Opening bank account– “The world is flat” – a famous book analyzing globalization in the 21st century as well as a typical metaphor illustrating the equal opportunities for all people around the world. People travel across countries nowadays not only to visit somewhere else but also to do business and even settle down in a foreign country.
Since the open policy, Vietnam gradually becomes a dragon of Southeast Asia attracting a lot of foreign investors in numerous economic development projects. Many foreign people have the intention of working or even settle down in Vietnam. If your long-term plan of life and work is in Vietnam, you should consider opening a bank account to help you have secure financial management.
This article provides you with procedures to open a bank account and some recommendations of banks that you should work with. The article will be written under Q&A form.
Can I open a bank account as a foreigner in Vietnam?
Answer: Definitely YES. The government provides ex-pats with opportunities to open an account while working and living in our country. No matter who you are, what your nationality is, following the regulation helps you have a bank account in Vietnam.
What is the process of activating a personal bank account in Vietnam?
Answer: Opening a bank account in Vietnam, it can be said that, is pretty simpler than the process in other countries. First, you need to bring these documents to the bank that you want to open an account:
- Your passport
- Your valid Vietnam visa or visa exemption
- An application form (you can fill the form at the bank)
- Minimum deposit (which depends on each bank’s regulation)
- Work contract and work permit if you enter Vietnam with a working visa
- Residential address in Vietnam (Some banks may require you to prove your residential address).
Furthermore, most banks in Vietnam allow you to create a bank account online provided that you submit correct and valid documents. International banks such as HSBC, Citibank, and ANZ have a strong presence in two major cities (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city). Hence, it is convenient for you to link your existing account with your account set up in Vietnam if you have already had one account in those banks.
Another option that foreigners can consider is to set up an international bank account at those banks before leaving the home country so that the account is already set up with the international bank upon arrival.
How to set up a business bank account?
Actually, setting up a business bank account will help foreign businesses proceed with payment methods easier with their partners. Two types of accounts that foreign companies must register are: Investment capital account and transactional account. The former is used for receiving and sending investment amount and the latter is used for conducting daily transactions in Vietnam.
The process of opening a business account is more complicated than that of a personal account. Your business needs to prepare these following documents:
- Application form for opening an account for a foreign company in Vietnam. In general, this form consists of the following information: information about your company (name, headquarter, address…), information about the legal representative of the company, information of Chief Accountant, the signature of an account holder, the signature of legal representative.
- Documents providing that foreign company was established in Vietnam including: establishment decision of the company, operation license of the company, business registration certificate.
- Documents providing for legal representative or authorized representative company with his/ her valid Identity Card/ passport.
- Some additional documents are authorization decision and Identity Card of chief accountant or person in charge of accounting work.
What banking fees are involved for opening bank account?
Banks in Vietnam will have their own set of fees that you have to pay through each transaction. Common fee types include:
When you use a different bank’s ATM to withdraw or transfer your money, the transaction will cost you a fee and that fee varies from banks to banks. The fee for foreign debit cards will range from VND 20,000 to VND 55,000. Besides, the maximum amount of money per withdrawal is not relatively low (VND 2,000,000) then the transaction fee of ATM may increase depending on how many times you do your transaction at the ATM.
Normal bank fees
You do not need to pay a fee when opening a new bank account as the Vietnamese banking system is on the large growth phase and Vietnamese banks are encouraging people to use their service. Nevertheless, you should have a minimum balance to maintain your account. The minimum balance can be VND 100,000.
Fees for international transfers
When you transfer your money internationally between banks, it will charge you a fee so, make sure that you understand the mid-market exchange rate. If you would like to transfer your money from your foreign to Vietnamese bank account, you had better use Transferwise, Xoom, or SWIFT transfer to get the real exchange rate without adding a markup.
Can you suggest some banks that foreigners should open a bank account in Vietnam?
There are more than 40 state-owned, private and international banks. You can choose to open an account in any bank in Vietnam providing that your transaction is done conveniently and you find it reasonable regarding bank relevant fees.
You can visit bank’s websites to search for information with regard to account for foreigners before deciding to open an account.
How to transfer money from Vietnamese to a foreign bank account?
In order to transfer money from Vietnam to a foreign account, you have to provide some documents to show the legality of your money source. If the money has already in your country, it is legal incomes and you have the right to decide about the transaction.
In case you would like to send in cash, it is required to provide relevant documents. For instance, that amount of money is from your salary, you need to submit your work permit, labour contracts, payslips and your passport.
All in all, opening a bank account in Vietnam is fairly easy. For a personal account, you have to submit required documents to prove that you have rights of using bank services like Vietnamese residents. For a business account, the process is more complex and requires more legal documents. Furthermore, foreigners should be aware of transaction fees and some other elements for their decisions to a bank account activation.
You can always contact us if you need any help for setting up you bank account whether it is for personal or business bank account.