Considering moving to Vietnam to explore new opportunities? Or you’ve already landed here and are about to embark on your exciting adventure in South East Asia?

It’s no easy decision and one that should not be taken lightly so careful preparation and consideration will go a long way in improving your quality of life in Vietnam. Either way, one of the first few things you should set up apart from your place of residence, is a bank account. It’s best to have a domestic bank account than spend money using your overseas bank cards and get charged fees.
So let’s get started with some common questions to ask before you pick a banking partner:

Can I open a bank account as a non-resident of Vietnam?
Most definitely. As an incoming expat you are free to open a bank account within the country.
What’s the process? How long does it usually take?
The formalities vary by different banks, but overall it’s quite simple:

  • Choose the bank where you want to open your account
  • You’ll need to bring some documents with you to the bank of your choice when you go to apply

  • Important notes:
    As per Circular 19/2016/TT-NHNN and 26/2017/TT-NHNN (effective from July 2019) issued by the State Bank of Vietnam, foreigners who are able to provide documents confirming their residential status in Vietnam for at least 12 months will be eligible to open bank accounts. The required list of documents are as follows:
    1/ Valid Passport as per law, in an acceptable condition that is clearly readable and identifiable (picture and text) for verification; AND
    2/ One of the following valid* documents with at least 12 months validity:
    + Vietnam visa, OR
    + Temporary resident card, OR
    + Permanent resident card
    *The above documents can have less than 12 months remaining, but must be valid at the time of applying to join Timo.  
    If you have any friends that are Foreign nationals, considering opening a Bank account with Timo or any other bank, spread the word.

  • Make an appointment online or simply visit one of the branches of the bank you choose

The process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the bank. The more efficient the account opening process, the shorter the time spent.
What banking fees are involved?
Like banks around the world, Vietnam too has its fees that you should be aware of. This will vary by bank and service. Some of the most common fee types include:

  • Transfer Fees

This is a lucrative revenue generator and most banks will charge fees for inter bank transfers starting at 3,000 VND to 33,000 VND. Some banks do not charge any fees.

  • ATM fees

Typically banks will not charge when withdrawing from their own ATM network, however using a different bank’s ATM might levy a fee, starting at 1,000 VND to 11,000 VND.

  • Service Fees

This varies by bank, but depending on the minimum deposit or balance maintained with the bank, this fee may or may not be applicable. The fee can range from 5,000 VND to 200,000 VND.

  • Internet banking

Most banks these days will not charge you for using Internet banking, however you could incur some fees from 10,000 VND upward with a select few.

Transfer fees ATM
Service Fees Internet banking
Techcombank 0 ₫ 1100- 9900 ₫ 9900 ₫ 0 ₫
VIB 11,000 ₫ 3,300 – 11000 ₫ 9900 ₫* Free
Maritime 0 – 11,000 ₫ 1,100-
3,300 ₫
9900 ₫* Free
Vietcombank 11,000 ₫ 1,100-
3,300 ₫
10,000 ₫ 11,000 ₫
HSBC 33,000₫ * 0-5,000₫* 0 ₫ * 0 ₫ * * min balance required
Sacombank 15,000-
25,000 ₫
1,000 – 3,300 ₫ 5,500-
8,000 ₫
40,000 ₫ for 3 months
Citibank 0₫ * 0₫ * 165,000 ₫ 0₫ * *min balance required
Shinhan 11,000-
16,500 ₫ *
3,300 ₫ * 11,000 ₫ * 0₫ *min balance required
Vietin bank 9,900 ₫ 1,100-
UOB 0-
0₫ * 0₫ * 0₫ * *min balance required
TP Bank 0-
10,000 ₫
/fast transfer 8,000₫
0₫ 5,000₫ 0₫
TIMO 0 ₫ 0 ₫ 0 ₫ 0 ₫

Rates depicted here may not be accurate and are likely to change at the respective bank’s discretion
Which bank should I choose?
All in all, the bank you choose should reflect the services you need the most, how easy it is to sign up and what fees you will be charged. There are more than 43 banks in Vietnam, but the popular banks present in the major cities include HSBC, Citibank, Shinhan, VP Bank, Techcombank, VIB, Maritime bank, Vietcom bank, SacomBank, Vietin Bank, UOB, TP Bank … and of course Timo.

What is Timo?
Timo is a digital bank that is powered by VPBank. Joining Timo is super easy and quick:

Step 1: Visit the website: or download the app, complete the online registration form and book your appointment time..
Step 2: Visit the Timo Hangout at the time booked
Step 3: Complete the account opening procedure, enjoy a complimentary coffee and walk away with your new Debit card in under 30 minutes.
Criteria & Documents required to open a Timo Account

  • Age: 18 years and above
  • Vietnamese nationals must provide their National ID or Passport for verification and registration
  • Foreign nationals must have the following documents: 

1/ Valid Passport as per law, in an acceptable condition that is clearly readable and identifiable (picture and text) for verification; AND
2/ A Valid Visa of 1 year or greater issued in the last 12 months, OR
ONE of the following valid documents valid for 1 year or greater, issued in the last 12 months:
– Temporary residence confirmation issued by the Police
– Temporary resident card
– Permanent resident card
– Work permit

  • Should never have had an account with VP Bank or used FECredit services.

Join now and experience banking that suits your lifestyle!