Chinese Banking for Foreigners
Opening a bank account in China as a foreigner is not a difficult process. There are various reasons to open a bank account at a Chinese bank. For example, you can enjoy cheaper banking , also you can purchase certain goods and services online that cannot be purchased with foreign debit and credit cards. If you decide to open an account as an expat at a Chinese bank, make sure you do the proper prep work, bring the proper documentation, and make sure you sign up to receive a Union Pay Card. (Contact ChinaLegalExpress and we can make China Bank Account easy for you)
The BIG FOUR
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China Construction Bank (CCB), Bank of China (BOC) and Agricultural Bank of China, often referred as "The Big Four", are significantly larger than others in terms of size and scale of operation. They offer reliable, and convenient services within mainland China. Especially, if you are looking for English services, these banks are also likely to have English speaking employees. But to be safe, it is advised that you make a call first to make an appointment. What's more, the Big Four all have English websites which make your China online banking easier.
A China bank account is beneficial to those who are going to reside in China for a relatively long period of time. And the language barrier will be the biggest obstacle. To combat this obstacle, bring a trusted friend that can speak and read Chinese fluently. So you do not have a Chinese speaking friend, then open a bank account in China at one of the "Big Four Banks."
The only thing that you need when you open up a bank account is your passport. You should not need any other documents besides your passport but bring another form of identification just in case. The bank should not require you to leave your passport or any other identification documentation for an extended period of time.
Instead of Visa or MasterCard, Union Pay is a Chinese bank card network company that is run by the state. Union Pay in China is only available through Chinese banks and a few select international banks. It is the only card that is accepted at many business locations and websites. Therefore, to make your payment in China easier, you should get a Union Pay card.