Banking in Taiwan - Opening a Bank Account
If you are here on a visitor's visa only you may have heard that you can not open an account without an A.R.C. (Alien Resident Certificate)? Well it's not completely true there are banks that will open an account for you. So if you are getting a little nervous with all your money lying around then read on, we have tried to answer some of the more basic questions.
Opening An Account
You will generally find two types of banks in Taiwan and these are government owned and independent. The government owned banks are usually more tightly regulated and ask you to make some uncomfortable disclosures when opening an account. I recommend going to an independent bank because they are competing against each other to get deposits and are much more willing to help you than the government owned banks. You will be able to open an account at one of these banks with just a passport for identification, a minimum deposit, and a few questions. The most common type of account opened is called a "Demand Deposit" account. This kind of account is similar to a savings account back home, you are not allowed to write checks but you'll get an ATM card with unlimited withdrawals at a minimal fee. The ATM withdrawal fee is free if you go to a branch of your own bank otherwise it is only NT 7 at another bank. Most ATM machines have an English option so don't have to worry about accidentally transferring all your hard earned money to someone else's account. If you do encounter any problems with a bank when opening an account then simply try another one there are plenty of banks out there that do want your business.
Generally speaking banking hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, they are not open on Saturdays. The employees usually work until 5:30 p.m. so you can still make inquires by phone if you get connected to someone who can speak English. If you find it to much of a hassle making deposits all the time simply have your school do a direct deposit into your account, just ask a clerk at your bank for the proper form.
A final note on banking and that is taxes. Of course they don't tax you on any of your principle in your account, just on any interest that you have earned. However they do deduct a whopping 20% of any interest you earn, this is deducted right at the bank so you never see this money. The interest that you earn less the 20% tax is directly deposited to your account. The nice part is that filing of tax return is not needed. Depending on how often you have your interest deposited to your account is when they deduct the tax. If you have a Taiwanese friend that you totally trust you can open an account in their name as they do not get this tax deducted directly like foreigners do, therefore saving you this tax.
Below is a list of some of the larger independent banks. Picking the right bank is totally up to you I prefer to deal with a bank that is confidently located to my home or school. But I have indicated some interest rates paid on savings accounts just in case this is an important factor in making your decision about which bank to deal with.
|International Bank of Taipei||1.75%|
|International Commercial Bank||1.50%|
|Chung Hwa Bank|
|Overseas Chinese Bank||.75%|
|United World Chinese Commercial Bank||.75%|
Who can open a bank account in Taiwan?
It used to be,....anyone holding a valid passport with more than 100NT dollars can open a bank account in Taiwan. Now, as far as we know, you must have an ARC or other resident card
Where can a foreigner open a bank account in Taiwan?
Almost all banks in Taiwan allow foreigners to open savings accounts. For a list of some of the
What time are the banks open in Taiwan?
Most banks open at 10 a.m.and close at 3:30 p.m.
Can I send money to my home country?
Yes. You can wire money from Taiwan to almost any country. You can transfer the funds in your chosen currency whether it be Taiwanese dollars or American dollars to your account in your home country or to any beneficiary you state on the form.
Can I exchange money?
Yes. Most banks exchange foreign currencies at reasonable rates. However, if you need RMB (Chinese Yuan) you must acquire it outside of Taiwan. We suggest you buy US dollars and then change it in Hong Kong or any major city outside of Taiwan.
Will I be given Cheques?
No. You can't get issued or write cheques in Taiwan.
Will I be given an ATM card?
Yes. Upon request you will be given an ATM card. If offered , ask for a "Cirrus" or "Plus" card so you will be able to withdraw money from ATM machines outside of Taiwan.
Do they charge a fee to use ATM machines in Taiwan?
Yes. Most banks charge 5-7 NT D per withdrawal if you use another bank. However, most banks allow free withdrawals from their own ATM machines
How much can I withdrawal from ATM machines in Taiwan?
Most banks allow their customers to withdrawal between 90,000NT dollars to 150,000NT dollars per day from their own ATM machines. It's usually in 30,000 NTD incremints If you were to withdrawal from a competitors machine you will be able to withdrawal up to 60,000NT dollars.
Can I collect interest?
Yes, you can.
Do bank tellers speak English in Taiwan?
Chances are, yes. At least one employee of each bank will speak English. In major cities and at major banks most employee's will have a sufficient English level to provide services in English.
Can I get a Taiwanese credit card?
Maybe. If you have a Taiwanese friend that will co-sign you chances greatly improve. You may also be able to obtain one with only an ARC.
Do they have direct deposit?
Yes. Most banks allow the direct deposit of your pay cheque by your school or employer.
BANKS IN TAIWAN
Address: 4 Zhong Xiao Si Road Sec 1. Taipei, TAIWAN
Phone: +886 2 2508 2288
Fax: +886 2 2508 8701
Chang Hwa Commercial Bank Limited
Address: 38 Tsu Yu Road Sec 2. Taichung, TAIWAN
Phone: +886 4 2222 2001
Fax: +886 2 2223 1297
CHIAO TUNG BANK COMPANY LIMITED
Address: 91 Heng Yang Road. Taipei, TAIWAN 100
Phone: +886 2 2361 3000
Fax: +886 2 2311 3263
China Development Industrial Bank
Address: 125 Nanking East Road Section 5. Taipei, TAIWAN 105
Phone: +886 2 27638800
Fax: +886 2 27686060
Farmers Bank OF China (the)
Address: 85 Nanking East Road Sec 2. Taipei City, TAIWAN
Phone: +886 2100 3456
Fax: +886 2 2542 8344
FIRST COMMERCIAL BANK COMPANY LIMITED
Address: 30 Chung King South Road Section 1. Taipei, TAIWAN
Phone: +886 2 2348 1111
Fax: +886 2 2361 0036
Hsinchu International Bank
Address: No 106 Chungyang Road. Hsinchu City, TAIWAN
Phone: +886 3 524 5141
Fax: +886 3 525 0977
International Bank of Taipei
Address: 36 Nanking East Road Sec 3. Taipei, TAIWAN
Phone: +886 2 2506 3333
Fax: +886 2 2506 1290
INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL BANK OF CHINA (THE)
Address:100 Chi-Lin Road. Taipei, TAIWAN 104
Phone: +886 2 2563 3156
Fax: +886 2 2561 1216
KAOHSIUNG BUSINESS BANK
Address: 87 Chung Chen Road Sec 4. Kaoshiung, TAIWAN
Phone: +886 7 2613030
Fax: +886 7 2913423
Taichung Commercial Bank Company Limited
Address: No 45 Min-Tsu Road. Taichung, TAIWAN
Phone: +886 4 2223 6021
Fax: +886 4 2227 0138
Tainan Business Bank
Address: 506 Sec 1 Shi-Men Road. Tainan, TAIWAN
Phone: +886 213 9171
Fax: +886 213 0895
Taishin International Bank
Address: No 44 Chung Shan Rd Sec. Taipei, TAIWAN
Phone: +886 2568 3988
Fax: +886 02 25111987
Taitung Business Bank
Address: No 362 Chungshan Road. Taitung City, TAIWAN
Phone: +886 89 331 191
Fax: +886 89 331 194