How to open a bank account in South Korea

Want to open a bank account in South Korea?

I’ll share with you all the ways to open a bank account in South Korea.

Here are some reasons why opening a bank account is a good idea for foreigners who plan to stay in Korea for an extended period of time or immigrate.

  1. You can receive your salary in a bank account.
  2. Convenience Having a bank account eliminates the need to carry a wallet.
  3. You can open a credit card.
  4. You can easily do all kinds of online shopping.
  5. Opening an account with a specific bank can help you get a loan.
  6. If you’re an international student, you can use it to apply for scholarships.

There are many more advantages.

Let’s take a look at the steps to open a bank account.

Documents required to open a bank account in Korea

While each bank may have different requirements for opening a bank account for foreigners, there are some common documents that are required.

If you’ve already decided which bank you’d like to open an account with, you can find out what you’ll need directly from that bank.

  1. Passport / Visa (Passport)
    • The bank will need both your passport and visa to open an account, so make sure you have them with you before you visit the bank.
  2. Alien Registration Card
    • Just like your passport and visa, you’ll also need an Alien Registration Card.
    • I’ll share how to get an Alien Registration Card in my next post.
  3. Korean phone number
    • Your Korean phone number is
  4. proof of employment or university enrollment
    • This is not a mandatory document, but certain banks may require it.

Opening an account offline or online

A few years ago, there was no way to open an account online, but now several banks have launched services that allow foreigners to open accounts online.

This is a great way to open an account online, especially if you’re a foreigner, as an in-person visit may be less convenient or take longer.

Below, I’ll introduce the most popular banks for foreigners and the ones that allow you to open an account online.

List of Banks in Korea

Open a bank account online

Banks are opening up their services to allow foreigners to open accounts online.

Among them, Hana Bank and Toss Bank are representative.

We recommend opening an account online because it is a convenient way to open an account without having to visit a bank.

Taking out a loan in South Korea

If you’re looking to take out a loan, doing so with a bank you already use may have lower interest rates or other benefits.

Here’s my previous article on how to get a loan in South Korea.

Are there English speakers in Korean banks?

Most banks will have English-speaking staff, especially in large cities like Seoul, or even if not in large cities, if the bank has a large branch.

Banks are making efforts to provide services in English for the growing number of foreigners.

Even if they don’t have English-speaking staff, most Koreans can communicate in English at some level, if not fluently, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble.