How to open a bank account in Thailand

How to open a bank account in Thailand

Being of of the world's top destinations thanks to a thriving economy, lost costs of living and a cultural landscape and heritage that has been attracting foreigners for decades, Thailand today is home of a growing expat community.

If you are looking to move there or even if you just landed, chances are you will need to open a bank account in Thailand. Thankfully, because of the aforementioned enormous number of foreigners visiting and living in the country, banks are well accustomed to working with expats. Here is our guide on how to open a bank account in Thailand.

Documents needed to open a bank account in Thailand

Opening a bank account in Thailand should be an easy process if you already have the required documentation. Here is a basic list:

  • Passport
  • The correct visa type (B or O-A visa, 3 year non immigrant visa for business)

There could be more requirements such as:

  • Thai residence permit, utility bill, rental agreement
  • Utility bill, bank statement, driver’s license, from your home country
  • Proof of property ownership (if that is your case)
  • Letter of reference that came from your embassy, home bank, or an educational institution based in Thailand.

The process should be rather straight forward and most banks will bank English speaking staff. It is helpful to have a Thai friend around specially if the person has a bank account in the bank in question as that constitutes a referral.

Can I open a bank account in Thailand as a non-resident?

Yes it is possible to open a bank account in Thailand as a non-resident and if you do not have a work or business visa. It is much harder not only most banks will not offer the service, those that do will require additional documentation. We know that Bangkok Bank will work with non-residents and it is best to talk straight to them as they take it on a case by case basis. Another important point is that your account may take a while to be activated.

Best banks in Thailand

As an expat it is probably a smart idea to stick to larger institutions with an established history of banking in the country as this gives newcomers an additional layer of peace of mind. We reckon Bangkok Bank, Kasikorn Bank, Siam Commercial Bank and Krungsri Bank are the best options for expats as they cover most of the country with branches and ATMs.

  • Bangkok Bank: this is Thailand’s largest bank with 1240 branches and nearly 10 thousand ATMs across the country. ATM usage is free. Accounts come with debit cards, credit cards are available and they have a full service line including current and savings accounts, investment accounts and foreign currency accounts.
  • Kasikorn Bank: another bank with 10 thousand ATMs around the country, this is also a convenient option. They are a full service bank with account offers for students, workers and investors, loan offers, cards and an excellent online banking tool.
  • TMB Bank: with 450 branches and nearly 2500 ATMs around Thailand, they are one of the country’s largest banks. They offer credit cards, mobile banking, loans, insurance and low fee accounts for youths and students.
  • UOB Bank: they are a well established bank with a long history in Thailand with plenty of well located branches and a 1200 strong ATM network and more via partners. They have current accounts, savings, deposit and multicurrency account offers. You can earn interest on your accounts.

All major banks will offers similar services and that is why it is important to select a bank that is convenient to you. For example, some banks will have large account cancellation fees and if you are planning to stay short term, it is worth reading the fine print or finding out about the fee structure with the banking agent.

Watch out for ATM usage fees outside the country and outside your bank’s network too specially if you do not have a work permit which changes the account’s pricing.

The virtual bank account alternative

It is expensive to do international money transfers from Thailand

Sending money abroad is expensive if you use a bank because they charge above the mid market rate (the low rate that banks use to transfer money to each other) in currency conversion fees. If you send money abroad regularly you could be losing thousands needlessly. For example, if you transfer 10 thousand euros to India, you only get about 9000 euros worth of rupees which is not a good deal.

With a virtual bank account by B2B Pay, you get 9900 euros worth of rupees back home, saving you 900 euros in a single transaction. This happens because we charge a flat rate of 1% on the transaction. You also get a free European IBAN which is just like a bank account. You can send and receive money within 35 European countries and send money abroad to 200 countries in 32 currencies.

How to open a bank account in Europe

We have a few guides to guide you through the process of opening a bank account in multiple European countries and explaining why a virtual bank account with B2B Pay may be a better alternative if you are transferring money outside of Europe and taking advantage of a better rate.



How to open a bank account overseas

We have a few guides to guide you through the process of opening a bank account in multiple countries all over the world and explaining why a virtual bank account with B2B Pay may be a better alternative if you are transferring money outside of Europe and taking advantage of a better rate.


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