How to open a bank account in Singapore

A quick and easy guide to setting up your bank account

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Opening a bank account in Singapore is pretty simple and can be done online or in-branch. In order to open a bank account, you need to decide the type of account you want and gather the required documents. Once approved, your account will be opened in minutes. To find out exactly what you need to do to open an account in Singapore, see our steps below.

How to open a bank account in Singapore

You can open a Singapore bank account in a few simple steps:

How to open a bank account in Singapore as a foreigner

Who is eligible to open an account in Singapore?

To open a current account, you’ll generally need to:

  • Be a Singaporean, permanent resident or foreigner with a valid work permit
  • Be at least 18 years old — most banks will allow minors to open a joint account with a parent or legal guardian
  • Be able to provide a government-issued ID

What documents do I need to open a current account?

New customers can sign up for a bank account either at their nearest local branch or via an online application. Here are the various documents required for each option.

Residential statusDocument typesOnline vs local branch
SingaporeanID and latest copy of proof of residence (e.g. local utility bill, local telecommunication bill, local bank statement)Singaporeans registering online can use their Singpass ID for hassle-free form filling and instant approval. Singaporeans registering at a local branch can use their NRIC as proof of residence.
Permanent ResidentID and latest copy of proof of residence (e.g. local utility bill, local telecommunication bill, local bank statement)Online registration requires a scanned copy of each of these documents
Foreigner (working in Singapore)Passport, Employment Pass, Proof of residence (e.g. IPA issued by MOM, Work Permit issued by MOM)Online registration requires a scanned copy of each of these document
Foreigner (studying in Singapore)Passport, Matriculation/student card approved by the ICA / proof of residence (e.g. utility bill, telecommunication bill, bank statement)Online registration requires a scanned copy of each of these documents

Do note that online applications can be made with scanned copies of the required documents, but registration at local bank branches must be done with the original documents.

Existing customers, on the other hand, can apply for new accounts instantly online.

What are the different types of bank accounts in Singapore?

There are generally four types of bank accounts in Singapore:

  • High-interest savings accounts. With high-interest savings accounts, you are required to fulfil multiple conditions to earn higher interest rates, such as having a minimum income or minimum monthly credit expenditure. Examples of high-interest savings accounts include the OCBC 360 Account, UOB One Account and DBS Multiplier Account.
  • Joint savings account. These accounts can be shared by two individuals (usually parent-child or couples). The requirements for this nature of account differ across banks, so do be sure to check out their respective qualifications. Some examples of joint savings accounts are OCBC’s 360 Account, Bank of China SmartSaver, and Maybank’s Save Up Programme.
  • Multi-currency savings account. Unlike a regular savings account, a multi-currency account allows you to hold multiple foreign currencies in addition to SGD in a single account. This allows account holders to make overseas transactions directly from their bank account without incurring additional foreign exchange conversion fees. Examples include the DBS Multi-Currency Account, UOB Might FX and YouTrip.
  • Digital bank accounts. Digital bank accounts allow you to manage your finances online. You can monitor your account as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection, buying and spending via your digital wallet in a few swipes. Since digital banks are a relatively new development in Singapore’s banking scene, be sure to shop around and familiarise yourself with the options available.

How do you choose a current account in Singapore?

The best bank account is one that suits your needs, so you’ll first have to understand your priorities and reasons for opening a new bank account.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular considerations:

  • Interest rates. Savings accounts in Singapore have a huge range of interest rates, especially when comparing regular savings accounts to high-interest savings accounts. If you fulfil the conditions required by the bank and want to park your savings in an account to let it grow over the years, a high-interest savings account might be appealing to you. On the other hand, if you’re a regular investor seeking a temporary account which will be subject to in-and-out cash flows, then account interest rates might not be a priority.
  • Convenience. If convenience is important to you, you’d probably favor bank accounts from more popular providers who have multiple ATMs around Singapore.
  • Fees. Do be wary of hidden costs and fees that may interfere with your savings. For instance, expats residing in Singapore may want to choose multi-currency accounts so as to avoid currency costs.
  • Ease of online access. If going to the bank simply isn’t your thing, then having reliable online access to your bank account will be a priority. As a result, the account you choose should be with a bank that has an intuitive, appealing interface.
  • Minimum deposit. Some bank account types require a minimum deposit or average daily balance of $1,000 to $3,000.

    Compare a range of digital banks in Singapore

    Data indicated here is updated regularly
    Name Product Monthly fee Card delivery Supported currencies
    YouTrip
    S$0
    5-8 business days

    10

    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
    S$0
    3-5 business days

    1

    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.
    BigPay
    S$0
    5-7 business days

    1

    Wirex Visa Card
    S$0
    5 business days

    12

    A multi-currency card that supports over 150 currencies, including more than 8 cryptocurrencies at interbank rates.
    loading

    Compare up to 4 providers

    Bottom line

    The days of spending an hour at the bank to open an account are gone, and you can open a new current or savings account from your computer or phone in minutes. But don’t let the speed and convenience rush you into making a decision. Compare savings accounts or current accounts before getting started to find the one that’s right for you.

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