Opening a bank account in Korea is a relatively straightforward process that can be done in person at a bank branch or online. Although some of the banks do not allow foreigners to open bank accounts online, therefore, it is recommended for you to visit the bank in person if you are opening an account in Korea for the first time.
Here are the steps to follow to open a bank account in Korea:
Choose a bank:
There are many banks to choose from in Korea, such as KEB Hana, KB Kookmin Bank, Shinhan Bank, and Woori Bank. Most of the major banks in Korea offer informational services on their website in English. Research each bank’s services, fees, and locations to find the one that best suits your needs.
Prepare the necessary documents:
You will need to provide your passport and Alien Registration Card (ARC) if you are a foreigner. You may also need to provide additional documents such as proof of address, a visa, or a job contract.
Visit the bank:
Go to a bank branch in person or visit the bank’s website to apply for an account online. You will need to fill out an application form and provide the necessary documents and personal information.
Set up your account:
Once your application has been approved, you will need to deposit money into your account to activate it. You can do this by transferring funds from another account, depositing cash at a bank branch, or using an ATM.
Obtain your bankbook and debit card:
You will be given a bankbook that contains information about your account, such as your account number, balance, and a SWIFT code which you would need to know to receive bank transfers internationally. You can also request a debit or credit card that can be used to withdraw cash and/or make purchases.
It is important to note that some banks may have additional requirements or fees, so it is recommended to do thorough research before choosing a bank and opening an account. Additionally, it may be helpful to have a Korean-speaking friend or a professional interpreter with you to assist with the process if you are not fluent in Korean.