Korean Bank account

How to open a Korean Bank account

One of the first things to do in Korea, is opening a bank account. With so many banks to choose from, it can be quite a mission to decide which bank to go to. It is common for schools to provide assistance or recommendations to banks nearby the school or in the area. Here’s a little bit of information about how to open a bank account in Korea



If you are on a Student or Work visa, it’s pretty simple to open a bank account. You might be more restricted if you are on a Tourist Visa.

To be able to open a bank account, you will need the following:


ARC (Alien Registration Card): Even if you don’t have your ARC yet, you will still be able to open a bank account, but you’ll just be a bit more limited for the first month. You might be able to get a bankbook, and only receive the card once you show your ARC, but you’ll be able to get by without too much trouble

– They will provide you with a form to fill in (Make sure that you have your Korean address with you, and check that your name is written, as per your Passport)


You should be able to receive your Bank card and Pass Book (Bank book) within a few minutes.


Different Banks


KB (Kookmin)

This is the most popular bank, as you will find numerous branches all over Korea.




NH (Nonghyup)

The phone staff is knowledgeable and they provide good service, but doing online banking is a headache. NH is quite popular outside of Seoul.




They pride themselves as a Strong and Healthy Bank that could withstand any crisis. They have branches and ATM’s everywhere




They do not have the best service, as they use translators instead of people, qualified in the banking business, to answer questions. Their website is however compatible with all major browsers, unlike some of the other banks




It is one of the larger banks in Korea with branches in U.S.A.,  Japan and China.




KEB (Korea Exchange Bank)

They provide teachers great service in English and their site is very user-friendly. It’s is the only one that offers foreigners-only bank accounts that record all transactions in English.



Overseas card

Most international cards should work in Korea. It’s possible to withdraw money directly from most of the ATM’s. Make sure that you have one of the following cards though:

– Maestro

– MasterCard

– Cirrus


International transactions

Overseas Remittances

To send money overseas,  it is necessary to designate a specific bank as the one you will use for these transactions. It is advised to bring proof of your bank account bank home, to make transfers in between a lot easier.


Banking hours:

Generally between 9am- 4pm on weekdays, but might vary from one bank to another. Some are open over weekends.





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