Opening a Bank Account in Thailand: Tips and Requirements

Banking Advice


Bank Accounts

If you have a bank account already, let us know, and with which bank and we may still be able to use it and help you with the 800,000THB support.

If you want us to help you with the financing of a retirement extension or a renewal you will need a bank account in Thailand. We like to deal with Kasikorn Bank and Bangkok Bank, so let's deal with those.

If you do not have a bank account already you may find it difficult to open one. Many banks put all sorts of obstacles in your way and the cashiers will try to fob you off with responses like "you need a work permit", "you need a retirement visa", "you need an 'O' visa", "you need to be married to a Thai" or "you need a Thai sponsor who has an account here"

Frankly that's pretty much BS.

Most banks are willing to open a bank account for you, given the right set of circumstances and how you present yourself.

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Tips on How to Open a Bank Account

Do not attempt to open an account in a shopping mall bank as the cashiers that work there have the worst job in the industry, working longer, more unsocial hours and are busier than most and are often newcomers to the banking sector. They do not want to spend a lot of time with one customer filling out forms, and managers do not like it either when a branch is busy with waiting Thai clients, they will fob you off with any excuse as to why you cannot open an account.

Do attempt to open an account in a High Street type bank as these are distinguishable by the fact it opens earlier and closes earlier than shopping mall branches, usually 8:30am until 4:30pm. These are a type of branch where Thai business owners conduct their banking affairs and you will be taken more seriously here.

Nevertheless you will need to make yourself look like an interesting prospect for the bank and for the cashier, I would take along with you 10,000 baht and when you sit down at the cashier put it on the desk in front of you with your passport.

  • Tell the cashier you want to open a bank savings account
  • Tell them you want it so you can transfer in 800,000 baht for your retirement fund
  • Tell them your friend has an account here
  • Tell them he is happy with their services
  • Tell them you want an insurance backed ATM card - (Charges for this may vary up to 800 baht in some cases)

This ATM card carries and accident insurance with it. Importantly the cashier will get a commission on the issue of this card, they also have to fulfil the banks sales quota of this type of card per month. So she will be happy to hear that request. Tell her that you also want to enrol in the banks insurance policy (Charges for this may vary up to 6000 baht in some cases).

Once again the cashier will get a commission on the issue of this insurance, again they have to help fulfil the bank manager's sales quota of this type of insurance per month, so she will be very happy to hear that request.

Now some will squirm at this approach and if asked to do this would scream SCAM but I prefer to view it as one hand washing the other, you want something that's essential in Thailand and the cashier wants a reward for granting it, this type of behaviour is commonplace in Thailand especially in tourist areas. If it offends you then keep walking until you find someone who will do it for you without buying insurance. Someone will do it eventually, I guess it depends on how much you value your own time to search for that person.

Any money left from these insurance purchases can be deposited in the new savings account as an opening balance, you will be issued an ATM card immediately as well as a bank passbook. You should have a 3-4000 baht left in the account which you can take out at the ATM outside if you wish as you use it to change or register your pin number, the cashier will usually help you with this process.

So there you are all done, hopefully...

Do not be disheartened, upset or angry with the cashier if she refuses you, she may be operating under the branch managers instructions So ask to see the manager and explain it to him, tell him you spoke to head office in Bangkok, tell him they said it was ok for you to open an account, if he still refuses, politely ask him for his name and indicate you will speak to head office in Bangkok again, if he is still unmoved then you move along to another branch

I have known clients who have tried three to four branches and been declined and then tried a fifth and was given an account. On the other hand I have known one client who arrived on a Sunday, got a 30 day visa exempt at the airport and opened an account first thing on Monday morning.

It's a little bit pot luck, good presentation and a lot of tenacity, if you are quick to temper or easily discouraged, it may not be for you. If so we can help you open a bank account for you during the application process. If you have a bank account already, let us know, and with which bank and we may still be able to use it and help you with the 800,000 baht support.

Let's start with Bangkok Bank requirements. On the Bangkok Bank Website it says in English. Even if you are only visiting Thailand for a relatively short period of time, you can open a savings account and get a debit card to use for shopping and ATM withdrawals. All you will need to provide is your passport and one other official identification document - for example, a reference letter from your embassy, your home bank or a person acceptable to the bank. You will also need to provide evidence of your address in Thailand as well as your regular address in your home country.

Our local Kasikorn bank give out this slip to foreigners wishing to open a bank account:

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As you may surmise, you will be required to take out an insurance package with them to get the account opened too.

If you have any visa problem in your life, we are here to help you!