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
Nationality reference (For International Bank Account
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
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.
letter from an origin country bank (For International Bank
Account only – Deposit as US Dollar)
deposit for the International Bank Account must be
transferred from oversea only.
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
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
Remark: The above rate is in Thai Baht.
Choosing your bank
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.
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 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.
SP Bldg, 388 Pahonyothin Rd. Tel:
0-2273-5100. After hours for lost cards, Tel: 0-2273-0022.
Mon - Fri 0800 to 1700 hrs.
12th Fl, Silom Bldg, 191 Silom Rd. Tel: 0-2238-2920-9,
After hours: 0-2238-2680.
For lost or stolen credit cards Tel: 0-2256-7326-7 (24
Local banks and some foreign banks issue Visa cards. For
lost or stolen cards,
Tel: 0-2256-7326 -7 (24 hours).
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:
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
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