Banking in China

If you prepare to stay in China for a fairly long period, you will require to open a local bank account. While abroad cards like Visa and MasterCard are accepted at some venues like international hotel chains, a lot of companies will just accept Chinese Union Pay cards. While opening a bank account is rather a simple procedure, current modifications in the migration and taxation policies have made it a bit more complex. Particular requirements for obtaining a bank account might differ depending on the city you are applying from, your visa status, and even citizenship.

Having a bank account in China along with a local debit card will absolutely make a lot of day-to-day operations considerably easier. Apart from the apparent benefits of getting and moving payments and not bring big quantities of money, you will be able to become an active member of China's online shopping neighborhood offering you access to some sales and deals on websites like Taobao, Alibaba, Aliexpress, and others.

You will also have the ability to take pleasure in the convenience of China's famous WeChat and AliPay' mobile apps that, in addition to a lot of other functionality, enable one to pay for almost any goods and services (both online and offline) with a basic QR code scan.

Debit card

The most common type of card held by foreigners in China is an easy debit card. Obtaining a credit card is a much more complex procedure open only to those holding a home license in the nation.

When applying for a debit card in China, you will require to have the following:

Your passport or other ID files

A signed up regional contact number (your bank account will be connected to the local number that you supply).

Bank charges in money (typically, about 20 yuan).

You will not be asked to deposit something in your new bank account right away. Some banks may have this requirement but the quantity would not be high' 100 yuan optimum.


When registering your bank account, ensure to double-check that your name is spelt properly. Name spelling errors are quite common and may cause issues in the future. Note that your full name might likewise be too long to participate in the system' in this case, it will be reduced by numerous letters.

The majority of banks in big cities will have English-speaking workers to assist you throughout the procedure. If you are opening an account in a smaller town or branch, it is recommended you ask a Chinese-speaking acquaintance for assistance.

How to choose a bank.

Most banks in China are state-owned or partly state-owned institutions, which provide an extremely comparable variety of services. There are a couple of you things you may want to think about when picking your new bank.

How big is the bank? It is advised that you select a bank that is big enough to provide national coverage' so that any place you are in China, you will be able to find a branch of your bank. Currently, the largest banks in the country are ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China), CCB (China Building And Construction Bank), ABC (Agricultural Bank of China), BoC (Bank of China), and others.

What is the main function of your account? Consider what you will be primarily utilizing the represent. If it is just for personal use, you can basically go with any bank you choose. If, however, you will be using to receive income transfers, keep in mind that many local companies would usually deal with one bank for wage transfer and will need their staff members to open accounts in that specific bank.

Mobile payments.

Once you have your Union Pay bank card, you can begin using regional mobile payment systems. WeChat Pay is especially popular with both locals and expats. WeChat resembles WhatsApp (you will need a local or international contact number to register) however uses a much more comprehensive scope of services from instant messaging to e-commerce. The app lets you utilize your phone to spend for a wide variety of goods and services from reserving a hotel room, buying a taxi and buying aircraft tickets to spending for utilities, food shipment or settling a restaurant costs. You can utilize WeChat pay in nearly every grocery store and store in the country' even street food suppliers accept payments with the app. To begin using WeChat Pay, link your WeChat account with your Chinese bank card.

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