Richart - The first almost/kinda/marginally/minuscularly foreigner friendly bank

There has been an ongoing discussion here ‘Online’ Bank’s xenophobic reasoning for denying "foreigners" the ability to open an account online - #708 by Dr_Milker

But we now finally have the ability to open a bank account almost online. The process was only released a few days ago and isn’t as smooth as it could be. Also, despite their claims, it has so far been impossible for anyone to open the account completely online. They seem to be keen to fix these issues. The process is basically:

  1. Apply online here, fill out your details and upload a picture of your ARC and another form of ID. You will have to verify yourself and there are a few ways to do this, the easiest is with another bank account you have.

https://richart.tw/TSDIB_RichartWeb/RC25/RC250000;WEB_SESSION=y2mF8NyMG8zIWF5lToxbO6TWHB1JRX-s3-O5QFyyEkwQbngf-8vq!1653337305

  1. You will receive an email advising your account was refused (this pissed off a lot of us early adopters).
    This is incorrect and should be reworded. You just need to call/will be called to answer a few questions regarding your tax residency. Fortunately and thankfully, they do not attempt to force you into a false declaration as the branches do. (They should be changing this process soon so that you can tick some boxes online rather than make a phone call). Some of their questions are totally irrelevant too but so be it.

  2. After a day or 2 an NTD account and Multi-Currency account will be opened. You’re debit card will be posted to you

  3. When you make your first outward transfer you will need to download the Richart app (that we can’t use) and scan a QR code on your computer/ipad/other which will then send you a OTP SMS so that transfers can authenticate through the app (that, again, we can’t use). Weird set up but it works fine once it’s done.

  4. (Optional) If you wish to make SWIFT transfers (or increase daily limits) you will need to present ID and your stamp at a branch 1 time. You do not need to go to the branch every time you want to add a new SWIFT recipient, you can do it online. Taiwanese have the same restrictions on their accounts.

While the process is clunky and not particularly foreigner friendly it is easily the best process for us.

They have great interest rates on USD (4%) and NTD (3.2%), they are promotional but they seem to extend the promotion every 6 months.

I have a referral code if you want it PM me, I get $200 and you get $100 (I think). You can also use the promo code “EXPAT” to get $300.

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I do not think there is enough (anecdotal) evidence for calling this bank even slightly (or almost) foreigner friendly.

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I was feeling generous.

Also they made the process just for foreigners, they didn’t have to do that. Being treated the same as locals would be nice but it’s a huge step in the right direction they didn’t have to take.

Also ARCs (as far as I know) cannot be automatically verified online like the ShenFenZhengs can be. I guess they have a person behind the scene using the photos uploaded to go to the NIA website and manually verify ARCs. If their customer base becomes big enough perhaps they can push for automated verification which would open a lot of doors.

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I’m certainly interested, I need a month or 2 to do it tho.
I’ll be messaging you @justintaiwan

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My U.K. bank credit card was compromised on New Year’s Eve, small amount in London for Uber.
I’m waiting for replacement card.

that’s correct, there’s no API with NIA for this like with the MOI for National ID cards. They can’t care less…

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Four percent interest on USD?! Are you sure? US interest rates are like 0.00001%

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Wow. I better get in on this!

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It’s going to be my main account now :grin: the SWIFT transfer process and fees is so much better too. Their interest rates are way better than anything else available to us.

Their English customer service isn’t bad either. It’s only one woman named Amy but she’s ok. Not super friendly but she does her job.

She bore the brunt of all the angry foreigners when we got the rejection emails and didn’t realise they were automated and incorrect.

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I can see from like a quick search that at major national banks it is low indeed (albeit not as low as you say, 0.01% at BoA for normal savings accounts) but many online banks offer up to 4% too (maybe some even more, this is what I found by just searching average interest rate on deposit US on google.

It’s interesting because the interest rate on AUD with Richart is only 0.6% here but about 3-4% in Oz.

Is this a legit bank? Does anyone have any info on their financial situation etc.?

They are the online offer from Taishin Bank, so it’s a legit bank :blush:

Coincidentally my life, health and disability insurance is also with Taishin.

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I want to switch since fubon promised I could pull yen out in Japan but instead left me stranded on my honeymoon with no way to pull out money. Sick of no English options and no way to address issues outside asking Chinese speaking friends or my wife for help

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E Sun left me stranded in Australia with no money when I went back home a few years ago after promising I could take money out at ATMs in Australia.

I don’t like having to rely on anyone either.

One thing I don’t know is if it’s possible with Richart to have a card issued against the multi-currency account too. This would be amazing for me.

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What are the fees for a SWIFT transfer?

They charge in the currency you are transferring. AUD is $8AUD

It’s not worded very well so I’m not sure if I’m able to transfer AUD to Australia or not. One of their staff members said I can do it online but not on the app, we can’t use the app anyway

https://richart.tw/TSDIB_RichartWeb/RC25/RC250003?announceNo=27909

Wait can’t use the app? Why?

Because being „Foreigner friendly“ apparently has its limits :whistle:

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