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How to open a bank account in Singapore

A quick and easy guide to setting up your bank account

YouTrip

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S$0

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  • Competitive exchange rates
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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:

Step 1: Compare accounts to find the right one

Shop around to find the best current account or the best savings account. Consider the type of debit card you’ll receive, the benefits on offer, fees you’ll have to pay and any minimum balance requirements. You should also consider fall-below penalties and whether the account waives fees if you make direct deposits.

Step 2: Decide if you want a single or joint bank account

Consider if you want to open an account for yourself or one to share with a partner. If you open a single account, you’re the sole owner and no one else can access your money. With a joint bank account, you share ownership with someone else, usually a family member, significant other or business partner. They have equal access to the account and can use the money however they wish.

The process to open a single or joint account is pretty similar. You’ll just need the required documents for both account holders to open a joint account.

Step 3: Submit your required documents

You’ll need to provide certain documentation to open an account. This includes:

  • ID documents. Singaporean and permanent residents will need an ID document, such as your NRIC. Passports are often accepted for foreigners, or if you’re Malaysian, your Malaysian IC.
  • Proof of your address. Have a utility bill, bank statement, credit card statement or another acceptable document that shows your address. It will need to be a recent document, for example, within the last three months.
  • Proof of employment. Foreigners working in Singapore are often required to provide proof of employment such as an employment pass or an In Principal Approval (IPA) issued by the Ministry of Manpower.
  • Proof of study. If you’re a foreign student, you will need to provide proof of your study in Singapore. Your matriculation card or student card will be sufficient.

If you’re applying for an account online you will need to scan or copy the required documents and submit them online. Those applying in-branch can bring the original or scanned documents (check with the bank what is required).

Step 4: Wait to be approved

After you complete an online application for a bank account, you’ll get an email from the account provider with information about what happens next. This email should come within a minute or two after you submit the application to the bank. It may come with instructions on verifying your identity, or you may need to do that first.

Step 5: Make a deposit

Most accounts will require you to make an opening deposit using a debit card or from an existing bank account. If this is your first bank account and you plan to make an opening deposit in cash, you’ll need to sign up for an account at a bank branch.

Step 6: Your debit card arrives

If the account you signed up for includes a debit card, it’ll arrive in the mail after you’ve been approved. You’ll find out how long it takes to ship in the confirmation email. The debit card and PIN are sent to you separately for security reasons. When you get your card, you need to sign the back and activate it so you can make withdrawals. This is a simple process that can be completed via mobile, ATM or online.

Step 7: Start using it!

Your account is ready to go. You’ll be able to make deposits and withdrawals, as well as use any other features associated with your account. To finish setting everything up:

  • Set up Internet banking. This lets you manage your money and make payments to other accounts from your phone, computer or tablet. Download the account provider’s app and follow the on-screen instructions to set up your online banking.
  • Switch your direct debits and automatic payments. If you have an existing bank account, decide if you want to transfer all of your automatic payments to your new account. If so, you’ll need to sign in to your existing accounts with your creditors and change your bank account information.

What are the application processes for the various banks?

Here’s how you can apply for a bank account with some of the most popular banks in Singapore:

DBS/POSB

New customers can apply for an account conveniently through the digibank Mobile app or digibank Online banking platforms. If you have a MyInfo profile, you may pre-fill your online application form via Singpass login. Otherwise, you’d need to fill in the various fields on the form and upload the required documents manually.

OCBC

Once you have an account in mind, simply click on the ‘Apply online’ button on the OCBC website to begin your application. New customers can apply for an account instantly with MyInfo via Singpass login. For those without Singpass, you can apply online with the required documents. As for existing OCBC customers, you can apply instantly through your Internet Banking account.

Alternatively, you may also visit the nearest OCBC branch and apply in person.

UOB

To begin, simply click on the ‘Apply now’ button and you can choose if you’d like to apply via your internet banking account (for existing customers) or MyInfo (for new customers). With MyInfo, SingPass holders can easily retrieve their personal details and complete the application within a few clicks.

If you’re a foreigner or don’t have a MyInfo account, you’ll need to head down to the nearest UOB branch and apply in person.

Maybank

New applicants (for Singaporeans and Singapore PRs only) can either apply for an account using Myinfo (auto-fill out e-form) or manually fill in an online application form. If you’re a foreigner, you can also apply digitally by filling up the online application form.

Who is eligible to open an account in Singapore?

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

  • Be a Singaporean, permanent resident or foreigner with a valid work permit.
  • Be at least 18 years old. However, most banks will allow minors to open a joint account with a parent or legal guardian.
  • Be able to provide a government-issued ID.
If you’re an expat or an international visitor, check out our extensive guide on how to open a bank account in Singapore as a foreigner.

What documents do I need to open a bank 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.

Compare a range of banks accounts in Singapore

Name Product Monthly fee Minimum Initial Deposit Fall below monthly fees Mobile payments
POSB current account
S$2
S$0
S$2
Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, NETSPay, PayLah!
Benefit from automatic top-up feature and free chequebooks with this checking account.
CIMB StarSaver Account
S$1
S$5,000
S$0
Samsung Pay
This combined current and savings account offers three interest tiers based on the size of your account balance.
OCBC Frank Account
S$2
S$0
S$2
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
S$0
S$1,000
S$7.50
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.
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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.
Name Product Monthly fee Card delivery Supported currencies Mobile Payments
YouTrip
S$0
5-8 business days

10

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
S$0
3-5 business days

1

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
S$0
2 - 3 business days

6

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
S$9.99
Up to 4 working days

21

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.
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How do you choose a bank 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 that 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 favour bank accounts from providers who have multiple ATMs around Singapore.
  • Fees. Bank accounts in Singapore come with various fees, so make sure to look into these and check they aren’t excessive. It’s also important to consider whether the features you want have to be paid for, for example, international ATM withdrawals.
  • 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.

    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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