Guide to Thai Banking acronyms/how to open a bank account in Thailand

Opening a bank account in a country you are visiting or have moved to is usually a challenge. However, this is not the case in Thailand. Actually, foreigners have a relatively easy time opening bank accounts in Thailand. But even while this is the case, your overall experience will depend on the bank you choose to work with.

Generally, banks with branches in large malls and major streets will have English speaking staff. Additionally, given the diverse people who frequent these areas, the staff has gotten used to serving foreigners.

Thailand has a lot of banking companies you can choose to work with. But unfortunately, some of them won’t allow you to open an account if you are in the country on a tourist visa. You will need to have a Thai work permit or a non-immigrant visa.

If you are in Thailand for work, then it’s only right that you wait to acquire your work permit before you even try to open a bank account.

Speaking of different companies, it’s worth noting that they all use different colour schemes. This ensures that their brand is unique, and that their ATMs are easy to locate and identify.

  • Kasikorn Bank – Green
  • Bangkok Bank – Orange and Blue
  • Siam Commercial Bank – Purple
  • Krungthai Bank – Sky Blue
  • Bank of Ayudhya – Yellow

There are lots of other banks in the country, but these are the most popular. Out of these, foreigners prefer SCB, Kasikorn Bank and Bangkok Bank.

Here’s what these banks will require to open an account for you:

 

Kasikorn Bank (K-Bank)

  • Passport
  • Work permit or an education-based visa (although it’s not a prerequisite in every branch)

 

UOB Bank

  • Passport
  • Work permit
  • Thai phone number
  • A deposit of 50,000 Baht

 

CitiBank

  • Work permit and a passport
  • A minimum of a 1-year apartment contract

SCB (Siam Commercial Bank)

  • Work permit

The non-resident accounts at SCB are for:

  • Tourists and visitors from other countries
  • Foreigners working in Thailand temporarily
  • Branches of Thai corporations set up in countries outside of Thailand
  • Foreign agencies, including embassies, UNICEF, FAO and ESCAP

 

Bangkok Bank

  • A passport and an extra identification document such as a reference letter from the embassy or your bank
  • Thailand address and a regular address from your native country
  • If you possess a work permit and are a permanent Thailand resident, you are eligible for more services, including internet banking, and a cheque account

 

Bank of Ayudhya (BAY)

You need to provide any one of these documents:

  • Work permit
  • A Thai Driver’s license
  • A house lease agreement for a year
  • A marriage certificate

 

CIMB

  • Passport
  • A savings account book

Qualifications:

  • You should be over 15 years
  • Have a current or individual’s saving account
  • Extra terms specified by CIMB

 

Krung Thai

  • Passport
  • Work permit
  • Visa valid for 3 months (at least)

 

Other factors to consider when opening a Thai bank account

When you go to open a bank account, you should be smartly dressed and polite. Politeness will go a long way to helping speed up the process. Take a queue number once you arrive at the bank. If the bank deals with foreigners, you will have an English speaking staff attend to you the moment you walk in. If you have all your documents in order, you should be walking out of the bank in a few minutes with your account, ATM card and instructions to access internet banking services.

When banking in Thailand, you should know that you will be charged for withdrawing cash from out-of-province ATMs. For instance, if you opened your bank account at SCB at a branch in Chiang Mai, you’ll be charged extra for withdrawing in an SCB ATM located in Bangkok.

When all is said and done, you’ll notice that the process of opening a bank account in Thailand is straightforward and simple. If you have all your documents ready, it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.