Considering moving to Vietnam to explore new opportunities? Or you’ve already landed here and are about to embark on your exciting adventure in South East Asia?
It’s no easy decision and one that should not be taken lightly so careful preparation and consideration will go a long way in improving your quality of life in Vietnam. Either way, one of the first few things you should set up apart from your place of residence, is a bank account. It’s best to have a domestic bank account than spend money using your overseas bank cards and get charged fees.
So let’s get started with some common questions to ask before you pick a banking partner:
Can I open a bank account as a non-resident of Vietnam?
Most definitely. As an incoming expat you are free to open a bank account within the country.
What’s the process? How long does it usually take?
The formalities vary by different banks, but overall it’s quite simple:
Choose the bank where you want to open your account
You’ll need to bring some documents with you to the bank of your choice when you go to apply. These may vary according to the bank, but will typically include:
- A valid passport
- A valid visa
- A minimum deposit amount depending on the bank
- Valid proof of address (tenancy contract)
- A copy of your work / labour contract if applicable
Make an appointment online or simply visit one of the branches of the bank you choose.
The process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the bank. The more efficient the account opening process, the shorter the time spent
What banking fees are involved?
Like banks around the world, Vietnam too has its fees that you should be aware of. This will vary by bank and service. Some of the most common fee types include:
This is a lucrative revenue generator and most banks will charge fees for inter bank transfers starting at 3,000 VND to 33,000 VND. Some banks do not charge any fees.
Typically banks will not charge when withdrawing from their own ATM network, however using a different bank’s ATM might levy a fee, starting at 1,000 VND to 11,000 VND.
This varies by bank, but depending on the minimum deposit or balance maintained with the bank, this fee may or may not be applicable. The fee can range from 5,000 VND to 200,000 VND.
Most banks these days will not charge you for using Internet banking, however you could incur some fees from 10,000 VND upward with a select few.
Which bank should I choose?
All in all, the bank you choose should reflect the services you need the most, how easy it is to sign up and what fees you will be charged. There are more than 43 banks in Vietnam, but the popular banks present in the major cities include HSBC, Citibank, Shinhan, VP Bank, Techcombank, VIB, Maritime bank, Vietcom bank, SacomBank, Vietin Bank, UOB, TP Bank … and of course Timo by VPBank