The economy in Taiwan is actually one of the largest in the world, and has quite a reliable and efficient banking system underpinning it. Opening a bank account in Taiwan can actually be surprisingly easy as well, once you have the correct documentation available. Despite this, Taiwan is still a very cash-focussed society. You will have no struggles finding ATMs throughout the country.
Taiwan uses the ‘New Taiwan Dollar’ (NTD, which is divided into 100 cents per NTD, similar to the US Dollar.
Banking in Taiwan
Expats have a wide variety of options when it comes to opening a bank account and managing their finances in Taiwan due to the sophisticated banking setup they have.
It should be noted that while online banking is available by most banks in Taiwan, some of them do not have English speaking versions of their websites. Therefore, when setting up a bank account in Taiwan, it is always recommended to look towards a branch where the online banking is easy to use for non-native speakers.
Opening a bank account in Taiwan as an Expat
There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to local Taiwan banks. The more popular local options with Expats tend to include CTBC Bank, Bank of Taiwan, and Taichung Bank. As an alternative, there are also plenty of international foreign banks available too, such as HSBC, Barclays, Citibank or Standard Chartered.
While it may make sense to go with a foreign bank account when moving to Taiwan, as it may even be the bank provider you use back home, it is worth keeping in mind that some employers will only want to pay your salary into a local Taiwanese bank account. This is worth checking with your employer prior to opening an account.
The certification required in order to open your bank account is relatively standard practice. You will need an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC), a proof of ID (Passport) and a proof of residence. You will generally also need a minimum deposit into your account to open it. However, this will depend on the branch providing the bank account.
Other Important Facts
Banks in Taiwan are typically closed on Saturdays and Sundays, which can make getting an appointment difficult if you are in full time employment. To make matters worse, they generally close at 3pm during the week. Although, some of the international banks will open for a half day on saturday.
As previously mentioned, Taiwan is definitely still a very cash-focussed country. Their debit card market is somewhat underdeveloped when compared to other developed countries around the world. Quite often, unless you specifically request a debit card, you are likely to only receive an ATM card to withdraw cash from the ATM. Comparatively, Taiwan actually has quite a growing credit card sector.