Using a Vietnamese Bank Account
Find out about the products and services available from banks in Vietnam...
All the major banks offer a money transfer service which allows money to be sent or received from other bank accounts within Vietnam or internationally. Funds may be transferred out of the country for a limited amount of purposes only so it is advisable to check with the bank beforehand.
According to current Vietnamese legislation (Decree No. 160/2006/ND-CP) resident and non-resident foreigners are allowed to transfer the balance of their deposit account overseas.
Note: According to Circular No. 15/2011/TT-NHNN, anyone entering Vietnam with foreign currency equivalent to VND15,000,000 or more must make a customs declaration. If leaving Vietnam with foreign currency or Vietnam Dong in excess of the amount declared on entry, one of the following documents needs to be presented to customs control:
- Certificate of permission issued by an authorised bank
- Written approval issued by the State Bank of Vietnam
To receive money from abroad customers can register a deposit account in a foreign currency and the money will automatically be transferred into the account. Customers must bring their ID card and valid passport into a branch of the bank in order to access the money.
It is also possible for customers to send or receive money using their ATM card. It is necessary to register to receive this service. ATM machines have an English-language option.
The ATM card is the most convenient way of accessing money in Vietnam, and it can be used for a wide variety of transactions. Usually ATM machines are located within banks, as well as within shopping centres, supermarkets and in some department stores. There may be a fee charged for withdrawals.
Opening hours differ from bank to bank and machine to machine, although many ATMs are open 24 hours a day.
Debit and Credit Cards
Vietnam is still very much a cash economy, although major credit cards (usually only Visa and MasterCard) are accepted at some high-end hotels, restaurants, malls, and consumer goods stores. There is usually a significant transaction fee for using debit or credit cards as payment, however.
A cheque payment facility is provided on request by most major banks. A fee may apply for this service.
The types of cheques that can be issued include:
- Certified cheque (to verify that the account has sufficient funds)
- Crossed cheque (to limit payment to a certain bank or payee)
- Paycheque into account (funds transferred directly into a bank account - the receiver cannot accept cash)
A variety of other banking services are available (depending on the bank), including bill payment, saving accounts, foreign currency trading, loans and online and SMS banking.