Being an acclaimed financial hub in Asia, banks in Singapore are accommodating and opening a bank account in Singapore is a fairly straight-forward process.
Let’s assume that you have just arrived in town, and probably have to find a bank rather quickly (if you want access to your salary, that is). In some cases it may be possible to apply for a bank account in Singapore in advance, like with Citibank and HSBC.
The documentation most banks require is your passport, valid work Visa, dependent pass or long term stay pass, and proof of address (tenancy agreement, utility bills or an official letter from your employer signed by a manager). It is quite common for the bank to request that you place a minimum balance (for Citibank the minimum balance is $2,500) to be deposited in the account and left there. Whichever bank you go for, watch out for hidden extras, and the charges incurred if you go below this amount.
Interest rates are very low, and hence leaving large sums sitting in savings accounts could lead to your cash savings devaluing, given Singapore’s exasperating inflation rate.
Quick and easy options, with branches all over town include:
Benefits of Opening a Bank Account in Singapore
It is worth noting that some of the top banks offer significant savings attached to their credit cards, when shopping, dining or drinking in Singapore.
Other things to consider when Opening a Bank Account in Singapore
Firstly, the bank’s branch location is close to where you work. If you are a frequently abroad it is important to choose a bank that has a large international ATM network. It may also be beneficial to have an account with an international bank, if they have presence in your home country.
NETS (Network for Electronic Transfers) allows you to make cashless transactions using a second ATM card and PIN number that come directly from your current account. This bank card does not have a number on it so it makes your bank account more secure. It’s also possible to flexibly place transaction limits on the bank card so it acts more like plastic cash.