Any banking/credit facilities available to foreigners without ARC?

Without local employment or any ties really besides renting an apartment, are there any banks that open accounts and/or offer credit cards (not necessarily both, though I can’t imagine the latter without the former) to foreigners - in my case on visa exemptions without ARCs?

If so, which banks are better (easier to deal with, better services, etc.)?

If it’s “impossible”, do the requirements change with and “friendly conditions” like referrals or large initial deposits?

Do you have an ID number?

Locally, no. Though I recall from another thread of mine, I could get some kind of arbitrary one by registering my passport or something of the sort.

Well. It also becomes your ARC number upon attaining an ARC. Think of it as an ARC without the ARC. Chinatrust accepts it.


I have one only problem is they don’t issue a card with it! so causes problems as Taiwanese are far to laid back I say? to process anything they can’t scan barcode.

Would this be standard procedure or would I need to ask for something specific when opening an account?

What kinds of services would be available to me (if you know) in this situation? Checking, savings, debit card, eventually credit card?

I’m not sure how many banks still accept the ID number actually - I got one a couple of years ago before I had an ARC, and at that point the rules had supposedly changed recently (maybe around January 2017, or possibly 2018) such that the ID number alone wasn’t sufficient anymore. I only tried in a couple of banks personally before giving up.

I seem to remember discussing this recently with a couple of other people who might have done it successfully with the ID, so you could maybe try the search function.

New anti-money laundering laws means they can’t really do this anymore.

But for those that do, I’d imagine they would open a credit card for you if you were willing to secure it with a term deposit.

I thought credit cards without the credit were the norm for foreigners in Taiwan anyway, even those with ARCs?

If he/she does manage to open a bank account with the ID number, I wouldn’t expect more than a basic bank account.

You mean debit cards?

No, I mean the practice of banks occasionally and reluctantly issuing “credit cards” to foreigners but requiring a deposit at least equivalent to the “credit limit”, i.e., the bank isn’t actually providing any credit for all intents and purposes.

Oh, yes. They will do that if you can deposit the equivalent cash. But many banks will offer credit cards now to foreigners if you have a job and an ARC. Chinatrust and Citi both have given me cards. However, they make you pay back 50% of the balance as a minimum payment.

1 Like

They don’t really have chequing or savings accounts. Just…accounts.

I recommend CHB i opened an account there but no credit card or no debit card only an atm card
Took some fussing but only needed an address and. Passport plus record of id number ( got this at NIA i think , not at a police station)
Went to over 30 banks and only CHB gave me a chance…
fyi you can talk to any Branch but they really want you to open near your home, so google the closest

1 Like

Also im American, discrimination at play because facta paperwork
Most banks dont want to touch an American with a ten foot pole…
im happy to help you with any questions you have

1 Like

When did you do that?

Over a year ago

Given the apparent scarcity as far as foreigners go, presumably these cards are (a) mostly for building credit/relationship with the bank, through (b) local spending (as they probably have few if any rewards or preferential benefits for transactions outside of Taiwan, and presumably stack of forex fees with crummy rates) - or are there actual good offers?

And are the debit cards they give like the one @Rzarobbie got (just ATM cards), or are they branded with VISA/MasterCard/etc.?

ATM cards to withdraw cash. Debit is next to useless here as most places only accept cash anyways.