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Opening a Bank Account in Vietnam as a Foreigner: Everything You Need to Know

Jarrod Suda


Byron Mühlberg


May 10, 2024
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If you're a foreigner living in Vietnam as a resident, then you'll likely need a Vietnamese bank account to send and receive local payments, get your pay check, hold the local currency (Vietnamese Dong), and access financing.

However, to open a bank account in Vietnam, you will need a valid visa that allows you to stay in the country for over 6 months — meaning that retail banks will not accept standard tourist visas.

In this guide, we will explain the requirements involved in the process. We will also provide alternatives, like the Wise Multi-Currency Account, which allow you to send and top up Vietnamese dong, hold pots of Vietnamese dong, and access your money with a debit card.

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In short, here's our recommendation for opening an account in Vietnam:

  1. Without valid visa status: Wise Account comes with free USD, GBP, and 8 other account details, plus a VISA debit card to spend in 50+ currencies, including Vietnamese dong.
  2. With valid visa status: See below for your bank options as a foreigner with residency visa status in Vietnam.

Requirements for Opening a Bank Account in Vietnam as a Foreigner

Opening a bank account in Vietnam as a foreigner is feasible with online and even mobile app applications available. However, if you're facing difficulties, it may be best to visit a branch in person to present the required documents.

The most important document for foreigners to provide is a valid one-year (or longer) Vietnamese residence permit.

Basic Requirements

  • Valid passport;
  • Valid residence permit (12 months or more).

Additional Requirements for Certain Banks

  • Proof of residence (e.g. rental contract, utility bill);
  • Employment contract or proof of income;
  • Minimum initial deposit amount.

4 Best Accounts for Foreigners in Vietnam

For foreigners residing in Vietnam, various bank account types cater to your diverse needs:

  1. Personal accounts, including savings and checking, are commonly used for everyday transactions.
  2. There are also special personal accounts, which offer lower fees to particular demographics like students or seniors.
  3. Joint accounts offer shared access and management, suitable for couples or business partners.
  4. Foreign currency accounts allow holding and transactions in different currencies.

Notably, Wise stand out as an exception, offering multi-currency accounts that enable holding and sending Vietnamese dong. However, it lack local Vietnamese account details, limiting functionality to receive local bank transfers.

Wise Multi-Currency Account

For digital nomads, expats, tourists, or students in Vietnam who want to avoid the bureaucracy of traditional banks, the Wise Multi-Currency Account is a great alternative that charges zero monthly fees.

Wise is an electronic money institution that lets you hold balances in Vietnamese dong and exchange them to over 50 other currencies at the real mid-market rate. The Wise card allows you to withdraw up to $100 per month from ATMs without fees. The account also enables you to send money to Vietnamese bank accounts directly through the app.

You will just need to show proof of residence in the EU/EEA, US, Singapore, Japan, Australia, or New Zealand to sign up.

Wise Multi-Currency Account

One important thing to note about Wise is that while it allows you to hold and manage Vietnamese dong, it does not provide you with a personal Vietnamese current account number. This means that receiving local payments, such as a paycheck or domestic transfer from a business, may not be as straightforward as with a traditional Vietnamese bank account.

For more information or to sign up for an account, visit the Wise website or read our in-depth Wise Account review.

HSBC Vietnam

HSBC Vietnam stands as an international banking giant with established branches within Vietnam. It caters to a diverse clientele, including expatriates, entrepreneurs, and investors seeking reliable financial services.

HSBC offers accounts to legal residents of Vietnam. Due to its global network, you may be able to open an HSBC Premier VND current account as a foreigner as well. To be eligible, you will need one of the following:

  • Maintain a minimum average monthly balance of VND 1 billion or its foreign currency equivalent;
  • Receive a monthly salary of at least VND 100 million;
  • Have a mortgage loan with a minimum outstanding balance of VND 5 billion and loan amount less than 60% of the value of the mortgaged property.


Vietcombank is one of the largest commercial banks in Vietnam with a widespread network of branches and a robust digital platform. It runs an app with an easy-to-apply sign up process and offers online banking in English as well as in Vietnamese.

You will need a valid Vietnamese government-issued ID (like a residence card) to open an account. In addition to a current account, Vietcombank offers credit cards, loans, savings, insurance, investments, and money transfer services.


BIDV, known as the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam, is one of the major state-owned banks in the country.

BIDV offers a wide range of banking services, including digital banking in English, current accounts, loans, credit cards, insurance, and security trading.

Send Money from Abroad to Your New Bank Account in Vietnam

After opening a bank account in Vietnam, you'll need to transfer money into it, which can be costly if you're transfering money from a foreign country. You can send money with these methods:

  1. Direct Bank Transfer: Sending a wire transfer directly through your main bank at your home country (not recommended).
  2. Money Transfer Specialist: Using an international money transfer specialist for a better deal with better exchange rates.

Compare to Find a Better Deal Than Big Banks

Traditional banks can be expensive for international transfers due to extra middlemen (from the SWIFT network) and high wire fees.

By analysing tens of thousands of searches on Monito's comparison engine over the course of 2023 and 2024, we found that, on average, RemitlyInstarem, and Wise were the best option for small, medium, and large transfers to Vietnam.

To find out which service will offer you the best deal in real-time, run a search on our comparison engine below:

Compare the cheapest ways to send money to Vietnam:

Non-Resident Bank Accounts in Vietnam vs Other Countries

Many countries allow non-residents to open a bank account within their legal jurisdictions, but exactly what kind of requirements non-residents face can differ drastically from country to country and even bank to bank. See the list below to get a better idea of this:


Which non-residents can open an account?

🇬🇧 United Kingdom

Parties with close ties, expats, immigrants, investors, students

🇮🇪 Ireland

Any interested party

🇩🇪 Germany

Parties with close ties

🇫🇷 France

Parties with close ties, investors, students

🇮🇹 Italy

Parties with close ties, Investors

🇨🇭 Switzerland

Investors only

🇪🇸 Spain

Parties with close ties, investors, students

🇵🇹 Portugal

Parties with close ties, investors, expats, students

🇳🇱 Netherlands

Parties with close ties, investors

🇩🇰 Denmark

Parties with close ties, investors

🇳🇴 Norway

Parties with close ties, investors

🇸🇪 Sweden

Parties with close ties, investors

🇦🇹 Austria

Parties with close ties, investors

🇬🇷 Greece

Parties with close ties, investors

🇭🇺 Hungary

Any interested party

🇱🇺 Luxembourg

Parties with close ties, investors

🇱🇮 Liechtenstein

Investors only

🇬🇮 Gibraltar

Investors only

🇮🇲 Isle of Man

Parties with close ties, investors, expats

🇯🇪 Jersey

Parties with close ties, investors, expats

🇨🇾 Cyprus

Any interested party

Last updated: 08/05/2024

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