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2014-12-08 12:32:40

Opening a bank account in Indonesia will help you manage your finances. In this article, Expat.com explains how to open a bank account in Indonesia.

After moving to Indonesia, it's a good idea to open a local bank account through which you can manage your financial commitments, pay day-to-day costs, and avoid foreign transaction fees. Read this article to find out more about how to go about opening an Indonesian bank account.

There are a number of international banks, such as HSBC, that have branches in Indonesia. Some of these offer specific expat banking solutions that will give you easy international access to all your financial arrangements and a central 'home' for your money. These accounts can be great if you need to make fast and secure transfers between different accounts, and they tend to be able to cater for any multiple-currency requirements. They also often provide round-the-clock online banking and telephone support, which can make life easier when living abroad.

There are also some good local banks in Indonesia. Most banks will allow you to request an English account, which will save you from needing a translator to walk you through processes. It is a good idea to select a bank depending on its proximity to where you’re living or working, and what services you need the most.

Some popular local banks to consider are Bank Mandiri, Bank Negara Indonesia, Bank Danamon Indonesia, and Bank Central Asia Tbk (BCA). However, there are many more options, and it's advisable to seek up-to-date advice from other expatriates or your employer once you have arrived in Indonesia.

Bank Mandiri is the largest bank in Indonesia in terms of assets, and it has more staff and branches than other banks. It is therefore considered to be a secure option that delivers a broad range of financial solutions and services, such as fast international transfers and transparent fees. Alternatively, Bank Negara Indonesia was the first bank to be owned by the Indonesian government, and it is one of the largest banks in the country; and Bank Danamon Indonesia is known for its micro-financing activities, and has benefits that include no monthly account fees if you have the minimum balance. Meanwhile, Bank Central Asia (BCA) gives account holders a card that offers a cashback option, which is referred to as “cash out”.

Banking fees in Indonesia

Generally, banking fees in Indonesia tend to be quite nominal, but they do vary depending on the bank, and you may be required to make a minimum initial deposit when opening an account.

You should be able to view fee structures online but, if your chosen bank doesn't appear to have a transparent list of charges, be sure to inquire about various costs before you open your account. These may include monthly administration fees, charges if you fail to maintain a minimum balance, and ATM fees. Most Indonesian banks don’t charge anything to use an ATM that is within their network, but you may be subject to a transaction charge if you use an ATM that is linked to another bank.

As an expat, your main concern may be fees incurred for international money transfers, as these can vary greatly and can quickly add up depending on how much and how often you need to make transfers. Typically, you can expect to have to pay a percentage of the total transaction on top of a flat fee.

Requirements to open a bank account in Indonesia

Opening a bank account in Indonesia is often quite simple and can all be done smoothly in a day, as long as you have all the necessary paperwork. However, depending on regulations, some banks can take up to five days to process the paperwork.

Different banks have different requirements, but generally, you'll be required to submit the following documents:

  • Your passport
  • Your temporary residence permit (KITAS)
  • A recommendation letter from your employer
  • Proof of your residence in Indonesia
  • Passport photographs (4cm x 6cm)

Sometimes you may also be required to submit:

  • A bank document from your country of origin
  • An existing credit or debit card
  • A residency contact
  • A domicile letter

 Useful links:

HSBC
Bank Mandiri
Bank Negara Indonesia
ANZ Indonesia
Bank Central Asia
UOB Indonesia
Ministry of Finance of Indonesia

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.