Banking in Thailand – Everything You Should Know
The two most common choices for foreigners in Thailand are Kasikorn Bank and Bangkok Bank Although you are not limited to just these two options, they have built up a reputation for themselves as being more understanding when dealing with foreigners than their competitors have, and they are just easier to deal with. For example, Bangkok Bank will let you open up a new savings account without having a work permit, which is much simpler than other places.
They also have the benefit of having a branch in the US (New York) where deposits can be made that will then show up in Thailand in your local account. This can be an inexpensive way to direct an American PayPal balance to your local account and have the money show up in the local currency. The exchange rate using this process is reasonable, and the transfer fee is much smaller than any ATM withdrawal fee you would find in the foreign country.
2. Bring All of Your Paperwork
Some companies will publish the specific procedures they have and the documents required for these while others will simply tell you through a phone call. While it doesn’t really matter how you find out what documents you need, you should know that they will usually list off the bare minimum of document requirements.
The usual requirements include:
- A deposit (typically around 500 baht, or $14)
- A copy of your local address utilities bill or the residential lease
- A government issued ID (passport) or foreign national ID
Sometimes you may even need a reference letter from a home bank, embassy, etc.
If you are ever unsure about what you will need to show, it is better to be safe than sorry and have to go home and then go all the way back, so just bring whatever you think you may need. A work permit is helpful, but as stated above it is not always required.
3. Branch Choice Matters
Many policies in this country are branch specific, unlike their financial counterparts in your own country. If you try something at one branch and it doesn’t work, that doesn’t mean that another branch for that same bank won’t allow it.
This can actually help you out in some cases, like when one branch is more lenient than another. However, it is usually the cause of much frustration and headaches as some employees and managers may decide to adhere to a stricter following of the rules.
Another thing to keep in mind is that some procedures can be taken care of only at the specific branch that your account was opened at, as they are all a bit more independent than you may be used to. But as long as your ID is up to date, a few select procedures are able to be carried out across multiple branches.
4. You Will Deal with Empty Forms
Whenever you need to do something that is more complicated than a simple withdrawal, you may be asked to review and sign a basic form. This may be a little different from what you’re used to, as they will hand you an unfilled out form and ask you to sign it, and they will fill in the required details later.
You are welcome to cross out the sections that are empty as you come across them and fill it out yourself; the employees won’t care. It just seems a little fishy at first, and it is understandable if you are wary about any potential tricks being pulled. However, in the end, it is simply the customary way they handle their proceedings. You don’t need to take offense at all.
With all these banking solutions, you’ll be ready to settle into Thailand, whether for a short visit or an extended stay. And when you’re ready to find a condo, beach home, or flat in the beautiful center of Hua Hin, give us a call at Hua Hin Property Partner. We guarantee there is a perfect accommodation for everyone.