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BANKING IN THAILAND

Banking in Thailand is a relatively stress free practice. There are a few documents you will need to submit in order to establish an account in an international bank. Requirements for opening an account:
 

Thai banks provide a wide range of services throughout the country. Most foreign banks are represented, however, at this stage they offer limited services to the individual consumer. Banking hours are generally from 08:30-15:30, Monday through Friday, except on public and bank holidays. It is best to confirm the business hours of your chosen bank at the time of opening an account

All banks require several forms of identification (i.e. passport, work permit, current credit cards, etc.) and most will request a letter of introduction from your employer along with details of your current visa status. Phone ahead to determine what your bank requires. Usually, it comes down to the following:

 

Relevant Documents for Opening Saving Bank Account

 

         Passport

         Work Permit

         Require Thai Nationality reference (For International Bank Account only)

         A minimum deposit amount 500 Baht for a Thai bank and 5,000 for Standard Charter Bank or 100,000 Baht for HSBC (The remaining amount of each month must not less than 500,000 Baht)

         The minimum deposit at the International Bank Account as US Dollar is up to the bank such as USD 10,000 for Standard Charter Bank or USD 15,000   for HSBC.

         Recommendation letter from an origin country bank (For International Bank Account only Deposit as US Dollar)

         The first deposit for the International Bank Account must be transferred from oversea only.

 

Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs)

 

ATMs can be easily found all over Bangkok for the withdrawal of Thai Baht. At some machines it is also possible to take cash advances from Visa, MasterCard or American Express provided you have a registered pin number. The ATMs that can handle these transactions are clearly designated with the credit card logo. You can apply for ATM card at the same time you open an account. The fees are up to a kind of ATM card as following:

 

ATM Types

Registration Fee

Annual Fee

Max.withdrawal/Day

Service Area

Normal Card

50

100

50,000

Thailand only

Premier Card

100

150

150,000

Thailand only

Visa Electron

100

200

500,000

Worldwide

 

Remark: The above rate is in Thai Baht.

 

Choosing your bank

 

Long-term residents

Suburban branches of the larger local banks are widespread and can be more convenient for long-term residents. At the main branches, English is spoken and the staffs are usually most helpful. For easy withdrawal access, lodge your signature at the local branch as well as the parent branch. N.B. If you wish to withdraw at a branch other than the one you opened your account with, identification will be required (usually your passport). Determine all fees and charges up front so there are no surprises at the end of the month.

 

Short-term residents

If your stay in Thailand is short-term and your funds are not paid in Baht, maintaining your overseas accounts may be your best option. Check with your bank to see what (if any) services they provide overseas. Larger international banks offer telephone banking and this service is accessible to overseas customers. Listed below are head offices for banks represented in Bangkok. Thai banks have many branches, addresses of which can be found in the telephone directory or check with the main office.

  

      Credit cards

 

Credit cards are widely accepted and most businesses display stickers for those they will accept. To avoid problems with lost/stolen credit cards, register your card with Credit Card Sentinel offices in Australia Sydney Tel: (61-2) 9978-9388, New Zealand, UK, Canada and USA.

 

  American Express SP Bldg, 388 Pahonyothin Rd. Tel: 0-2273-5100. After hours for lost cards, Tel: 0-2273-0022. Mon - Fri 0800 to 1700 hrs.

 

  Diners Club 12th Fl, Silom Bldg, 191 Silom Rd. Tel: 0-2238-2920-9, 0-2238-2910.

After hours: 0-2238-2680.

 

  Master Card For lost or stolen credit cards Tel: 0-2256-7326-7 (24 hours).

 

  Visa Card Local banks and some foreign banks issue Visa cards. For lost or stolen cards,

 Tel:     0-2256-7326 -7 (24 hours).

 

Travelers cheques

 

  American Express SEA Tour Office, 4th Fl, Siam Centre, Rama I Rd. Tel: 0-2273-5100, 0-2273-0044. After hours 0-2273-0022. Thomas Cook 12th Fl, Sathorn City Tower, 175 Sathorn Tai (South) Rd. Tel: 0-2679-5521 -3.

 

Currency exchange

 

Major currency bills and travellers cheques are cashed easily at hotels, tourist shops, all provincial banks, shopping centers and moneychangers. Travellers cheques are best changed in banks; you will need your passport. Rates of exchange at banks or authorized moneychangers are better than those at hotels and department stores. Current exchange rates can be checked in daily newspapers, at banks and at moneychangers.

 

Foreign exchange control

 

For the expatriate living in Thailand, the most important financial regulation is the Exchange Control Act, which regulates the amount of foreign currency a bank may issue to any person. Consult with your bank manager concerning your individual requirements regarding remittances of funds and foreign travel.

 
 

 

 

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