account in Croatia] If you do not pay for bill payment as a service on your bank account, the fee to pay a bill is around 2 kuna depending on the bank. If you have bill payment on your account (which you have to pay for monthly), then there is no fee to pay a bill.

There are also multiple avenues for paying a bill through a bank account. You can pay in person at your bank, through a mobile app, or by logging into your account through a web browser. For the latter, you’ll need a little calculator-looking gadget that your bank will give you.

I use PBZ’s mobile app, which has a barcode scanner. I open the app, scan the barcode on the uplatnica and all the payment information is pre-loaded for me. Their app has an English version too. If you have used a different bank’s mobile app to pay bills, share your experience in the comments.

[Read: Croatia’s biggest banks: Comparison of fees and services]

#4 Trajni Nalog

Some utilities will allow you to set up a direct debit from your bank account to occur automatically each month. To set this up, you’ll need to visit the utility directly to check if they offer “trajni nalog” and set it up.

#5 Tisak

Another way to pay bills is at Tisak [Read: What is a Tisak]. Tisak has more than 850 selling spots in Croatia where you can pay bills by using a 2D bar code. At more than 300 selling spots, bills can be paid whether they have a 2D bar code or not.

When you come to the Tisak selling spot, give the bills that you want to pay to the seller. They will scan your accounts just like any other products. You can pay them with cash and Maestro or MasterCard.

See all Tisak selling spots in Croatia here.

#6 Supermarkets

Bills can also be paid in many supermarkets in Croatia including:

  • Konzum – See more details here
  • Studenac – See more details here

Give the bills that you want to pay to the seller and they will scan them. You can pay bills in cash and Maestro or MasterCard.

#7 Gas stations

It is possible to pay the bills at gas stations in Croatia including:

  • Crodux – See more details here
  • INA – See more details here
  • Petrol – See more details here

Give the bills that you want to pay to the seller. They will scan the bills and you will pay them.

#8 FINA

Many Croatians still have a habit to pay bills at FINA. They will charge you 4.80 kuna per bill for amounts of up to 384 kuna. For amounts higher than 384 kuna, they will charge 1.25% of the payment amount in kuna per bill. The highest fee that you can pay is 75 kuna.

See all FINA branches in Croatia here.

#9 iNovine

iNovine has more than 200 selling spots in Croatia. You can also pay bills at their selling spots like everywhere else. Give the bills to the seller and pay after the seller scans the bills.

What you need to pay a bill

We’re nearing the promised land of adulting in Croatia.

Pre-printed Uplatnice

  • If you have a pre-printed uplatnica, then you are set. The Hrvatska pošta can scan the barcode and immediately bring up the bill information to apply for your payment.
  • If you are paying on a mobile app, you can scan the barcode using your phone to bring up the bill information. Then you just confirm the payment.

If you don’t have a pre-printed uplatnica and are paying online

Then all you need is the IBAN and amount to pay. Make sure you put it in the right place, or the payment will not go through. Look for the fields marked “Model & Poziv na broj primatelja”. Put “HR” plus the next two numbers in the “Model” field. Then put the rest of the number in the “Poziv” field next to it.

The bank will do the rest for you.

If you don’t have a pre-printed uplatnica and are paying in person

If you have an invoice with an IBAN without an uplatnica or just an IBAN, you’ll need to fill out a blank uplatnica before you can make the payment. Usually, you can get these at any place where you can make payments, but you can also buy them at a tiskanica, papirnica and probably Tisak. It will look like this:

Croatian bill payment slip called "uplatnica"

If you’re paying your health insurance HZZO premium out-of-pocket (e.g. you are not employed by a Croatian company), they usually send 2 blank uplatnice every month along with your monthly bill. I stockpile these for when I need them. [Read: Croatia’s state health care obvezno insurance]

You’ll need to fill out the following fields on the uplatnica:

  • Platitelj – Put your name and address here.
  • Primatelj – Put the person or company along with their address you are paying here. If it is a business, you’ll be asked to provide their OIB as well, which goes in this space.
  • Valuta plaćanja – This is for the currency. Put “HRK”.
  • Iznos – The total amount you are paying. It should be formatted like this: 1.000,00
  • Model & Poziv na broj primatelja – This is for the IBAN that starts with “HR” that you were provided by the person or business. It connects to their bank account. Put “HR” plus the next two numbers in the “Model” field. Then put the rest of the number in the “Poziv” field next to it.
  • Opis plaćanja – This is the reason for payment. If paying an invoice, put the invoice number here.
  • Duplicate all of this information in the secondary fields on the right side of the slip. This will be detached as your receipt of payment.

Hooray! Now you can pay invoices in Croatia.

Encountered any problems paying invoices? Let me know in the comments.

Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. We can recommend one if you contact us.

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30 thoughts on “How to pay bills in Croatia

  1. Ivens
    March 26, 2019 @ 6:38 pm

    Good article which will be helpful to many. Can you tell me if I live out of Croatia, can a direct debit be set up for all utilities associated with home/apartment ownership? Eg garbage, electricity, water, and anything else?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      March 28, 2019 @ 10:06 am

      Hi Ivens,

      Some utilities will allow you to set up direct debit. You’ll need to speak to each utility directly to see if they offer “trajni nalog”. Another option is to prepay in advance, which would be easiest for electricity since it is flat rate.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  2. Marin
    April 8, 2020 @ 3:48 pm

    Hi,

    Hope you can help me. I visited Croatia last January. This month I was delivered by mail a fine, related to a speed limit which I had over passed driving in my vehicle.
    I wanted to pay this fine online by credit card. It is possible? If yes can you suggest me how or which website should I go to?

    Thank you,

    Marin

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      April 8, 2020 @ 3:55 pm

      Hi Marin,

      Hmmm, usually you need to pay cash only or with online baking using your bank account. You could try to go to the post office and see if they will allow you to send a payment using a credit card. I’m not sure it will work, but worth a try. If you manage to pay it at the post office using a credit card, please update us here. It’ll be helpful to others. 🙂

      Good luck!

      Sara

      {reply}

  3. Edith
    July 1, 2020 @ 9:28 pm

    Hi Sara,
    I’ve just read your post about paying bills, it’s very helpful. I am just wonder if you can clarify if bills can be paid from a foreign (ie English not Croatian) bank account? Can you set up direct debit or it must be a international bank transfer? Are there no options pay online for your bills by debit/bank card?
    Thanks for your help
    Edith

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      July 8, 2020 @ 11:23 am

      Hi Edith,

      Thanks for the question!

      You can only pay bills in cash in person in Croatia or from a Croatian bank account. You can not use a foreign bank account.

      You can set up direct debit from a Croatian bank account by visiting the utility in person and setting it up.

      To pay bills online, you must go through mobile apps that Croatian banks provide.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

      • Lindsay Plaskett
        November 23, 2020 @ 3:44 pm

        Hi Sara!
        Do you know if bills can be paid via Revolut/Transferwise? I haven’t established a Croatian bank account yet, but have received a few bills. Oops!

        {reply}

        • Expat in Croatia
          November 24, 2020 @ 12:00 pm

          Hi Lindsay!

          I’m not sure if that is possible. If you’re able to pay a specific IBAN, then may it would would work. My suggestion is to go to the post office via the instructions in this post and pay them in cash or with a card.

          Cheers,

          Sara

          {reply}

          • Lindsay Plaskett
            November 24, 2020 @ 3:16 pm

            Thanks for the advice, Sara!

          • Expat in Croatia
            November 24, 2020 @ 4:51 pm

            You’re welcome, Lindsay!

        • Anne
          December 8, 2020 @ 11:23 am

          Transferwise does NOT work for many Croatian bank accounts. I would assume it’s the same for Revolut. Payments are simply rejected if they come from foreign bank accounts and/or banking services like these. I find this extremely annoying and inconvenient. I didn’t know that I could pay at the post office. That makes it slightly more convenient.

          {reply}

          • Expat in Croatia
            December 9, 2020 @ 10:44 am

            Hi Anne,

            Thanks for the feedback! I figured this was the case about paying from a foreign bank.

            I paid all my bills at the post office for 5 years. If you go around 14h when locals are at lunch, you’ll have the smallest line. They just scan them and give you the total. Pretty easy!

            Regards,

            Sara

  4. Rob
    August 25, 2020 @ 11:54 am

    Great info, thank you. However i just wanted to ask that if i would go live in Croatia if i had to pay my insurance invoices in advantage fo the new upcoming month or that you pay in Croatia your insurances afterwards (like in Netherlands) over the past month? Because i heard from someone that you pay in Croatia your insurances always afterwards (?)

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      August 25, 2020 @ 4:18 pm

      Hi Rob,

      You pay for health insurance by the 15th of the month for the previous month that just ended.

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

      • Rob
        August 25, 2020 @ 9:25 pm

        Thank you so much for the fast reply, it’s crystal clear now.
        Greetings Rob 🙂

        {reply}

  5. Sarah
    September 14, 2020 @ 7:30 pm

    Hello,
    Firstly love all the helpful work you are doing. Cannot thank you enough!
    My husband is currently registered at his mothers home and she is getting frustrated by the bills and posts them to us- but sometimes too late to pay them. We are going through the registration process and taking longer than expected. We do not have a croatian bank account yet so I cannot simple pay them online. I go to the ‘kiosks’.
    But my question is can we contact the individual utility companies (not in person) and ask them to send to our home which we have not yet registered to?

    {reply}

  6. Des mc garry
    March 15, 2021 @ 6:48 pm

    Hi Sara , Could you tell me because of COVID I haven’t been able to get over to my apartment in croatia since aug 2019 I usually am over 3 or 4 times a year and pay my bills . Will my utilities be cut off when I can get over next or is there some way of paying from Ireland .
    Regards Des

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      April 11, 2021 @ 3:01 pm

      Hi Des,

      Some send warnings after only 1 month of unpaid bills, some after 3 months, some after 6 months… It all depends on the utility provider. It is best to contact the provider directly. Some providers have online applications that enable paying bills from abroad.

      For HEP electricity, the number for calls from abroad is: + 385 1 6472 368

      For HEP gas, the number for calls from abroad is: + 385 31 801 634

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  7. Florian
    March 30, 2021 @ 11:05 am

    Hello, thank you for the article. I have a question regarding one of the bills i am getting. I live in Split. Under opis plaćanja it lists “Stambena Zgrada” what is this? If im not wrong its an Apartment tax? Does the landlord or the renter pay this?
    Thank you

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      April 11, 2021 @ 2:48 pm

      Hi Florian,

      That is a cost for the building. That is usually paid by the landlord.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  8. Dion
    April 17, 2021 @ 7:54 am

    Hello.
    I want to ask about something, I receive payment slips for gas but the owner of the house said to me not pay what they sent to me, but rather calculate it personally from the miter and ask me to pay in cash…
    Thank…

    And another question is… where can check for all the tax, pension and insurance i pay… because I received a letter from the pension with a different work on the letter from the one am doing.
    Thank

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      April 28, 2021 @ 9:27 am

      Hi Dion,

      I don’t see a question about the first issue. If you let me know your question, we will try to answer.

      You can see your pension paid within e-Gradani. As far as tax and pension, you can contact Porezna uprava for that.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  9. Anne
    July 6, 2021 @ 1:11 pm

    Hi Sara, I was given a uplatnica without any barcode from the police station when applying for the digital nomad visa and am confused about what I am supposed to do with it. I don’t have a Croatian bank account and want to pay with cash. Could I take it to a post office or Tisak despite the fact that it doesn’t have a barcode for them to scan? Thank you!

    {reply}

    • Marija Tkalec
      July 7, 2021 @ 3:57 pm

      Hi Anne,

      If uplatnica contains all the necessary payment data including IBAN (or if you will enter this data on uplatnica), you can go to the post office and pay it. You can also ask the person at the post office for help. They will check out if all the required boxes are filled in.

      Warm regards,
      Marija

      {reply}

  10. mike
    August 1, 2021 @ 2:59 am

    Hi Sara, thanks so much for posting many great info. Are you able to post (company, how often, etc.) in the future about other bills:
    1. Television/Radio
    2. Cemetery (for existing) [to keep it going]
    3. Vacation Home Tax

    {reply}

    • Marija Tkalec
      August 6, 2021 @ 4:34 pm

      Hey mike,

      Thanks so much for your suggestions and nice words! We’re always happy to hear any thoughts and suggestions from our readers (:

      We made a note. Looking forward to getting back to these topics very soon.

      Warm regards,
      Marija

      {reply}

  11. Sam
    October 8, 2021 @ 1:00 pm

    Hi Sara an Marija,

    I have some utility bills to pay (electricity, garbage, …). I’m living in Germany and transferring the money using wise.com. The place for the refernce code int thier app can contain only 35 letters! So my Question is: Which information in the uplatnice are most impotant to must come in reference field? And wich one can be ignored? Are Model & Poziv na broj primatelja really necassery?

    Thank you for your help,
    Sam

    {reply}

    • Marija Tkalec
      October 11, 2021 @ 5:25 pm

      Hi Sam,

      IBAN, the amount, and the payment description are required. However, it is good to include other data as well since they give information about your bills.

      Warm regards,
      Marija

      {reply}

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