How to Open a China Bank Account | 2022 Guide (2023)

How can I open a bank account in China? Whether you do business in China or you’re moving to China as an expat with a residence permit, opening a bank account in China has many benefits. This article has been expanded and updated to include the experiences of other foreigners, so make sure to read through carefully, especially the frequently asked questions section. I hope you enjoy this guide to help you open a China bank account.

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To open a bank account in China requires time, but overall it’s not particularly complicated. The key is finding a bank branch that has experience working with foreigners and that is willing to accept your particular visa/resident’s permit (more on this later).

Below I’m going to walk you through the process of how to open a bank account in China. In addition, I’ve also included a section of frequently asked questions that I receive all the time about banking in China.

Personally I have opened accounts with Bank of China (中国银行) and the Bank of Communication (交通银行), but I’m not here to promote one bank over another. There are plenty of other good China banks including, but not limited to:

  • ICBC 中国工商银行 (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China)
  • ABC 中国农业银行 (Agricultural Bank of China)
  • China Construction Bank 中国建设银行
  • China Merchant’s Bank 中国招商银行

For the average person, there’s not a huge difference between these banks, so I recommend choosing yours based on convenience. Which branches and ATM’s do you see most often in your city or near your neighborhood?

Convenience is key.

*Special Note* For those opening a foreign business in China, your choice of bank makes a much greater impact on you than as an individual. I recommend you contact a lawyer or specialist before deciding where to open a bank account in China.

Also, are you not sure if youneed to open a bank account in China? Consider this: if you want to buy train tickets online, set up your phone to pay with WeChat, or do any sort of online shopping on Taobao (China’s Amazon-like marketplace), youmust have a local bank account.

(Video) How to open a bank account in China as a foreigner! Simple Steps! and Documents Needed!

Note: Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to you, I may be compensated if you choose to use one of the services listed. I only recommend what I’ve personally used, and I appreciate your support!

Why NOT to Open a China Bank Account

Before I dive into the “how-to” of opening a bank account in China, I first want to cover a few reasonsnot to open one.

  • You Don’t Live in China. If you’re just traveling through China as opposed to actually moving to China or doing business here, taking the time to open a China bank account doesn’t have many advantages. Most every ATM in China accepts Visa and MasterCard, so save yourself the hassle and use cash instead.
  • No Investment Experience: For those not living in China who want to open an account in an effort to diversify your portfolio, make sure you know what you’re doing. Investment in the Chinese Yuan isn’t crazy, but it isn’t for the inexperienced.
  • You Just Want a Chinese UnionPay Card: There are advantages to having a UnionPay card in Asia, that’s for sure, but opening a Chinese bank account isn’t the only way. There are other options.

It’s worth noting that it’s virtually impossible to open a bank account in China remotely.

You’ll need to be physically present in the bank in order to open an account.

How to Open a Bank Account in China (3 Steps)

If you still feel inclined to open a China bank account, here are a few simple steps to follow.

Keep in mind that for most expats or travelers going through this process of opening a Chinese bank account, it takes a few hours – and sometimes a few days. There are many reasons for this, but what you need to know is that it’s good to budget a good portion of time to get this done.

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How to Open a China Bank Account | 2022 Guide (5)

Arrive at the bank the moment it opens in the morning to see if you can avoid waiting in line.

Follow these three steps and (hopefully) in no time you’ll be walking out with your very own China bank card.

Step #1: Preparing to Open a Chinese Bank Account

Preparation can be broken down into two simple categories: choosing your bank and gathering the appropriate documents.

Which China Bank Should I Choose?

As I mentioned earlier, the most important factor to consider when choosing your bank is convenience. Bank of China is the largest in China, but personally I don’t keep most of my funds there because there isn’t a branch or ATM immediately near my home.

Also, your account is tied to the specific branch in which you open it. So if you need to change your PIN, report a stolen card or something of this sort you’ll need to go back to that exact branch. Another reason to pick one near you.


IMPORTANT:Not every China bank – or China branch for that matter – will allow a non-Chinese person to open an account. Many travelers and expats have reported to me that they’ve had to go around to 5-10 different bank branches until they found one that would allow them to open an account.

What Do I Need to Open a Chinese Bank Account?

There are a few things that you’ll need in order to open a bank account in China:

  1. A Passport: This should be obvious. Of course, that passport will need a valid Chinese visa, but if you’re already in China, I assume you have that.
  2. A Chinese Phone Number: All Chinese bank accounts need to be tied to a Chinese phone number. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to get a Chinese SIM card to get a phone number to use.
  3. Work Permit / Student ID (sometimes): Some banks will ask for your work permit or student ID. This isn’t always the case though, and usually they don’t have to have it.
  4. Proof of Residence (sometimes): Some banks will require a proof of residence. This could be as simple as your residence permit or a receipt from the hotel where you’re staying.
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All application forms will be given to you at the bank where you will need to take a few minutes to fill it out.

The bank will require at least 10-20 RMB for an initial deposit and some banks might make you pay for the card they give you. I recommend you bring at least 40-50 RMB with you (if not more) as a precaution.

Step #2: Opening the Account at the Chinese Bank

Once you’ve picked the bank and put your passport and cash in your pocket, set aside an hour or two and head over to the nearest bank branch.

If you have a local Chinese friend that can accompany you, this might help speed up the process. It’s not necessary, however. You should be able to do this by yourself (if you’re adventurous enough!). As I’ve said before, it’s possible to travel in China without speaking Chinese, and it’s also possible to open a bank account in China in the same way.

The first place you need to stop is the information desk to speak with the staff and get a wait number. Tell them that you are opening a new account and often they can help you fill out the form.

Say: “我想开一个银行账户” – Wǒ xiǎng kāi yīgè yínháng zhànghù (“I would like to open a new account”)

Sometimes the bank account application form they give you is in both English and Chinese, but that’s not always the case. Either way, unless you’re confident can write your address and information in Chinese characters, the staff is usually able to help you.

They’ll also likely go make a copy of your passport and visa that you’ll need later.

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When your number is called, provide them with your passport and the form. They’ll have you sign a few other documents, tell you how much money is required for deposit and hand a new UnionPay Bank Card.

At some point during the process a small keypad next to you will light up and scream at you to input a password. All China bank passwords are 6 digits long and you’ll probably have to input it a few times while you’re there.

That’s it! You should walk away immediately with a new card (it won’t have your name on it) and a lot of stamped paperwork.

Step #3: Using Your China Bank Account

There are a few different ways you might find yourself using your new China bank account and your UnionPay card, and each might require specific actions.

  • Using the Chinese ATM: This is the easiest way to utilize your account. You can withdrawal cash (known as Chinese renminbi or Chinese yuan) from the ATM and even deposit cash in some of them. For more information, read my guide to using an ATM in China.
  • Making Purchases Online: If you think you’ll be buying things on Taobao or another China merchant, you’re going to need to specifically ask your bank to turn on Internet banking. Otherwise, the card simply won’t work to purchase. (note: some shopping sites like are not accessible in China without a VPN)
  • Set up WeChat or Alipay: Perhaps the most popular reason that many expats and business people open a bank account in China is the option to use mobile payment systems like WeChat or Alipay. In modern Chinese society, very few people use cash and credit cards still aren’t normal. Instead, Chinese people use their phones to pay for almost everything. Having a Chinese UnionPay card (along with Chinese mobile phone service) will make this possible.

Banking in China | Frequently Asked Questions

How to Open a China Bank Account | 2022 Guide (8)
(Video) How to open a BANK ACCOUNT in CHINA | 2020 | No work-visa required!

As simple as I just made opening a bank account in China sound, as with all things, the devil is in the details.

Here are the most common questions that I receive about banking in China.

Can I open a joint bank account in China?

No, you can’t. Chinese banks don’t do joint accounts like you find elsewhere in the world. Only one name is allowed to be on the account and only one UnionPay card can be tied to that one account.

If you’re wanting to share an account with your spouse or significant other, you’ll also need to share a bank card. It’s annoying, but that’s the way China does it.

Can I open a Chinese bank account on a tourist visa?

Ummm…maybe. But don’t count on it.

Even if it’s possible for you, don’t expect it to be easy. I received feedback from one reader named Sean who shared his experience with me: “After trying a number of different bank branches, always pretending it was my first try, a China Construction bank allowed me to open an account on a tourist visa.When everybody else rejected me, more than a few banks explained that it wasn’t specifically the tourist visa that was a problem, but that you’d need to be stamped in for a visit with a minimum of six months.”

Based on his experience and many others I know, persistence (and time) is key to opening a Chinese bank account on a tourist visa. You’ll probably be told that it’s “not possible” or “against China regulations now” and yet…it still happens.

Can I open an account in my country and use it in China?

In some cases, there are China bank branches in other countries, such as the Bank of China branch in New York City. Although it would seem logical that you could open an account in the New York City branch, deposit money and then use that account in China…it doesn’t work that way.

Accounts outside China only work when connected to an account opened within China. The bottom line is that you’re going to need to open a bank account from within China. Sorry.

Do I need a China bank account in order to wire money in China?

Yes and no. It is possible to wire small amounts of money or use Western Union / MoneyGram to transfer money into China. To transfer money out of China, you are required to provide proof that taxes have been paid on the money and this, in turn, is verified by a China bank. You’ll need to have an account of your own.

In both cases, you need to bring all your documents with you to wire money, particularly your passport.

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How to Open a China Bank Account | 2022 Guide (10)

Can I use my UnionPay card outside of China?

Technically, you’re supposed to be able to. In my experience, though, my UnionPay card is only valuable throughout Asia. The same goes for using mobile payment systems tied to my card (such as WeChat or Alipay).

It works for Chinese people traveling around Southeast Asia, for example, but not for non-Chinese people.

Final Thoughts | Opening a China Bank Account

Hopefully that answered most of your questions about how to open a bank account in China. With the right documents, I was able to open an account in less than an hour, but I’ve known some people who have spent days trying to get things sorted out.

Be patient – the Chinese system has never been known for being efficient. 🙂

Also, remember that you might find that you don’t need to go through the hassle of opening a Chinese bank account if something like ECARD solves the problems you’re having. It’s worth investigating more. It’s been a great solution for me personally.

(Video) Chinabank Mobile Registration How to Sign Up to China Bank Mobile App

Best of luck with your China bank account!

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Further Reading & Resources

  • How to Use WhatsApp in China in 2022 (even though it's blocked)

  • Online Shopping in China | 2022 Expat Guide

  • How to Access Gmail in China in 2022 | Expat Guide

Traveling or Moving to China Soon?

(Video) Which Bank Account and SIM Card in China - Complete Guide - Required Documents


How can I open a bank account in China bank? ›

Basic Requirements
  1. Passport.
  2. Driver's License.
  3. Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) ID.
  4. National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance.
  5. Police Clearance.
  6. Postal ID.
  7. Voter's ID.
  8. Barangay Certification.

How do you open a bank account answer? ›

You need to submit various documents which include your photo 'identity proof' in the form of your PAN card, Passport or Aadhar card and 'address proof' in the form of your Passport, Ration card, Voter ID card or Aadhar card.

How much do I need to open a bank account in chinabank? ›

The initial deposit and maintaining balance is P 500, you can choose to open either ATM or Passbook.

How many digits is a bank of China account number? ›

【Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia)】

Bank Account Number of ICBC (ASIA) usually consists of 12 digits.

How can I open China bank account online? ›

  1. Download the China Bank Mobile App from the App Store or Google Play.
  2. On the App, tap SIGN-UP then read and agree to the Terms & Conditions. ...
  3. Create your user ID and password and nominate your active mobile number and email address.
  4. Input the One-Time Password (OTP) sent to your nominated mobile number.

Can I open a China bank savings account online? ›

Yes. China Bank START was designed with your security and data privacy in mind. The bank followed the standard security requirements for online account opening. China Bank START will not save your information until you successfully completed the online account opening.

What are the 7 steps to open a bank account? ›

Requirements to Open a Bank Account
  1. Locate an Enrolment Center. ...
  2. Book An Appointment At Unique Identification Development Authority of India's Aadhaar Seva Kendra. ...
  3. Check Aadhaar Status. ...
  4. Download Your Aadhaar. ...
  5. Apply Via a PAN Application Center. ...
  6. Apply Online.
17 Dec 2020

What are 5 things you need to open a bank account? ›

Here's a list of what you'll need to open your new bank account:
  1. A valid, government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license or a passport. ...
  2. Other basic information, such as your birthdate, Social Security number or Taxpayer Identification Number, or phone number.
  3. An initial deposit is required by some banks, too.
16 Feb 2022

What 4 things do you need to open a bank account? ›

What do I need to open a bank account?
  1. Government issued photo ID or driver's license.
  2. Social Security Card or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
  3. Passport or Birth Certificate.

What is the minimum maintaining balance China Bank? ›

The ATM card requires a minimum opening and maintaining balance of ONLY P500! Sulit! How to activate my atm card? At least 1 valid Identification Card (ID) – should be unexpired, photo-bearing, with complete present/permanent address and signature.

What is the minimum amount needed to open an account? ›

If you do, opening an account at a bank or credit union is straightforward. The interest they pay for savings accounts You usually need to make an initial deposit between $25 and $100 to open a savings or checking account.

Can I withdraw 100 pesos in China Bank? ›

How much can I withdraw? You can withdraw a minimum of Php100 and a maximum of Php 20,000 in a day.

What is the 12 digit account number? ›

While the routing number identifies the financial institution's name, the account number—usually between eight and 12 digits—identifies your account. If you hold two accounts at the same bank, the routing numbers will, in most cases, be the same, but your account numbers will be different.

What is the 13 digits account number? ›

There is a 13-digit processing number for direct deposit, payroll deduction and other automatic deposits and withdrawals on savings and checking accounts. Transactions process more efficiently with this method of processing. However, there may be some previous formats that are still being used.

What is a 16-digit bank account number? ›

A debit card number is the 16-digit number that features prominently on the front or back of a debit card. It provides information about the card issuer and the client's account.

Is it easy to open a bank account in China? ›

To open a bank account in China requires time, but overall it's not particularly complicated. The key is finding a bank branch that has experience working with foreigners and that is willing to accept your particular visa/resident's permit (more on this later).

How can I open an account online? ›

5 Easy Steps To Open A Savings Account Online
  1. Step 1: Get online: ...
  2. Step 2: Keep the documents required for opening a Savings Account handy. ...
  3. Step 3: Experience better banking with video KYC. ...
  4. Step 4: Explore the HDFC Bank Savings Account – to access banking services almost instantly.

What type of bank is China Bank? ›

China Banking Corporation (China Bank) is a leading private universal bank in the Philippines with over 100 years of banking experience and history. We provide a full range of banking products and services to individuals and businesses.

What is the difference between China Bank and China Bank Savings? ›

China Bank Savings (CBS) is the retail lending arm of China Banking Corporation (China Bank) and one of the largest savings banks in the country today.

Which bank is best to open savings account? ›

Best Zero Balance Savings Account 2022
  • Featured Partners.
  • Best Zero Balance Savings Account.
  • IDFC FIRST Bank Pratham Savings Account.
  • Equitas Selfe Savings Account.
  • Axis Bank PRIME Savings Account.
  • Indus Delite Savings Account (IndusInd Bank)
  • Kotak 811 Full KYC Account (Kotak Mahindra Bank)
28 Oct 2022

How do I open an account for the first time? ›

4. What Do I Need to Open a Bank Account?
  1. A government-issued I.D. This can be a driver's license, state-issued I.D. ...
  2. Proof of your Social Security number. This can be your actual Social Security card or, in some cases, a recent pay stub, W-2 or tax return showing your entire number.
  3. Proof of address. ...
  4. Opening deposit.
18 Mar 2021

What is the process of opening a new bank account? ›

But, generally speaking, here is how you can open a new bank account online.
  • Step 1: Choose your banking partner. ...
  • Step 2: Visit the bank's website or use their app. ...
  • Step 3: Fill in the application form. ...
  • Step 4: Submit the necessary paperwork. ...
  • Step 5: Complete the KYC process. ...
  • Step 6: Start banking!
3 Nov 2022

What is the first step in opening a new bank account? ›

How to open a savings account (step-by-step)
  1. Compare your options. Before you open your account, make sure you've chosen the right bank for your needs. ...
  2. Gather required documents. ...
  3. Choose a joint or individual account. ...
  4. Fund your account. ...
  5. Submit your application. ...
  6. Set up online banking.
7 Jul 2022

What happens if you don't maintain minimum balance for a long time? ›

You can be penalized for not keeping the minimum balance. There is no limit on the penal charges that a bank will charge for the non-maintenance of the minimum balance. The charges have to be approved by the bank's board. Charges will vary from bank to bank and from branch to branch as well.

What happens if you go below maintaining balance China bank? ›

A fee shall be charged if the account balance falls below the minimum monthly ADB for at least two (2) consecutive months for both active and dormant accounts. This fee shall be collected every month until the account meets the required minimum monthly ADB.

Which bank is best in China? ›

Top 10 Banks in China by total assets
RankBankTotal assets, US$b (03/31/2020)
1Industrial and Commercial Bank of China4,521
2China Construction Bank3,819
3Agricultural Bank of China3,694
4Bank of China3,384
6 more rows

Can I open a bank account with no money? ›

The short answer is yes. You don't need a deposit to open a bank account, if you choose a bank that doesn't require one. A handful of online-only banks and banks with online banking do not require a deposit. Just make sure to review the features, terms, and fees of the bank to determine if it's the right one for you.

What the least amount of money you can have in a bank account? ›

Checking accounts often require a minimum daily balance in order to avoid charging you a fee or closing your account. Some minimums will be as low as $5, while others might be higher, such as $500 or $1,000.

Can I open a bank account without ID? ›

Banks and credit unions are required to verify your identity when you apply to open an account. If you don't have a driver's license, ask what other types of identification will be accepted. The most common way to verify your identity is with a driver's license.

Does China money expire? ›

Answer: The official digital Yuan issued by the central bank of China does not has the expiration date.

Can I buy dollar in China bank? ›

China Bank reserves the right to refuse demonetized notes and confiscate cash or currency notes deemed to be counterfeit.
Foreign Currency and Exchange Rate.
US Dollars57.550058.4500
Chinese Yuan7.80388.2494
2 more rows

How much is the maximum withdrawal in chinabank ATM? ›

The minimum amount should be Php 100.00. The receiver has 24 hours to withdraw the amount from any China Bank ATM.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Limit Per TransactionPhp 100.00Php 50,000.00
Limit Per DayPhp 250,000.00

Where can I find my 10 digit account number? ›

If you need to find your bank account number, you'll typically be able to see it on bank statements and on your online or app banking.

What is my full account number? ›

What are the numbers on a check? At the bottom of a check, you will see three groups of numbers. The first group is your routing number, the second is your account number and the third is your check number.

How do I find my 16 digit account number? ›

Your credit card number should be either printed or embossed in raised numbers across the front of your card. This is usually a 16-digit number, although it may be anywhere from 12 to 19 digits.

How long is a full account number? ›

Bank account numbers typically consist of eight to 12 digits, but some account numbers could even contain up to 17 digits. You can find your account number on your checks, by accessing your account on, through the Chase Mobile® app or by contacting the bank directly.

Can you have a 7 digit account number? ›

Generally speaking, bank account numbers are typically 10–12 digits, however, in some places they can be as short as 7 digits (Lloyds TSB account numbers).

How many digits are in an account code? ›

Routing numbers are always 9 digits long. Account numbers may be up to 17 digits long. Some banks list the routing number first on the check, while other banks list the account number first, and still more list the routing number, check number, then account number.

How do I find my last 4 digits account number? ›

How do I find out the account number when I have only the last four digits of my checking account number? Look at one of your checks. Your account number will appear in its entirety there. The bank statement they send to you each month also has this information.

What is an account ID number? ›

Description. The Account ID is the account number or unique identifier that the bank/financial responder has on their records for the account the auditor is confirming.

Is the meaning of CVV? ›

CVV stands for Card Verification Value. This code is usually composed of a three-digit number provided by the companies that make the bank cards (American Express, Visa, Mastercard, etc.). The CVV code is usually located on the back of the card, although in some cases it may be found on the front.

How much is the maintaining balance in China Bank ATM? ›

Ano po requirements pag atm at passbook? Hi Sheryl Narag Mercado, Thank you for your interest in opening an account with China Bank Savings. The required initial deposit and maintaining balance for Easi-Save ATM or Passbook is P500. 00.

Which Chinese bank is best for foreigners? ›

After some research, I found the top banks for foreigners (in terms of online banking and English services) to be: China Merchants Bank (CMB), ICBC, Bank of China (BoC), and China Construction Bank (CCB).

Can a foreigner open bank account in China? ›

Generally speaking, you can open a bank account in China as a foreigner. There are no specific laws or restrictions to stop you. However, it can be more complicated at some banks than others. Different banks in China have their own eligibility criteria.

How much money do you need to open a bank account? ›

You might decide that a checking or savings account is the right product for you. If you do, opening an account at a bank or credit union is straightforward. The interest they pay for savings accounts You usually need to make an initial deposit between $25 and $100 to open a savings or checking account.

Can I withdraw 100 pesos in China bank? ›

How much can I withdraw? You can withdraw a minimum of Php100 and a maximum of Php 20,000 in a day.

How much money can a foreigner transfer into China? ›

Move Money In and Out of China – Rules and Restrictions

They can take local currency of 20,000 RMB in or out of China. This limit is applicable to local residents and foreigners. This is the general allowed amount and does not require any additional action. This amount does not need to be declared with customs.

What card type is China Bank? ›

China Bank has six (6) card types namely Prime, Freedom, Platinum, Cash Rewards, World, and Wealth under the license of Mastercard. China Bank Prime Mastercard is the entry level card, which lets you manage your finances with ease.

How much do I need to open an ATM in China bank? ›

  1. 0.125% p.a. interest rate.
  2. P100. account opening fee.
  3. Php 1,000. minimum balance to earn interest.

What do foreigners need to open a bank account? ›

At least two forms of government-issued ID, such as a valid driver's license or passport. Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) (If you're a non-citizen and don't have a Social Security number, you'll likely need to have an ITIN.)

Can foreigner open bank account in China online? ›

Can I open a Chinese bank account online? In China, it's usually necessary to visit the bank in person in order to open an account¹. This means you won't be able to open an account online or remotely. It may be possible to at least start the process online, but you'll need to check with the individual bank.

What documents do I need for a bank account? ›

Acceptable Forms of ID for Banks
  • Driver's license.
  • REAL ID card.
  • DoD ID card (also known as Department of Defense ID Card)
  • Passport/Passport card.
  • Social security card.
  • Birth certificate.


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