Open a Bank Account in Vietnam

Updated on Friday 01st April 2022

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Vietnam is one of the most important banking centers in Asia and it offers many incentives to foreign investors opening companies here. Important numbers of foreign citizens also move here for employment or other reasons, not to mention the influx of tourists the country attracts every year.

No matter the reason for relocating to Vietnam, an important aspect to consider is to open a bank account right after coming here. There are several types of bank accounts that can be set up here. Among these, personal and corporate bank accounts are the most popular in Vietnam.

Our company formation consultants in Vietnam can offer more information on the banking system in this country.
 Quick Facts  
 Types of bank accounts

Personal, corporate accounts, non-resident, merchant, and savings accounts

Document requirements for natural persons

Passport/ID, residence permit for foreign citizens, standard application form, valid e-mail address, other documents depending on the bank

Documents requirements for companies

 Shareholders' ID/passports, company's statutory documents, ID of a company representative, application form
Address requirements for foreign citizens (YES/NO)

YES. Also, validity of the passport is of minimum 6 months

Requirements to travel to Vietnam (YES/NO) YES, you need to be in Vietnam to submit the documents
Remote bank opening possibility (YES/NO)

Online possibility to open the account while in Vietnam for foreign citizens

Timeframe for opening the account (approx.)

A few days

Legal representative requirement (YES/NO) Not mandatory, but advisable
Services attached to the accounts Online access to the account, attached debit/credit card, international money transfers, possibility to open the account in various currencies
 

The New Banking Law in Vietnam


In 2016, Vietnam amended its banking legislation which among the many changes also contained some related to the easiness through which foreigners can open bank accounts here. Another change that entered into effect in 2019 also enables foreign citizens and entrepreneurs to open set up accounts from abroad, so it is fair to say that Vietnam is now one of the most friendly and foreign investment-oriented countries in Asia when it comes to facilities offered to overseas persons and entrepreneurs coming here.

If you decide to open a bank account in Vietnam, our specialists can assist with the creation of various types of accounts.  

Types of bank accounts in Vietnam


Persons who decide to create bank accounts in Vietnam have several choices in terms of banks and accounts they can set up. All they need to do is search for the best option for them. They can also rely on guidance in making such decisions.

Here are the main types of bank accounts one can open in Vietnam:
 
  1. personal bank accounts that can be opened by natural persons living and working in Vietnam;
  2. corporate bank accounts that are mandatory for all companies operating in Vietnam;
  3. non-resident bank accounts which were recently introduced in Vietnam;
  4. merchant accounts that are mandatory for e-commerce businesses in Vietnam.               

According to recent legislation, bank accounts can also be divided into local and foreign currency accounts.

If you want to open a bank account in Vietnam for your company, no matter if it is a traditional or an online one, you can rely on our local agents. We can also support you if you want to open a company in Vietnam.
 

Requirements to open a bank account in Vietnam

 

Foreign citizens and companies interested in opening bank accounts in Vietnam must present a set of documents with the bank they want to work with. Among these are:
 

  • proof of identity in the case of individuals;
  • a valid e-mail address;
  • a copy of the work contract, in the case of foreign employees;
  • a minimum amount of money to be deposited when opening the account;
  • information about the company, in the case of corporate bank account;
  • specific application forms issued by the bank.


Other requirements could apply depending on the bank. Our Vietnam company formation specialists can assist with the opening of corporate bank accounts.
 

How to open a personal bank account in Vietnam as a foreigner

 


According to Circulars 19/2016/TT-NHNN and 26/2017/TT-NHNN, foreign citizens can open bank accounts here if they have obtained residence permits with a minimum validity of one year. For this purpose, they must file a set of documents with the chosen bank.

Here are the documents one must file to open a bank account in Vietnam as a foreigner:
 

  • the valid passport which must have a validity of at least 6 months;
  • a Vietnam visa with a minimum duration of one year;
  • a temporary or permanent residence permit;
  • a temporary residence confirmation letter obtained from the nearest police department.


Among the last 3 documents, only one must be submitted as proof of residence here.

Foreign citizens can open bank accounts with local or foreign institutions in Vietnam. Some of the largest banks in the world have branches here in several cities which can ease the decision of persons who want to transfer money abroad, for example.

If you want to open a bank account in Vietnam and need advice on how to choose a bank, our officers can make some recommendations based on our experience with them.
 

Opening corporate bank accounts in Vietnam


According to the Company Law, a company is not required to have a local bank account if its transactions do not exceed 20 million VND, however, most enterprises decide to set up accounts for their operations.

The creation of a bank account for a company in Vietnam implies two procedures:
 

  • the opening of a bank account in which the share capital will be deposited;
  • the creation of an account for day-to-day transactions.


Also known as an investment or direct investment capital account, it must be created by companies with foreign ownership with local or foreign institutions that are allowed to provide foreign exchange services. These banks are authorized by the State Bank in Vietnam.

Among the documents that must be presented in order to open a bank account in Vietnam for a company are the following:
 

  • an application form that must contain specific information;
  • proof of establishment in the case of foreign companies operating in Vietnam;
  • identification papers of the company’s representative authorized to represent the business in relation to the bank.


The opening of a corporate bank account can be handled by our company formation experts in Vietnam who can help you prepare all the documents requested by the financial institution of your choice.
 

Choosing a Vietnamese bank to work with

 

Vietnam is the 15th largest country in the world with a population of nearly 100 million people, which means that all infrastructures servicing the public are well-developed. This is also the case of the banking system that has impressive dimensions meant to deliver quick and reliable services to its clients.

There are around 50 banks operating in Vietnam, both public and private ones, as well as foreign operators catering to the needs of the local and foreign population living here. This is why, when opening a Vietnamese bank account choosing the service provider can be quite important.

As a Vietnamese citizen, it is rather simple to choose the nearest bank or an institution agreed by the employer, or other subjective criteria, such as fees and services attached to the account. As a foreign citizen or business owner with a company here, selecting a bank implies a thorough verification of the provider, as well the following aspects:
 

  • if the bank allows creating the account in a foreign currency (the most important foreign currencies are USD and EUR);
  • the possibility of creating the account online and with simple formalities;
  • the possibility of using a proxy to create the account.


Among the services that can be used with Vietnamese bank accounts, some of the most sought are:

  • online access through an application or via websites;
  • the possibility of making international transfers of money;
  • access to various payment methods.

 


If you intend to set up a company in Vietnam and require assistance in creating a bank account, our local consultants can assist you. If you do not want to come to Vietnam during the initial stages of the procedure, we can offer representation with the chosen bank. We can also advise on how to choose a financial institution to work with.

As a foreign investor, you can select a bank in your home country and verify if it has branches in Vietnam. If you have this option, it is useful to note that there are banks that enable you to start the opening process in your country.
 

Setting up a bank account with a foreign bank operating in Vietnam

 


At the end of 2019, there were 9 foreign banks operating in Vietnam, so foreign citizens and investors can select any of them for creating accounts. While some of them can choose banks from their own countries, others may decide on large and reliable institutions that have a good reputation.

The opening of a bank account in Vietnam with a foreign institution must respect the regulations imposed here, however, specific rules may be imposed by the parent company. These usually refer to the documents that are required for the setup. When choosing the same bank here and in the home country, it is possible to link the two accounts, and thus obtain smaller administration fees, easier access to loans, or other services.

If you want to open a bank account in Vietnam and want to work with a foreign bank here, you can rely on our specialists, no matter if you are interested in a personal or corporate account.

 

Setting up a merchant account for an e-commerce company in Vietnam

 

Many products that are sold in Western countries are manufactured in Vietnam and sold via the internet. As a matter of fact, in 2020, the e-commerce sector in Vietnam generated around 11.8 billion USD, which represented 5.5% of the total retail industry. So, it is safe to say that opening an online shop is a good business opportunity. For this purpose, there are 3 additional steps to complete compared to a traditional company. The first one is buying a domain name, then having a website created, and then opening a merchant account.

Merchant accounts are used to process online payments. These are not the same as corporate bank accounts, however, they can be linked to them. Merchant accounts are created with special service providers and are easy to create.

If you are interested in launching an online business in Vietnam, you can rely on our local specialists. Moreover, you can rely on us for support in working in accordance with legislation imposed in this sector.
 

Banking fees in Vietnam

 

Each bank has its own fees, based on the company’s policies. Among these, ATM withdrawal and international transfer fees are often encountered. Services and account maintenance fees can also be imposed. The largest commissions are usually imposed on international money transfers.

In the case of foreigners, it is possible for banks to ask clients to deposit a minimum amount upon opening.

For details on how to choose a bank to open an account with, do not hesitate to request the assistance of our consultants.
 

Why open a bank account in Vietnam?


There are plenty of reasons for which a foreign citizen should open a bank account in Vietnam, apart from when necessary. Tourists, for example, are also allowed to set up Vietnamese bank accounts, which means one must not be a resident in order to have a local bank account. This is an important aspect, as most Asian countries require a residence permit for foreign citizens.

Also, the opening of a bank account in Vietnam can be in the local currency or in other currencies, such as euros or US dollars. Online bank account opening is another facility offered by most banks in Vietnam. Also, many foreign banks have branches in Vietnam which provide for several options when choosing the bank to work with.


We invite you to watch our video below:



 

The banking system in Vietnam


Foreign citizens and companies seeking to open a bank account in Vietnam can choose between several institutions. The local banking system consists of commercial banks divided into:
 

  • 5 state-owned banks;
  • 35 joint-stock banks;
  • 4 joint-venture commercial banks;
  • foreign banks operating through 35 branch and representative offices;
  • 6 financial companies.


Our local advisors are at your service if you want to set up any type of bank account as a foreigner. You can also rely on us for business registration services in Vietnam.

If you need assistance in opening a bank account in Vietnam, please contact us. We can also assist with the company registration procedure in Vietnam.