Opening a Bank Account in Taichung

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.


I just dealt with this and they outright refused me saying I had to work at a Taiwan company to get a bank account. Do you work for a foreign company? I just want to take my business elsewhere now, the first CTBC branch told me out right unless I read Chinese they cannot open an account, I walked 20 mins down the road to the next one they helped me but had the same issue with no address on my Gold Card then when I got my lease they said I had to have job in Taiwan and USA company does not count.

So sorry to hear this. As you pointed out, it’s a bit of a hit and miss in who your are dealing with. I did not have a job at the time I applied and received my account. Luck of the draw. Not sure even if they did have the information that they would contact your employer anyways. Try another branch or just give up on them and try another bank.

I’ve got into arguments with banks in the past for being stupid like this. If you have a few minutes and are feeling argumentative.

Just say… this isn’t the bank policy. Please get the Taipei head office on the line to clarify. If they refuse again, keep repeating, call Taipei to verify the rules. Just refuse to leave and keep repeating the same thing.

You won’t win any friends at the branch but they will eventually comply. Or the path of least resistance is to try another branch or bank.

Or you can call their customer service yourself today and let them know the issue. * Customer Service: 0800-024-365

Likely what’s happening is that due to compliance issues with money laundering and USA financial rules, they likely don’t want the trouble of going through a long process for someone they feel may be a low value client. Their manager may have even told them to do that to get rid of the risk and to save time.