How to open a bank account as a foreigner in Singapore | Finder SG
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How to open bank account in Singapore as a foreigner

A step-by-step guide to opening a bank account in Singapore for foreigners.


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Opening a bank account in a new country is never easy. The sign-up process might feel unfamiliar, the terms could seem foreign and the eligibility requirements could just get confusing.

However, as a foreigner in Singapore, you could benefit greatly from taking the time and effort to open a local bank account.

Requirements for foreigners to open a bank account in Singapore

Non-residents can hold bank accounts in Singapore as long as they meet certain requirements. These include:

  • ID documents. You’ll need to prove your ID with a national ID card or your passport.
  • Proof of employment or study. You need to supply your Employment Pass, S Pass, Student Pass or Dependant Pass depending on your situation.
  • Reference. Some Singaporean banks require a reference or introduction letter.
  • Proof of residence. The bank will require documents to show your place of residence, such as phone or utility bills.
  • Be over the age of 18. You will need to be over 18 to open a bank account in Singapore, but you may be able to open a savings account if you’re over 15 years old.

How to open a bank account: 4 steps

1. Choose an account type

There are a few different types of bank accounts available in Singapore, so you first need to decide what type of account you want:

  • Current accounts. These are standard bank accounts that allow you to receive your salary or wage, transfer money and pay bills. You’ll also receive a debit card that comes with extra benefits such as cashback. You can find current accounts available to foreigners at most major banks in Singapore.
  • Digital bank account. Digital banks, also called neobanks and challenger banks, are also an option. They are opened and managed completely online and can offer useful features such as no-fee foreign currency transfers and low or no ATM fees. Digital banks usually design accounts to be managed globally so are a good option to consider for foreigners.
  • Savings accounts. If you don’t need to transact from your account, you might want to consider a savings account. You can make regular deposits and earn interest on your balance.
  • Multi-currency accounts. Multi-currency accounts are great options for those who need access to foreign currency. With a multi-currency account, you can store multiple currencies and benefit from cheap foreign currency transfers.

2. Compare your options

Now you know what type of account you want, it’s time to compare your options. Here are some of the features to consider:

  • Ongoing fees. Some banks in Singapore charge you monthly to hold the account. You may also be required to pay a fee for your debit card.
  • Minimum deposits. To open a bank account, you will generally need to make a deposit to confirm the account. Banks can also charge you fall-below fees if you don’t keep your account above a certain amount.
  • Debit cards. Singapore offers a number of great features with its debit cards, including cashback and discounts. Take a look at the benefits your linked debit card will offer and if any fees will be charged.
  • Rewards. Some current accounts are linked to programs which let you earn points and rewards for your everyday spending.
  • Mobile payments. If you like tapping and paying with your phone, make sure your account is compatible with your chosen mobile payment option.
  • ATM withdrawal. While each bank will have a varied availability of ATMs in different malls, train stations and bank branches, almost all physical banks in Singapore will have an ATM located near you.
  • Banking statements. All bank accounts in Singapore should now allow you to get an electronic statement through your internet banking portal. An electronic statement (or e-statement) is a digital summary of all your holdings, transactions, fees and liabilities at one glance. If you prefer your statement in hard copy, you can get yours at a small fee.

3. Consider the fees

Singapore bank accounts come with a few fees you need to watch out for, including:

  • Fall-below fees. Many banks require that you keep your account above a certain limit or you will be charged fall-below fees.
  • Monthly fees. You may be charged a monthly fee to hold your account.
  • Card fees. Debit cards offer a number of perks, but may also come with an annual fee. Make sure the benefits outweigh the cost.
  • Currency conversion fees. You may be charged a fee to convert your Singaporean dollars to foreign currency. If you’re looking to do this often you may want to consider a multi-currency account or a digital bank account.
  • Account closure fees. Some banks will charge you a fee if you close your account within a certain period after opening it.

4. Sign up for an account

You can apply for a current account in-person or online, depending on the bank. You will need the documents outlined above, including proof of ID and residency, and also be prepared to make a deposit into your account.

    How to open a bank account without an employment or student pass

    While an employment pass is generally required, you can still open a bank account without one. For example, UOB will consider applications from foreigners as long as they visit a branch to provide their documents. Digital banks are also great to consider as you do not have to provide proof of employment in Singapore.

    Can tourists open bank accounts?

    You need to provide proof of a permanent place of residence to open a bank account in Singapore. Because of this reason, tourists cannot open bank accounts. You may want to consider a digital bank account that you can use across countries and with little foreign currency fees.

    Do credit ratings affect your eligibility?

    That depends on the account type you’ve chosen. Current accounts, for example, can be opened without a credit check. However, specialised accounts like high-yield accounts may involve credit checks. In this case, your foreign credit rating may be taken into consideration.

    Compare a range of bank accounts in Singapore

    Data updated regularly
    Name Product Monthly fee Minimum Initial Deposit Fall below monthly fees Mobile payments
    POSB current account
    Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, NETSPay, PayLah!
    Benefit from automatic top-up feature and free chequebooks with this checking account.
    CIMB StarSaver Account
    Samsung Pay
    This combined current and savings account offers three interest tiers based on the size of your account balance.
    OCBC Frank Account
    Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay, Garmin Pay, NETSPay
    This fee-free starter account offers 4x higher interest than regular savings accounts and a customisable debit card.
    UOB Current Account
    Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay
    Manage your day-to-day finances with this statement-based chequeing account and enjoy a 3-year waiver on your UOB debit card.

    Compare up to 4 providers

    Disclaimer: Interest rates are applicable for deposits between S$1,000 and S$49,999. Interest rate and initial deposit are shown in Singapore dollars. Please check with the provider for deposits and rates in other amounts and currencies.
    Data updated regularly
    Name Product Monthly fee Card delivery Supported currencies Mobile Payments
    5-8 business days


    Apple Pay, Google Pay

    Use promo code FINDER5 to earn $5 on signup.

    A prepaid Mastercard with no monthly fees, contactless payment features and fee-free transactions in over 150 currencies. NOTE: Promo code valid for new signups and Singapore residents only.
    Aspire Business Account
    3-5 business days


    Apple Pay, Google Pay
    A virtual business debit card to help you manage business expenses. No foreign exchange fees and cashback perks of up to 1% on selected spending.
    Wise Multicurrency Account
    2 - 3 business days


    Apple Pay, Google Pay
    Wise (formerly TransferWise) is an international account for over 50 currencies, with instant, super-cheap money transfer, a card to spend in any currency, bank details to get paid in 30 different countries and multi-currency direct debits.
    Revolut Premium
    Up to 4 working days


    Apple Pay, Google Pay
    On top of standard Revolut perks, this debit card comes with unlimited spending and free overseas ATM withdrawals, up to $700 per month.

    Compare up to 4 providers

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