The process of setting up a bank account is standard with all four major banks. Either you visit your nearest branch and ask to speak to a consultant, or call the call centre and arrange for a banking official to visit your offices or home. They should be able to help you establish the best account for your purposes.
You’ll need to provide the following documents:
- A copy of your identity document, be it foreign or local
- Proof of residence. A utility bill (for water or electricity) will normally be sufficient.
- Three months of bank statements or, if these aren’t available, a copy of your employment contract. Essentially, what you need to do is prove that you have some form of consistent income.
Types of Account
These descriptions provide only a very basic sketch of the functionality of the various account types. Debit, cheque or credit card accounts vary widely depending on the bank and package you choose, so visit the various banks’ websites to find out about the different benefits they have to offer.
Debit accounts provide you with a pin-based card. You’ll need to enter a personal identification number (PIN) each time you want to use the card. You can use a debit card to withdraw cash at ATMs, as well as pay for over-the-counter transactions.
Debit accounts will allow you to access funds up to your ‘available funds’ limit, subject to limitations on daily withdrawals specified by you.
You can use cheque cards locally and internationally at ATMs, as well at most retail outlets. You can also use them to make online purchases, and receive payments from offshore accounts more quickly than would be possible with a debit card. However, they also only allow you to withdraw up to the ‘available funds’ limit on your account.
Credit card account holders don’t pay transaction fees on any purchases, and have a 0-Floor limit, so that all transactions are authorized regardless of available funds (until you reach your credit limit, that is).