How to open a Joint Bank Account in Taiwan

I already know my Taiwanese wife for more than 9 years and married her 2 years ago. But I still don’t have any Taiwanese bank account other than a Chunghwa Post bank account. It’s impossible to open a bank account here in Kinmen as the big banks like Bank of Taiwan or Mega Bank are asking for a tax identification number from Thailand which I don’t have as I’ve never paid any taxes in my home country Thailand and in the smaller banks they either say that they don’t open bank accounts for foreigners at all or they say that I should go to another bank which is slightly nearer to my house. I told them that they are 5km away from my house and the other bank which they say I should try is 4.5km away but they still say that 500m more or less is a reason not to open a bank account for me.

The problem with Chunghwa Post is that they are using Bank SinoPac’s SWIFT code so using forex brokers like is impossible as Chunghwa Post doesn’t have its own SWIFT code. I’ve tried to transfer money using several times already but they’ve always sent my money back to one my European bank accounts due to the lack of an own SWIFT code of Chunghwa Post.

Doing SWIFT transfers from Thailand to Taiwan is impossible as I’m not a foreigner in Thailand and I don’t have Thai children in Thailand who are studying abroad. I can transfer money using a Thai debit card to Monese for free (and probably also to Revolut but I try to avoid Revolut as they have more expensive weekend fees) but with those bank accounts I also can’t do SWIFT transfers. With TransferWise it would be possible to do a SWIFT transfer but then the problem is that Chunghwa Post or another Taiwanese bank would call me to accept the SWIFT transfer. So you see that doing a SWIFT transfer is very difficult and if I could manage to do it I would need to be physically present in Taiwan as I don’t have mobile phone reception outside Taiwan and Chunghwa Telecom is unable to activate roaming unless I would switch from prepaid to postpaid. Also when converting GBP or EUR directly into TWD I only lose about 2.3% compared to the interbank rate with so why should I do a SWIFT transfer in USD for which I would probably lose more than 2.3% if transferring into a TWD account or I would lose slightly less when transferring money into a USD account but would then have the additional hassle to convert my USD into TWD? So transferring money from GBP or EUR directly into TWD using would be by far the most convenient option and I don’t mind to lose a very moderate 2.3%.

Opening a bank account in my daughter’s name (1-year old) would be a possibility but due to the lack of a debit card until my daughter is 15 years old it’s not a good option at all. Using a bank account in my wife’s name would also be a possibiliy but why should I use a bank account in my wife’s name when I’m also a person?

As I won’t be able to open a bank account in Taiwan (the big island) as I’m a foreigner living in Kinmen another possibility would be to open a joint bank account together with my wife in any major Taiwanese city. In a Forumosa post from 2013 they stated that it’s possible to open a joint bank account at E.SUN Bank. Does anybody know if it’s still possible to open a joint bank account at E.SUN Bank or any other Taiwanese bank as of 2020? I’m planning to go to Taipei together with my wife and my daughter next month and would like to solve the problem concerning transferring money into Taiwan when I’m not physically present in Taiwan once and for all.

I’m not sure I understand all of the issues, but best of luck!

Hope someone else can contribute something more constructive.

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Just to make sure: Did you see this?

Tell them beforehand when you will do the first transfer. And make sure that it is going from your Transferwise account to your bank account (same account holder name). Should be fine.


Did you already ask then if they accept your PIN from Thailand?

I’ve asked. The banks here don’t seem to have a concept of joint accounts

Concerning the instructions for SWIFT transfers to a Chunghwa Post bank account I know this method with the SWIFT code of Bank SinoPac and 700 in front of the bank account number. This is working for traditional SWIFT transfers but it’s not working for forex brokers like as I have to insert the SWIFT code and the bank account number but in the end will try to do a domestic bank transfer so I effectively don’t have any option how to instruct to do a domestic bank transfer into a Chunghwa Post bank account when they are only asking for the SWIFT code.

Taiwan is a great country to live in but they are making it difficult to support my family when I’m not in Taiwan due to the lack of willingness to open a bank account for me. I could open numerous bank accounts in Europe online only with a friend’s address in Europe but here in Taiwan where I have a wife and a daughter they are making it extremely difficult to open a bank account for me. Anyway as nobody on Forumosa has recent experiences concerning opening a joint bank account here in Taiwan I would have to take the post from 2013 as a reference where they were stating that opening a joint bank account at E.SUN Bank is possible and try to open such a joint bank account together with my wife at an E.SUN Bank in Taiwan (the big island) or in Penghu where they also have an E.SUN Bank branch. If opening a joint bank account is not possible anymore I would have to open a bank account without a debit card under my daughter’s name and transfer my money to my daughter’s bank account.

For what do I need a PIN from Thailand? I’m asking about transferring money into Taiwan when I’m not in Taiwan to support my family.

to open a bank account. You said you cannot open an account because you don’t have a TIN, so I wonder if you can use your PIN instead.

Yup. The financial system here is stuck in some weird 80s world. They think they’re being smart and conservative, but they really are not. It needs a complete overhaul.

And from what I’ve heard, chunghwa post banking is amongst the worst in this country.

Why not simply use Transferwise to do the SWIFT transfer then? Sinpoac will exchange the EUR for TWD.

I was showing them my PIN but they said that they would need a TIN in order to open a bank account for me. I’ve never paid any taxes in Thailand nor filed any tax return form and I won’t start to file any tax return forms in Thailand as once I would start to file tax return forms I would probably have to do this every year until I bite the dust. So just for opening a bank account in Taiwan it’s not worth the hassle at all.

It’s not possible to send any other currency other than USD to a Taiwanese bank account using TransferWise. If I try to send GBP TransferWise is asking for a bank account number combined with a sort code or an IBAN. If I try to send EUR TransferWise is asking for an IBAN. So only USD transfers are possible with TransferWise when transferring money into Taiwan. By the way why should I still use outdated SWIFT transfers into Taiwan when there is as an option which transfers the money as a domestic TWD transfer on the Taiwanese end?

The bank has an option on their form where it says that you declare you do not have a TIN. Go back or to a different branch of mega and tell them Thailand has not given you a TIN, and you should be able to select the option on the form , I don’t have a TIN

If they give you any trouble, tell them to call the head office in Taipei to clarify

The problem is that here in Kinmen there is no option concerning going to another branch at all as Kinmen is too small for having several branches of bigger banks. In Taiwan (the big island) when I tried to open a bank account all banks said that Kinmen is too far away so they can’t open a bank account for me. Of course my wife has several bank accounts in Taiwan (the big island) as for Taiwanese they don’t care where exactly in Taiwan they live. But for me in order to open a bank account in Taiwan (the big island) my only option would be to open a joint bank account together with my wife.

sorry to hear that dude. You’re stuck in 1980s chinatown with a financial system that sucks.

One option for you is to use the services of a local friend. Use his bank account to transfer money into and he’ll (hopefully) give it to you.

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I have a question for you first.
When I Google Thailand TIN, it appears that it is a thing. The tax office gives everyone a number now to pay tax with, it’s a tracking number. firstly could you contact Thailand’s tax office and tell them you need that TIN number and perhaps they will give you one? I’m not sure if this then forces you to file tax in Thailand or not.

Or if you wish I can email mega bank for you and ask them what the procedure is for someone who hasn’t got a TIN number and how to open the account? I can do that for you if you want. If they email something official you can bring it with you to the bank.

As far as remitting money with those other companies I don’t have any idea as ive never used them. As far as your issue about not being able to receive calls from Taiwan when you’re away, just go get a postpaid not prepaid account and get the cheapest package from any carrier. I think the cheapest is $100 a month these days. Now you can receive Taiwanese calls anywhere

oops, my bad. Did you open a borderless account with Transferwise? They accept ARC. You can exchange your EUR for USD and sent the money to Taiwan via SWIFT.

:man_shrugging: By the way, you said it doesn’t work, so why not try something that does?

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You or your spouse may call them to ask.

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Why should I ask for a TIN in Thailand when I would be forced to file a tax return form every year until I bite the dust even when I don’t live in Thailand? Technically for tax purposes as long as I don’t renounce my Thai citizenship I’m always living in Thailand even when I don’t live in Thailand anymore. There is no such thing like checking out from your place of residence in your home country like in some other countries. Also is obviously not working for transfers to Chunghwa Post bank accounts only as Chunghwa Post uses the SWIFT code from Bank SinoPac. Transferring money using to every other Taiwanese bank wouldn’t be any problem at all. You would have to look how those forex brokers like TransferWise, Revolut or are working. If you send money using any forex broker to Thailand (I’ve recently tried CurrencyFair due to very competitive exchange rates) you would have to enter the bank account number and the SWIFT code of the bank in Thailand. Even though when in the end on the Thai side the bank transfer is made using a domestic THB transfer you still have to enter all the bank account information on all forex broker websites like when you are doing international bank transfers. That’s why transferring money using to a Chunghwa Post bank account is not working at all but it would be working to every other bank account in Taiwan which is not from Chunghwa Post. As due to the current coronavirus pandemic I can currently only stay in Taiwan until 4 October 2020 I would like to prepare for my life after this October when I’m not able to go back to Taiwan anymore unless they would give additional visa extensions or they would issue me a new visa in a Taiwanese TECO. Obviously my wife couldn’t follow me to Thailand as I didn’t register our marriage in Thailand yet. My daughter could technically go to Thailand together with me if her Thai passport is finished until this October but of course my wife would take care for my daughter in Taiwan. So all I could do to help my family is sending money to them after this October.

then, isn’t sending money to your wife’s account straightforward?