Has anyone been able to open a bank account with LINE Bank using an ARC?

I just got my TARC (Taiwan Area Resident Certificate) which is basically an ARC for all intents and purposes, but for Taiwanese nationals without household registration. I am trying to open a bank account with the LINE Bank mobile app (it’s an online-only bank) and it’s asking me to scan my Taiwan ID card. Obviously I don’t have an ID card but it doesn’t seem to accept my TARC.

Has anyone else had this issue? I know that those of us without ID cards can open bank accounts in Taiwan, but are banks LEGALLY OBLIGATED to allow us to open accounts?

If we’re legally allowed to open bank accounts, but are turned away by a specific bank, isn’t that discrimination?

Lemme stop you right here. Taiwan’s consumer protections are piss poor weak.

Taiwan does not have a human rights commissioner either in the way we would think.

The only way to fight discrimination is to take formal legal action. A very expensive process.

2 Likes

Yes I was able to open a Line Pay Money account using an APRC. IIRC there was a separate process for non-citizens which involved manually sending in scans of the card. Support is very responsive: LINE Pay Money - iPASS一卡通

1 Like

Is that the same thing as what the OP is asking? I thought LINE Pay Money was something more like a PayPal account.

1 Like

They clearly say foreigners cannot open account at this moment. People with a status of foreign taxpayers too. Nationals without National ID are not mentioned as far as I know.

1 Like

Line Pay Money and Line Bank are very different. Line Bank is an internet bank, but they explicitly exclude foreigners. I’ve been through it.

1 Like

I’ve recently confirmed that none of Taiwan’s online banks will allow resident foreign nationals to apply for an account.

Rakuten
抱歉,本行目前尚未提供外國人開戶。

O-Bank
目前線上開戶只開放本國人且滿20歲以上之自然人辦理,暫不接受外國人開戶
https://www.o-bank.com/retail/event/event-faq?initTab={808BC96A-44BF-4D70-A579-036D86D2D1D0}

LINE Bank
目前 LINE Bank 僅開放年滿 20 歲以上之本國自然人辦理開戶,暫不接受法人、外國人、未成年人及具有境外納稅義務人身份者辦理開戶。

Taishin Richart
https://richart.tw/TSDIB_RichartWeb/RC03/RC030100

6 Likes

Super impressed with the response rate on this forum! Thanks for the solution, fifieldt.

2 Likes

I like how Line Bank adds foreigners in with people that don’t have legal status and minors. Classy.

6 Likes

Oy…
We’ve been here before. We were excluded from a lot things.
Then Richard Hartzel came along. He got us real gains including open work permits, APARCs, the right for children of foreign fathers to be citizens…

Those were the solid laws he earned.
On the negotiation side, the permanent ARC was technically supposed to ban all discrimination from goods and services.
Technically, it does, but…
We, including myself never went to court. We would argue, maybe get letter of support from Richard Hartzel and we would get the right for that cell phone, that Credit Card, that Driver’s Licence.
This argument was called “administrative appeal.”
He had xerox ready forms for us to use.
Hartzel retired We need another leader to step up and start negotiating again.
We are loosing ground.
He was the legal Moderator of this board and president of the Foreign Spouse Support Network.
He was a lawyer, spoke Chinese and negotiated with the legislators for us.
I’m sorry that he could not get a successor.
Can someone try to contact him and see if we can revive the organization.
There’s no unity here. If we can restart this organization, we would not have to be begging for bank accounts.

Richard W. Hartzell Richard W. Hartzell - Google Search

3 Likes

LinePay is an e-wallet, not a bank. I guess this is the reason why they seem to be more “flexible” in accepting foreigners with ARC. I recently contacted them to update my new ARC and things with the Customer Service were fast and smooth, regardless of my “alien” status :grin:

However, using LinePay requires to either link an existing bank account or to have a CTBC debit card (which requires a bank account as well). Although they are not the same, I agree with @keoni 's comparison with PayPal, which is also not a bank but requires to be linked to one.

Existing LinePay users get some sort of discount or free LinePoints (I saw the flyer, but I forgot the terms) if they open a Line Bank account, but apart from that they are two separate things.

Assuming one doesn’t care about Line points, what is the benefit of opening a Line Bank account compared to a brick and mortar bank that accepts foreigners?

After knowing that I was not eligible, I did not delve much into it. I guess that the main advantage is to be “integrated” into the Line ecosystem, probably with more promotions, rebates and (yes :rofl:) Line Points.

Another advantage might be a better online banking experience and less red tape, although Taiwan being Taiwan I doubt so. Circles.Life brought Singaporean simplicity to mobile contracts and I’m their super happy customer. Will Line Bank be the same? Well, foreigners have no way to know it :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

You would get a cute credit card with your favorite Line character, of course! :pleading_face: :grin:

1 Like

I already got that one when I opened my CTBC bank account. And I could even choose between six different bears :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

2 Likes

(bat signal)

For a meeting tomorrow afternoon, I’m looking for case studies/quotes about why people want to open an accounts at these new online-only banks, and the impact not being able to has had on them.

You could talk about the service you get in other countries; how the online banks might provide better service than your bank in Taiwan; – anything that would help the FSC understand why this is an important issue.

2 Likes

I use online-only banking for both personal and business accounts in the US. It’s extremely convenient, both to open those accounts and to maintain them. Service is superior and those accounts all have more features than your standard brick and mortar accounts.

Specifically for Taiwan, I suspect that online-only banks would make it much easier for foreigners to open accounts, as the process would assumably be standardized and not be subject to the knowledge of a specific branch officer. Additionally, online-only banks would be likely to provide better service for a generally highly mobile group.

4 Likes

Having to waste hours queuing in bank branches , sitting in front of bank tellers ,every time you need to change something with your account, that’s a great reason why we want access to online accounts.
Everybody in Taiwan understands the time wasting that happens with banks here.
Also many younger people are more familiar with online services and mobile, they aren’t stuck in one place all the time .

3 Likes

Another point is that those new online banks most likely have better multilingual websites/apps. The banks here are many years behind to what we are used to in the west.

6 Likes

Traditional banks are heavily paper-based in Taiwan (hello bank passbooks!). If foreigners are excluded from access to more modern banking, this heavily contradicts the goal of Taiwan becoming a modern, digitalized and open society.

Is it really the message that the government wants to send that innovation in banking should be restricted to citizens only?

6 Likes