How to open a bank account in Singapore

A quick and easy guide to setting up your bank account

Updated

Fact checked
Woman in escalator

Opening a bank account in Singapore is relatively simple and can be done in person or online. You just need to know about the eligibility criteria and required documents before you start the process. You’ll also need to decide on the right bank account for you.

This guide will take you through what you need to know so you end up with the right bank account for you.

How to open a bank account in Singapore

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 to 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 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.

How much does it cost to open a bank account in Singapore?

Most banks have a minimum deposit requirement of S$1000-3000. This will vary depending on the bank itself and the account type.

Types of bank account fees in Singapore

Listed below are some of the most common fees banks in Singapore tend to charge:

  • Minimum deposit amount and fall below fees: Some banks have a minimum in-credit balance requirement. Should your account balance drop below this, you might incur an extra fee.
  • Early closure fee: Banks require you to hold your account for a minimum period of time. If you close your account before this time period is over, you’ll face a fee of approximately S$30.
  • Overseas ATM fees: Overseas withdrawals may be subject to service charges and unfavourable exchange rates.
  • International transfer fee: With the exception of multicurrency accounts, overseas payments from your bank account can get very costly.

At what age can you open a bank account in Singapore?

Individuals 18 years or older can open their own accounts, while 15-17-year-olds can open accounts under the guidance of their parents/guardians. Minors aged 16 and below can have joint accounts with their parents.

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.
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.
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.
Transferwise Borderless
S$0
2 - 3 business days

6

A debit card with fee-free payments in over 45 currencies and competitive currency conversion at real exchange rates.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Have more questions about opening a bank account in Singapore?

Ask Finder

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site