Taiwan is often hailed as an expat friendly country. However, beyond that Taiwan starts to become exceedingly discriminatory. Getting a car loan, opening an investment account, getting a credit and heavens forbid a mortgage without a guarantor…
But there is one thing that many find the most frustrating. -Opening a bank account-. While in many countries you can open an account online. Taiwanese banks still don’t have this option.
Or do they?
As it turns out, many Taiwanese banks have had this option for many years now (prior to 2018).
This has saved many Taiwanese citizens from time off work and countless hours waiting in long lines at the banks.
‘Richart Bank’ for example advertises that you can open an account in as little as 10 minutes!
However, the same can’t be said for APRC or ARC holders who despite having an ID number registered with the government cannot open an account online.
This discrimination in the Taiwanese legal system against non-citizen residents has meant that ARC/APRC holders also miss out on all the web only banks.
These banks have features that have become ever increasingly popular over the past few years such as much higher interest on savings, cash back rewards on debit cards and free interbank transactions!!
Here are some of the features that YOU as an ARC/APRC holder miss out on in Taiwan:
Open an account online in as little as 10 minutes:
You heard that right. “Richart Bank” offers the ability to open an account in as little as 10 minutes.
Don’t believe me? https://richart.tw/TSDIB_RichartWeb/Guide/Beginner?target=0
Higher interest on savings:
At the moment interest rates are low and most banks offer less than 1% interest. However, Next Bank for example will offer you a 3% interest rate on savings. Another bank “Richart” offers 2.06% on savings however, it’s parent company “Taishin Bank” (the only option non-citizens have out of the two) only offers 0.6% on savings.
Cash back rewards on debit cards:
In Taiwan you never really hear about cash back rewards or any rewards on debit cards. However, these online banks are even offering cash bank rewards!! Richart bank for example is offering 0.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases using its debit card… yes, you heard that right. Debit card.
Free interbank transactions:
Although fees are generally low, Taiwanese banks charge fees on interbank transfers.
The online banks such as Line Bank, Rakuten International Bank, Next Financial and Richart Bank on the other hand…are offering a set number of free interbank transfers every month (without the need to use it as your salary account.
There are a huge number of other benefits that you as a noncitizen in Taiwan miss out on due to Taiwan’s unfair discrimination against you. Here are some links that you can go to, to check them out.