Opening a Bank Account in Thailand
Whether you're visiting Phuket for a brief holiday or an extended stay, a common question often arises: can I open a bank account here? A local bank card eliminates the inconvenience of extra fees or exchange rates when making ATM withdrawals or payments. It also offers the convenience of paying for utilities such as electricity and water, making online purchases, and using the widely popular QR code contactless payment system prevalent among locals.
Opening a bank account in Thailand is relatively straightforward, even for short-term visitors.
Step 1: Choosing Your Bank and Branch
Thailand boasts a robust banking system, meaning you'll encounter a variety of banks. The most common ones include:
- Bangkok Bank (blue branches and ATMs)
- Kasikorn Bank (green branches and ATMs)
- Siam Commercial Bank (purple branches and ATMs)
- Krung Sri (yellow branches and ATMs)
- Krungthai (blue branches and ATMs)
Each bank must adhere to the account opening requirements stipulated by the Bank of Thailand, as outlined on its website. Additionally, specific banks might impose their own requirements, which can vary across different branches of the same bank.
Not all bank employees are English-speaking, so it's advisable to select branches near tourist-friendly areas.
Bangkok Bank and Kasikorn Bank are the most popular choices among foreigners, as they facilitate straightforward account opening processes. For those holding work permits, the required documents are simply a passport and the work permit.
Without a work permit and long-term visa, Bangkok Bank is the only institution that accommodates foreigners, opening accounts without the necessity of a long-term visa (work, study, retirement).
Second Stage: Documents and Account Opening
We approach a prominent bank branch, such as the Bangkok Bank office located in Central Festival. To open an account, the following documents will be needed:
2. Residence Certificate: A document bearing your photograph, which confirms the address of your temporary registration.
To obtain this, you must visit the immigration office and furnish the following documents:
- Copy of the main page of your passport
- Copy of your visa or stamp
- Copy of TM6 (departure card in your passport)
- TM30 registration form (can be obtained from your landlord)
- Rental agreement or a house book featuring your name and address
- Two photographs measuring 4x6
- The fee for obtaining these is 300 Baht. Note: All copies and photos can be made within the immigration office premises, but be prepared for potential queues.
3. Long-term rental agreement
4. Bank insurance: This is purchasable at the bank branch during account opening. The cost for comprehensive insurance is 5900 Baht.
Additionally, you may require a letter of recommendation from any one of the following organizations:
- Your home country's consulate in Thailand: You can send an email to your consulate's email address, explaining your need for an affidavit to open a bank account.
- A foreign bank, which can send a recommendation via SWIFT.
- A source reliable to the bank, such as an employee or client of Bangkok Bank, a director of a private company, a permanent resident, or an educational institution located in Thailand.
- An employer, vouching for your work permit application process.
- A document that attests to your capital ownership, such as a condominium purchase agreement (the bank must confirm the reliability of the condominium) or a reservation agreement for an amount from 100,000 Baht with a recommendation letter from the developer.
The total cost will be approximately 800 baht excluding insurance, of which 500 baht is the initial deposit credited to the account. You receive a non-named card on the spot, but if desired, you can get a named card for an additional cost and wait approximately 2 weeks.
We recommend downloading the bank's app on your phone in advance and showing it to the staff when opening an account so they can assist with setting up online banking on the spot.
As you can see, the procedure is accessible to everyone and not complicated, but remember, if the branch asks for more documents, or says that opening is not possible - things are not so straightforward, feel free to go to another bank branch or come back the next day. And before you leave, we advise you to clarify which documents are specifically accepted at this bank office :)
Do you have any further inquiries?
Please do not hesitate to contact us through social media. We would be delighted to offer complimentary consultations on any matter ⬇️
✔️ E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
✔️ Phone: +66 83 503 2555
✔️ WhatsApp: +66 83 503 2555
✔️ Telegram: +66 83 503 2555