The banking system in Vietnam

Vietnamese bank notes
Shutterstock.com
Updated 2023-11-12 09:17

If you have decided to settle in Vietnam, you will definitely need to open a bank account. Not only will this be the easiest way for your salary to be deposited, but you can also pay directly through QR codes at many shops or restaurants. While you are able to open a bank account as an expat in Vietnam, there are a couple of things you need to know first. 

How do I open a bank account in Vietnam?

The formalities are quite simple: choose the bank where you want to open your account and inquire about the specific requirements for a foreigner. These may vary according to the bank but will typically include a valid passport and visa, a minimum deposit amount, your residence card, proof of address, and a copy of your work contract. Make an appointment online or simply visit one of the branches of the bank you choose. Banks in Vietnam will have a ticket system, so it's very easy to walk in and speak with someone in a few minutes.

Most bank employees in Vietnam can speak English, or you will be directed to a designated team member.

Conditions for opening a bank account in Vietnam

Many expats in Vietnam prefer their Vietnam bank account to help track spending and saving. With apps such as TransferWise or Xoom, you can easily deposit money from your overseas account to your local bank.

To open a bank account in foreign currency in Vietnam, you need a minimum amount as stipulated by the specific bank you choose. Initial deposit amounts vary between banks, but ACB, for instance, accepts as little as 100,000 VND (4.10 USD). It is recommended to keep a minimum amount greater than 50,000 VND (2.05 USD) in your account. Otherwise, you may be subject to a penalty.

Good to know:

  • Some banks may take a commission for withdrawals in foreign currencies.
  • No commission is charged for withdrawals in VND.
  • You likely will have to pay a tax credit if you close your bank account in less than a year.

Some of the most trusted banks in the country include VietinBank and Vietcombank. International banks such as HSBC and Citibank have a big presence in the major cities.

Payment options in Vietnam

Each bank account will issue a debit card to the owner. You can now use this card to withdraw money from an ATM, which is easily accessible around Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi and less available in smaller cities.

The primary method of payment in Vietnam is QR transfer. You can pay for almost anything from your cell phone, as the money will come out directly from your bank account. While we recommend carrying a little cash on you at all times for emergencies, you can easily pay for groceries, meals, coffee, and transportation via the QR payment system.

Credit cards in Vietnam

If you are looking to obtain a credit card in Vietnam, each bank has its own process and regulations. Anyone on a tourist visa cannot apply for a credit card, but if you are on a temporary residence visa (TRC), banks like HSBC and BIDV will be happy to assist you.

Money transfers outside of Vietnam

Specific conditions apply when transferring money to a foreign bank. You will need to produce official documents justifying the transaction, for example, the sale of property, transferral of a portion of your salary, or funding children's education abroad.

Useful links:

Vietcom Bank

Citibank

HSBC

ANZ Bank

Vietnam Bank Investor

TP Bank

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.