Looking forward to open a bank account in Egypt? Find out how to proceed in this article.
If you are going to live and work in Egypt, opening a bank account will perhaps be one of your priorities. In case you are planning to do so, you are advised to inquire on relating formalities and procedures beforehand. Indeed, these can be quite complicated and time consuming due to strict regulations. In fact, opening a bank account is not a common practice among Egyptians although the country hosts a few national and international banks.
To open a bank account, most Egyptian banks will require you to produce a resident permit with more than six months validity. Moreover, the minimum deposit generally varies from one bank to another. It can even reach up to several thousands of Egyptian pounds. Make sure to inquire with the chosen bank before proceeding ahead.
Note that each bank has its own policy regarding the opening of a bank account for foreign nationals. Bank advisers should give you more information about these upon inquiry.
Good to know:
In fact, Egyptians earning higher wages are usually those who will open a bank account. The rest of them prefer to manage their financial resources freely.
In general, you are required to produce the following to be allowed to open a bank account in Egypt:
- your valid resident permit
- passport-size identity photos
- your passport (original and copy), including your visa
- the minimum deposit (as determined by the chosen bank)
- a duly filled and signed form (on the spot).
You shall not have any trouble in communicating with the bank agents as most of them speak English. Bank forms are also available in English. If you have all relating documents and you meet the applied conditions, procedures should be completed within an hour.
Types of accounts
Egyptian banks offer two main types of bank accounts: the savings account and the current account. These are the same as accounts offered anywhere else in the world. However, in some cases, the savings account can refer to a remunerated current account.
Besides local and national banks, you will also find a few international banks such as the HSBC, the Emirates NBD, BNP Parisbas, etc, in Egypt.
Most clubs, bars, restaurants and big shops are equipped with bank card readers. To know if these these accept payment by bank cards, you simply have to check for a display sign at the entrance. However, the use of checks is less widespread. Most payments are made either in cash or via bank cards.
You may withdraw money either at the bank (open from 9 am to 2 pm or 5 pm in general), and at ATMs which are available almost everywhere in major cities such as Cairo and Alexandria. However, you are less likely to find these in rural areas.
Good to know:
You are allowed to withdraw a maximum of 500 Egyptian pounds per day.