Taiwan Bank Account Experience
My experiences on opening a bank account at CTBC (Chinatrust Commercial Bank) at the Keboguan Branch in Taichung. Overall the process was rather seamless but just like everything in Taiwan, you need the right documents and patience.
What I was looking for was a simple debit account that will allow me to pay bills, do direct salary deposits and get cash out of ATM’s. CTBC has ATMs in almost all 7-11’s so its rather convenient here on the island. I also wanted a a bank that would accept wire transfers to and from the USA.
I additionally wanted to have a good English IOS app that would allow easy managment of my funds. Their app was the best I found. You can also add the Visa Debit branded card to Apple Pay and your Apple Watch.
Minimum Items required: Valid Passport, ARC, Local cell #, and a 1000NTD initial deposit. I would also bring your housing lease, and a utility bill with your name on it. The bill can be Cell, Internet, Water, Gas etc. Just must have your name and address on it. Expect to take at least an hour for the process. We also lucked out with the staff person that had reasonable English skills that made the process easy. Also the afternoon seemed busier than morning.
For Gold ARC (GARC) members, make sure that your GARC has your address printed on the card. My first GARC did not, and they then required a utility bill and a copy of my lease. I later updated my original GARC for one with my residence address on it. They still insisted on some type of utility bill to get the account.
You may get into a bit of a conversation with the staff since your GARC does not have an employer on it like a normal ARC. After insisting that the “Special Professional Talent” is all my card will ever say, and will never get a employer on the card, they relented. Just push them to check and it will all be ok.
Once all confirmed we had all the docs, it was pretty easy with a blizzard of papers to sign. Since I’m a US citizen, I also had some IRS forms to sign. These are Anti-Money Laundering measures.
If you want to use the Apple or the Android app, you will need to tell them and they will get you the codes to set your app up. This also requires more paperwork, but was pretty quick. Download the app prior to your visit so you can get set up while at the branch.
I also wanted my wife to have an ATM card to use and they again needed more paperwork, but was done pretty quickly. This a simple ATM card, not a Visa Debit card, so it only works at ATM’s and the bank. I may try to upgrade her to a Visa Debit at a later date.