MARCH 12, 2018 – This info is for Hong Kong resident with Return Home Permit on opening a China bank account to facilitate their traveling in China. If you are HK permanent resident and hold foreign passport. You are out of luck (Let me know, if I am wrong.).
I can say..without Wechat pay or Alipay wallet. It’s very inconvenient at restaurant or buying stuff. Cash is still prevalent but you will be lugging $100 Rmb bill and a lot coins. After couple days, you realize you have a lot coins in pocket that you don’t know how to deal with it. That is why e-wallet is more convenient. Plus, you might get pick pocketed or short change with fake RMB.
We picked ICBC. Why? Key difference – NO need proof of China residence address. All other bank require proof of China address. ICBC requires Hong Kong proof of address, which every Hong Kong resident have. Below is the location that we went, which is near the Guomao metro station. It’s next to the Starbucks. Easy to find.
Below are the requirement stated on their Bank:
On ITEM NO. 4.:
Bring your passport or driver license. They want to see it.
Tax ID number:
Very crucial. The bank somehow want to see this. Below is the samples. We saw many walk-in Hong Kong resident did not bring this thus unable open the account. Bring the original, they will give it back after seeing/record the number.
How much to deposit:
$3000 RMB – no IF or But. Bring 3K Rmb. That is the minimum requirement. You can use immediately but MUST maintain $300 or above. Anything lower than $300Rmb maintain, a fee will be levied and they will freeze your account. Be aware.
China phone number:
It’s a requirement because the bank or wechat or Alipay need to send you SMS for verification. Some will buy pre-paid Sim at the Lo Wu but we use a post-paid from Three Hk. It’s $26 every month.
Pre-paid sim – you need to top-up every three months. A little hassle for us. We might forgot and the card might get cancel. Then you need to go the bank to change the phone number.
How long of a wait to get this done:
We went there on a Saturday (bank open until 4pm on Saturday). The waiting time is about 1hr to reach your number. The form submission and deposit process with the windows teller takes about 15 minutes.
This is the requirement as of March 2018. As you know, this is China, the goal post constantly shifting. Be aware.
When you key-in you name to link to your bank card. Type your name in SIMPLIFIED CHINESE NAME. DON’T type English or Traditional Chinese. It will say ‘incorrect name or bank account number’