Which digital banks in Taiwan refuse to provide services to foreigners?

After the Richart/Taishin/JKO thing, I’m intending to make a follow-up complaint to the MOI and probably the FSC about those digital banks that don’t provide services to foreigners at all, based on something the MOI previously wrote about the provision of limited services not constituting discrimination.

Actually, come to think of it now, if I can be bothered I might complain to the banks themselves first as well and ask if they have any timeline for providing a fair and non-discriminatory service.

With this in mind, I want a list of digital/online/app-based banks in Taiwan that currently exclude foreigners. This is what I’ve come across so far:

Bankee (Far Eastern International Bank)

Policy given here:

Q01. 申請資格?

  1. Bankee 數位存款帳戶:僅受理持有中華民國國籍之成年自然人且未受監護與受輔助宣告者申請。
  2. Bankee 信用卡:僅受理成年自然人持中華民國身分證者申請。

Entering an ARC number gives the following error message:

您使用的是居留證號,很抱歉我們目前尚未開放非本國人申請Bankee相關產品。

KOKO Bank (Cathay United)

Previously complained about by @comfy123 back in August 2022, but it looks like this has been merged into Cube and doesn’t exist anymore?

LINE Bank

Policy given here:

在 LINE Bank 開立帳戶需要具備什麼資格?
LINE Bank 目前開放年满 18 歳以上,且不具境外税務居民身份之本国自然人申請開戸

我是外籍人士,可以開 LINE Bank 帳戶嗎?
目前 LINE Bank 僅開放年漏 18 歳以上之本國自然人游理開戸,暂不接受法人、外園人、未成年人及具有境外纳税義務人身份者 静理開户。

Next Bank

Policy given here:

如何開立NEXT BANK帳戶?
須為法定成年人並領有中華民國國民身分證之本國自然人,憑身分證和第二身分證件(駕照、健保卡和中華民國護照)及他行臨櫃開立的一般帳戶,即可使用將來銀行 APP 進行開戶。

外籍人士可以申請 NEXT BANK 帳戶嗎?
目前只開放法定成年之本國自然人辦理,暫不接受外籍人士開戶。

(Comical side note: Someone working there had the bright idea of including the hashtag #外國人, but the only thing it links to is the FAQ page saying foreigners aren’t welcome. :man_facepalming:)

New New Bank (Union Bank)

Policy given here:

1.誰可以申請New New Bank?未成年/外國人/獨資法人可以申請嗎?
只要您符合以下兩點資格,就可以申辦New New Bank哦!
(1)本國18歲以上成年人。
(2)非本行既有存戶。

3.申請New New Bank帳戶需要準備什麼文件?
以下兩種文件請您事先準備,缺一不可:
(1)本國國民身分證。
(2)公務機關發行含清晰頭像照片之第二證件(如駕照、健保卡、護照)。

OMNI-U (Shin Kong Commercial Bank)

Policy given here:

誰可以申請OU數位帳戶呢?
目前只要符合這些條件就可以申請OU數位存款帳戶或OU數位證券帳戶:
成年人:年滿18歲的中華民國國民且具行為能力。
本國人:沒有其他國家/地區國籍或是稅務居民身份。

And also here (a bit too cheerfully if you ask me – if you’re gonna be xenophobic, at least take it seriously):

外國人可以申請OU數位帳戶嗎?
很抱歉,目前還沒有開放外籍朋友申請OU數位帳戶喔!

Rakuten

Policy given here:

熱門 - Q4. 開立樂天國際銀行帳戶需要具備什麼資格?
目前線上開戶只開放本國人且滿18歲以上之自然人辦理,暫不接受法人、外國人及未成年人開戶。

開戶與帳戶 - Q2. 外國人可以開樂天國際銀行帳戶嗎?
抱歉,本行目前尚未提供外國人開戶。

A bit odd, given that Rakuten apparently accepts credit card applications from foreigners (here and here).

That’s all of them I know – is that it, or does anyone know of any more?

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So Taiwan’s banking cartel wants to herd foteigners into branches so they can ask for a dozen documents and a dozen stamps and an hour or two minimum to make transactions rather than a convenient digital solution. On point.

Good list though

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I think it is quite comprehensive, I am currently on a dereliction of duty appeal with the control yuan against the FSC for failing to enforce financial regulations on Line bank.

The long story of my fight with FSC about this is well documented on other threads.

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So why are you writing them again if they’ve already told you this? What’s changed?

Yes, I’ve read them of course. I should have mentioned that above too, just forgot and was getting tired of reading bank websites. :slightly_smiling_face:

I think you’ve never complained to the MOI, as far as I’m aware?

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Read more carefully please.

The emphasis is on the “limited” part. They previously suggested that providing some/partial services to foreigners means it’s not discriminating against foreigners. I think there’s an argument to be made based on that about the banks that choose to provide zero services to foreigners.

Besides, they’re different banks and it’s a different complaint about a different example of discrimination. And they haven’t told me anything - they largely gave me some BS excuses I disagree with. It’s not like I was going to say “oh, it’s not discrimination then, I must have misunderstood, never mind.”

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nope, never. The reason was: for sure they will find a way to unload the pile of shite to the FSC as they will say “it’s not our jurisdiction”. But apparently they just “no discrimination here”

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Does telling BS not fall under the broad umbrella of “telling”?

Anyway, I know what they told you was BS. The point of my question was if you had new ammunition with which you can counter their answer…

…which you answered:

I see.

Well, most of the digital banking services you listed above are provided by banks that already do business with foreigners. Could they not make the argument that Cathay (for example) provides traditional banking services to foreigners, but not digital banking services (Koko)?

I think Line Bank and Next Bank are the only two in your list who do not offer traditional banking services to foreigners, but those companies do provide other services to them.

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It’s also just a much broader complaint than the previous one about Richart/Taishin/JKO, much of which related to a specific promotion that in fairness they (eventually) made some effort to (partially) fix.

Yes, they could and probably will. What I’m expecting is more BS along similar lines… at which point I’ll have it in writing again that the government considers totally excluding foreigners from products and services just fine, for whatever steps come next. :upside_down_face:

Yes, I think this is right (plus Rakuten, I suppose, for bank accounts). It’s a bit difficult to separate where the line is between a “bank” and a brand of an existing bank with some of these, but I guess I’ll focus on these three that definitely are banks with less emphasis on the others.

Next Bank is backed by Chunghwa Telecom too, so maybe the government will argue that Chunghwa graciously allows foreigners to have cellphone plans so this can’t be discrimination either.

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Are those all new small banks? I haven’t heard of any of them, only their parent companies (ie. Cathay). Good on you for pushing for change. I haven’t ever had issues as a foreigner outside of loans and credit cards, but i also haven’t seen any of these banks. Perhaps I dodged a bullet by going to bigger local banks?

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Yeah, I think so. From what I can tell, the first three genuine internet-only banks (Line, Next, and Rakuten) were all granted banking licenses between late 2020 and early 2022, and Richart and the others listed above seem to be more like brands of the parent banks.

I hadn’t heard of most of them either, but I started getting Facebook ads a while back, probably because of my search and click histories, so I started checking to see whether foreigners could apply (or more accurately, because it’s Taiwan, confirming that we couldn’t).

I think DAWHO (Sinopac) might possibly be another, but like I said it’s becoming a bit difficult to draw the line between what’s really a “bank” (or something similar) and what’s just the online portal etc. of an existing bank. I think this one is more of a “digital account” (and we also seem to be excluded from that because it didn’t accept my APRC number). :man_shrugging:

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