This is a short guide on how to open a bank account in Vietnam. In recent years, the banking system in Vietnam has developed rapidly in both its scale and quality of services. Vietnam now has many banks in place, playing a crucial part in promoting the sustainable development of Vietnam’s economy.
If you are a foreigner in Vietnam, having a bank account is a necessity. Making sure your finances are in order is as important as sorting out accommodation and healthcare when moving into a new place.
One of the biggest expat challenges is that you have financial commitments in both your home country and your host country. This means dealing with different currencies, transferring money between countries, and managing several accounts.
But worry not, most of the banks in Vietnam are expat-friendly and are always ready to help. Here are some basic things you need to know on how to open a bank account in Vietnam.
Table of Contents
Here are some common choices of reputable and popular banks to open a bank account in Vietnam for expats
To open a bank account in Vietnam, you must submit the following documents:
The procedures to open a bank account in Vietnam for foreigners are carried out in the following order:
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Having a local currency bank account will make it easier to pay for services in Vietnam. It also allows you to withdraw money in Vietnamese dong without additional fees.
In general, to open a bank account in Vietnam in local currency, your minimum deposit requirement is 3,000,000 VND. It is strongly recommended that your account balance should not be less than 100,000 VND, or you may be charged approximately 1,000 VND per day.
Please note that these requirements may differ from bank to bank so it is best to ask your chosen bank directly for clarification.
A foreign currency bank account will allow you to easily transfer money to a foreign bank. Some foreigners choose to open this type of bank account in Vietnam to send money to their home country. It is a great way to send money from overseas to Vietnam with extremely low charges.
Sending a foreign currency to a foreign currency account is easy and in our experience very low cost (we have regularly used VIB & SHB to do this).
Once your capital has arrived in your foreign currency account, you can then exchange it to VND using the bank’s exchange rate, or (in the case with SHB & VIB) you can ask to withdraw the foreign currency in cash. There is a fee for this, however, if you can wait for more than 7 days there will be no fees involved. You can then take this cash to a money exchange place with better exchange rates.
An offshore or overseas bank account is an account that you have in a country other than your country of residence. This can be the most effective way if you want to make and receive payments in multiple currencies, hold funds, and open savings and investment accounts.
Offshore accounts usually have regular banking functions such as debit cards, and online and mobile banking. Although each offshore account has different functions and advantages, here are some additional ones:
You can get a credit card if you have a long-term visa, however, it does depend on the bank. Some banks will offer a Mastercard enabling you to make online payments if you have a TRC or investors visa. The banks we know that may provide that option are VIB and SHB as these are the banks our clients usually chose. For other banks, you would have to ask directly.
Most banks will offer internet banking which is very convenient and easy to use in Vietnam. Our recommended bank may offer you a no-fee transfer option. Generally, in other banks in Vietnam, there will be no fee if transferred to an account in the same bank and a fee of between 2,000 – 6,000 VND to external banks within Vietnam.
Most banks now have the ability to pay via QR code, this is a relatively new technology in Vietnam and also very convenient to use in supermarkets etcetera. The receipt will have a QR code, you simply scan it, check the fee, and approve..
Savings accounts in Vietnam have great interest rates, they range from 5% – 7.5% depending on the amount and duration of the savings account. You must have a TRC in order to open a savings account..
We are sure many of the banks listed above are great banks with good service. Our team and many of our clients have personally found that SHB is the best to open a bank account in Vietnam, here is why:
We also learn that it depends on the branch and the people working in that branch, so it’s best to go in and have a chat with them first whichever bank you choose. We also recommend having 1 point of contact who is good at communication and speaks English well, this tip will help a lot when you want to open a bank account in Vietnam. You may ask for their personal contact information so you can contact them and ask them questions before heading to the bank to save you time.
Yes, foreigners can open a bank account in Vietnam. The requirements and procedures are listed above.
If you are an entrepreneur or investor and plan to repatriate funds outside of Vietnam, it may be better to choose an international bank such as Standard Chartered Bank, Citibank, Shinhan Bank, HSBC, ANZ, etc.
However, most of our clients use local banks. If you just want to minimize costs, make international transfers, and be able to withdraw money at an ATM, then the local bank is sufficient.
Most banks in Vietnam have at least one English-speaking service representative and English brochures online so you can easily get support when opening a bank account in Vietnam. Here are some common choices for foreigners:
Most banks in Vietnam require an initial deposit. The exact amount varies from bank to bank.
Talk to us
Whether you’re looking to enter Vietnam, or have been operating there for years, it’s important to work with a partner on the ground who knows the culture, law, policy, or potentials and can help you avoid any unwanted mistakes and navigate the minefields.
Get in touch with Bizspective to discuss how we can help to take your Vietnam business to the next stage.
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