BANKs

 

  • You will need to open up a Korean bank account as soon as possible, as all transactions by the school board are done through direct deposit. Most banks will only open an account with an ARC, but on occasion a friendly teller will allow you to use your passport.  Banking days are Monday to Friday, 9:00-4:30. 

 

  • Korea is still very much a cash-based society so you won’t have the option of using a card at a lot of stores.  Also, some banking institutions will have a black-out time where you can’t withdraw money during certain hours, usually the later hours of the night. So, please don’t rely on your bank cards too heavily.   

 

  • There are two types of bank cards, a cash card and a checking card.  With a cash card you can only withdraw and deposit money at an ATM and a checking card can be used as a debit card in any business that has the service. 

 

 

  • Most ATMs in Korea will only accept domestic cards. Places such as the Korea Exchange Bank (KEB 외환은행) or machines in major bus terminals or post offices may allow you to use international cards. The machines found in the local convenience stores will sometimes work too. Visa and AMEX are widely accepted.

  • Money can be wired home from most banks, unless the branch is very small.  Both KEB (Easy One) and Nonghyup (NH One) have the option of opening a second automatic foreign remittance account that automatically send any funds deposited in that account to your home account. 

 

  • If you transfer money from a branch you will need your passport, your home bank’s address, your phone number, account number and transit number ( shift code. IBAN). It usually takes 3-4 days for the money to be remitted. The Korean bank and your home bank will charge a service fee for the overseas transfer as well the foreign remittance accounts.  KEB has an English banking guide for foreigners that you may find handy:

 

      http://image.yescard.co.kr/yescard4/image/mail/200812/email_keb_fx/Banking_Guide_For_Expats_in_Korea.pdf

 

  • Before going out to Korea, please contact a bank you have got an account with to check if you can use your card in Korea. Although you have got Visa, your card may have an automatic lock system.