How to Open a Bank Account for Expat in Jakarta

As a foreigner in Indonesia, you need to save your money in a safe place. Like most people, you need to do some banking transactions to do everyday transactions. To do this, you might want to open a personal account at a local bank there. In Indonesia, there are numerous foreign and local banks, each bank has a different offer.

In Indonesia there are several international banks, such as Maybank, HSBC, and Standard Chartered, offering specific expat banking services for you. Besides that, there are also some local banks in Indonesia, like BCA, Bank Mandiri, BRI, etc. These local banks offer currency exchanges. They also provide savings and deposit accounts, as well as credit and debit card facilities.

Even though the procedure is a bit complex, you don’t need to worry about it. This article will guide you through everything you need to know about opening a bank account in Indonesia. So, let’s check it out!

General Procedure

First, you need to prepare some documents. If you would like to open an account in an Indonesian bank, you will need to apply with those documents, such as:

  • A temporary residence permit (KITAS)
  • Your passport
  • Proof of your residence in Indonesia
  • A residency contact
  • A domicile letter
  • A recommendation letter from your employer
  • Your NPWP (tax registration number)
  • Your employer’s NPWP
  • Photographs (4cm x 6cm)
  • A bank document from your country of origin
  • An existing credit or debit card
  • Spouse’s government-issued ID card (if necessary)

Each bank you choose may have different procedures. Therefore, you may have to prepare it in advance and you will also need to provide other documents. The process of opening the bank account may depend on the bank’s regulations and all the requirements that you have fulfilled. It can be done in a day or several days.

Choosing a Bank 

Make sure to do some research about your options before choosing a bank. You might want to ask your friends or co-workers about their choice of bank. Try to look at the bank near where you reside or work. It will save you a lot of time when you need to visit the bank.

In Indonesia, there are a lot of banks that can be your options. Some popular bank options include Bank Central Asia (BCA), Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), Bank Mandiri, Bank Danamon Indonesia, and Panin Bank. Each bank may have different services. So, you should check it first before you decide to open a bank account.

Read More: Top Banks in Indonesia

Banking Fees

Like any other bank accounts, Indonesian banks will most likely charge you with several fees. You need to be able to view the structure fees of each bank online, such as monthly administration fees, ATM fees, transaction charges, etc. But, if you can’t find that information, make sure to prepare extra costs before you open your account.

You also may need to prepare about fees that may be incurred for international money transfers and transactions. Usually, you will be charged a percentage of the total transaction on top of a flat fee. You will also be required to make a minimum initial deposit. It varies in every bank and what type of account you are getting. But in general, the amount of money you can prepare is around IDR 500,000 to IDR 1,500,000 ($35 to $100).

You are also expected to maintain a minimum balance in your account. The amount starts from IDR 50,000 ($3.50) and you will be charged a penalty fee if you fail to maintain the minimum balance.

What If You Don’t Have Residence Permits?

Some foreigners or expats stay in Indonesia for a short period but need to open a personal bank account. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible for a foreigner to open a bank account in Indonesia without a residence permit. To obtain a residency permit like KITAS, you have to wait for over six months including the submission of your application. This is why many foreigners choose to keep using their foreign bank accounts which can be costly and time-wasting.

However, there’s a solution if you are in that kind of position. With a new work permit regulation in Indonesia that was published in October 2015. The foreigners who stay for a while in Indonesia to attend seminars, meetings, short-courses, and training do not have to apply for IMTA (a work permit for the foreign workers in Indonesia), but a business visa instead. So, it is recommended that a foreigner who temporarily stays in Indonesia for a business trip to have a business visa.

How to Get a Business Visa

Business visas are only for business purposes such as attending a seminar, short courses, or a conference. There are two types of business visas in Indonesia, It is a single entry business visa that lets you stay in Indonesia for 60 days and the multiple-entry business visas which allows you to stay in Indonesia for one year

Here are the steps to get a business visa:

  • Get a sponsor (an Indonesian registered legal firm).
  • The sponsor submits your visa invitation to the Indonesian Immigration Office.
  • The Immigration sends the visa invitation to an Indonesian Embassy of your choice (3-5 working days).
  • The Embassy proceeds your business visa (3 working days).

Alternative Options

Aside from traditional payment methods, such as debit and credit cards, digital payments began to appear in Indonesia, for example; OVO, GoPay (in the Gojek app), and DANA. Digital payment apps began to be used often by Indonesian people because it is easier to use in daily transactions. Also, many stores, malls, tenants, often offer various promos such as cashback and discounts if paying using a particular digital app. 

These digital apps can also transfer to other apps users. Although there are still some shortcomings in the digital app such as, money exchange and international payments, these digital payment apps can be a good alternative for those of you who want to simply do daily transactions in Indonesia.

There it is! Now, as an expat, you don’t have to be worry to open a bank account in Indonesia. You can simply follow the instruction and prepare documents that are already mentioned in the article above. Good luck!

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