Banking in Thailand

Well, if you are going to live or work in the land of smiles it is important to get a bank account, and there are many banks to choose from here and they all work on the same basis or system.


Now I am use to the banks in the UK, so I can’t compare the banks for , say the states or Australia, but maybe you can read this and see how they compare, or not.


Every time you need the services of the back, you will need to bring your passport, this is not because you are not a Thai citizen , it’s because it is the normal procedure. In Thailand you are required by law to carry your ID card, so as you will not have a Thai ID card you passport will do in its place. I would also recommend you carry your passport with you at all times as you could be arrested for not carrying it. I have been told they do accept a photocopy , as well as a photocopy of your visa. So if you are worried about taking your passport with you try carrying photocopies in your purse or wallet .


I opened an account with the Bangkok bank, mainly because my wife has an account there , so its easier.


The banks have a lot of staff and are , well compared to the UK, very well staffed, when the banks in the UK are cutting staff and using internet banking to save money, over here they over their staff and love their paperwork even more.


Standing orders

As I am going back to the Uk soon , I decided to change my standing order to my wife, so money will automatically be transferred while I am away. Well. I sat down and had to produce my passport, ( no problems there, and then had to sign three forms to cancel my previous one, and then sign another three forms to set another one up.

In the UK all i need to do is go onto my Bank app and do that with a few swipes of a finger.

The back does have an app and you can transfer money , so it’s no problem, but you can only do this within Bangkok Bank accounts.
Transferring money to another country

It’s basically the same, all you need is the other accounts Swift code number and account number and with a fee it can be sent.


When I transfer money to my account from the UK to my account in Thailand , I transfer it in Stirling, as the UK banks exchange rate is poor, plus you are paying them for the privilege of sending the money, I found that the exchange rate in my account in Thailand is a lot better, and when the Stirling hits my Thai account its automatically converted.


Just a bit of information, if you intend to bring your own currency to Thailand, make sure the notes are clean and unmanaged and they will not take them, so best bring good clean notes.
Banks are not all the same.

Now when my son moved from Chiang Mai to Bangkok to work, he went into the Bangkok bank and tried to use his Bangkok Bank card, and it would not work. It appears that the bank is split into regions and you can’t access one reason from another ?????? Yep , weird right, but true.
You may end up with several bank accounts.


When you want top pay a bill and the organisation or place you want to pay the bill uses a different bank , well you have to do to that bank to pay their bill. Now if you want to pay it from the account you have the bank will charge you for paying a bill from another bank. So my wife will go to several banks to pay the bills she needs to.


Now if you have an account in one bank, and you start a new job, and that company you are starting with, banks with another bank, they will not put your pay into your account but only into the bank they use, as it cost them money. So if you have moved from job to job, you may end up with 4 or 5 bank accounts.
When is a Debit card not a Debit card.


As you will most likely be aware, you can’t pay your credit card off with another credit card. So as I wanted to pay my cards off, and when I opened my account I asked for a debit card, so I could pay bills and also pay my credits card bills. No hassle you would think.


Well, when I went into the bank and explained this, I opened the account, and they produced a card in front of me, I put my PIN number in and there you go, I got a card immediately. So a week or so later I went to use my card and found that it would not work, So, I went back to the bank and they said they had to authorise the card to be used on the internet. Now I was using it in the supermarket, so I assumed all was well. So i filed in a few forms and my card could now be used on the internet. Now the card had the Visa logo on it, so I thought it could be used, er no.


So last month I had to use this my Thai debit card to pay my credit cards back in the UK. I tried several times and it was refused, so I ended up called the credit card company to pay in person, so to speak. I was then told, after some time on hold, that my card was not a Debit card but a credit card. I tried to explain that is was not but I was talking to a stone wall, as the machine would not take the money as it was, as far as the credit card company machine was concerned, it was a credit card.


It took me a while to figure this out. I use to do talks in my previous employ about credit card fraud, and one of the things I knew was that the first four numbers of your credit card, or debit card, denote what type of account it is.


So, I have a debit card account, with a credit card number. So I cannot use it as a debit card.
I went to the bank and tried to explain this to the, but from the look in the girls eyes and the colleagues she asked, it was over their head, and when I asked for a proper debit card, they told me I had one.
When is a credit card not a credit card.


When I asked about getting a credit card, I was told it would not be a problem, so she asked me how much would I like to spend on the card, I said about Bht 30,000. She said no problems, All I have to do is , put a deposit of Bht 30,000 into the card, and I can use it.


I paused for a bit and said, that’s not a credit card, that’s a debit card? A credit card , give you credit. To do what you asked , I could do with the account I already had. She said that is the only credit card non Thais can have.


When you come over to Thailand, there are lots of ATMs to go to get your money, you will get a charge for taking money from your account back home, and you have to use the exchange rate stated in the machine. So my advise is to bring cash or use and FX card, as you will get better exchange rate for your money and if you use an FX card the charge for using a matching is a lot less.


If you have an account in Thailand , you will get charge for using any other ATM other than your own banks machine.


So , like every country, it has its own way of doing things and once you get use to their ways, you hardly notice, the thing I love about Thailand, is, just when you think you have a grip of Thailand , it takes you by surprise.

100 Bht

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