If you plan to stay in Indonesia at a certain time as an expatriate, or perhaps even in a long term, then it is recommended to open an Indonesian bank account. Although this is not a necessity, it will make life easier for you. By having a local bank account, you can easily manage and do all sort of financial activities such as bill payments, salary transfers and cash withdrawals.
Local banks offer savings and checking accounts in Rupiah or a foreign currency (usually in US Dollars). In addition, banks also offer term deposits, credit cards and foreign exchange services. After checking which bank services you need, the next step is to open a bank account. Before applying for a local bank account, it is advised that you should check what documents are needed. You can check this by visiting the bank website or the branch directly. However, these are some of the documents you likely need:
Based on the banking statistics of the Financial Services Authority, in 2021 there are 107 commercial banks operating in Indonesia. With that number of banks, it is certainly difficult to choose the most suitable. Therefore, to make it easier for you, here we provide 3 bank recommendations for expatriates.
This is one of the oldest banks in Indonesia and is currently owned by OCBC Singapore. OCBC NISP offers a multi-currency account, Tanda 360 Plus. Tanda 360 Plus can manage 12 currencies in one account. The 12 currencies are the following.
This bank is a joint venture between CIMB Group Malaysia and Bank Niaga. CIMB Niaga has a wide network and presence in ASEAN countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Brunei, Laos, and Myanmar. If you are an expatriate who often travels around South East Asia, this will facilitate your financial activities.
Mandiri is currently the state-owned bank with the largest assets. The advantage of using Mandiri is their huge network of offices and the terms and conditions for inter-bank transfers, both domestic and overseas, are easier than other banks.