Remote Account Opening 101: Prime Banks and Troubleshooting Tips

Have you ever wanted to open a bank account in another country, but didn’t have the time or money to travel there? Or maybe you just prefer the convenience and privacy of doing everything online. If so, you might be interested in a remote account opening.

Remote account opening is the act of opening a bank account without physically showing up in the bank in person. You can use several methods to accomplish it, including online applications, virtual meetings, alternate locations, and more. We will explain these strategies in further detail below.

But first, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page.

Why open a bank account remotely?

In our unpredictable world, reasons why you might want to open a bank account remotely are many:

  • accessing stable and safer banking jurisdictions
  • investing in products you can’t access in your home country
  • saving money on fees and taxes
  • protecting your assets from political and economic risks
  • diversifying your currency exposure
  • growing your wealth with higher interest rates
  • enjoying more privacy and security.

Sure, not all banks offer the option to non-resident applicants let alone not all jurisdictions allow remote account opening. So, do your research and find out which banks and countries are suitable for your needs.

Top international banks for remote account opening

There is no single best international bank to open an account remotely. Yet, lots of them still cater to non-resident customers, offering relevant services. You will experience no shortage of banking options to choose from.

The best international bank for you highly depends on your client profile and banking needs. You might want to consider their minimum deposit and balance requirements, fees for account maintenance and transactions, currency options and exchange rates, interest rates and investment products, online banking platforms and mobile app features, customer service and support quality, and last but not least the reputation of the bank and the jurisdiction.

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To help you narrow down your choices, these are some of the best international banks that open accounts for non-resident customers remotely:

  • GlobalBanks: Not a bank but a platform, GlobalBanks helps you find and open accounts with the top international banks. They have a team of experts to guide you through the entire process, from choosing the right bank and jurisdiction to preparing the required documents and forms, submitting the application, and following up with the bank. With a database of over 250 banks in 50+ countries, they offer convenient remote account opening options for non-residents.
  • Digibank by DBS: Digibank by DBS is a digital-only bank that operates in India, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Vietnam. It offers instant account opening online for non-residents with a valid passport and phone number. With Digibank by DBS, you will open a savings or a current account and enjoy zero balance requirements, zero fees, high interest rates, cashback rewards, biometric login, budgeting tools, and more.
  • OCBC Bank: Among the largest banks in Singapore and Southeast Asia, OCBC Bank offers integrated accounts for non-residents willing to access multiple banking services under one roof. Use their mobile app or website to open a non-resident account remotely. You will have to provide your Hong Kong identity card, mobile number, email address, selfie, and personal details.

These are just some examples of the best international banks to open a non-resident bank account remotely. Depending on your preferences, many more options are available globally. 

Challenges of remote account opening

Convenient for non-residents, remote account opening is not without its challenges. In fact, it may be difficult for most people and businesses. That’s why you need to be aware of the potential pitfalls and obstacles.

Banks have to comply with AML and KYC laws and regulations, handle tax reporting, and more. This makes it harder for banks to accept non-resident customers who apply remotely, as banks have to verify their identity, source of funds, tax residency status, etc. Ultimately, many banks reject non-resident applications submitted remotely which may be frustrating and time-consuming.

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Some banks offer remote account opening only for certain account types and services. They may allow you to open a savings account remotely but not a current or an investment account. Or, you may have the option to access basic services but not advanced features like loans, cards, transfers, etc.

Remote account opening relies on online platforms, mobile apps, video calls, etc. These technologies sometimes malfunction or fail, causing delays and errors. It may be necessary to scan and upload documents online but the bank’s system won’t accept your file format or size. Or, you may have to schedule a virtual meeting with the staff and find out that their video call software doesn’t function properly.

Tips to open a bank account remotely without a hitch

Despite these challenges,you may still open an account remotely with the best international banks. To increase your chances of success, simply follow our tips and best practices:

Before applying, do your homework and research the bank and the jurisdiction you are interested in. Find out all about their eligibility criteria, account opening process, required documents and forms, fees, services, etc. To find the best option, compare different banks and jurisdictions.

One of the most important steps is document preparation. Make sure you have all the paperwork ready before applying. Your documents and forms need to be clear, valid, and up-to-date. Scan and save the documents in a digital format acceptable to the bank.

Carefully follow the bank’s instructions. Fill in the online application form accurately and completely and then upload your documents. 

If you encounter any difficulties, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance. At International Wealth, our seasoned experts will help you avoid common mistakes and pitfalls that might lead to rejections or delays.

Ready to start?

Remote account opening is a great option to access the best international banks online. With its numerous benefits, the opportunity is unfortunately not free from its challenges. To ensure smooth account opening abroad, don’t hesitate to follow International Wealth’s tips or simply use our website for help. You are welcome to contact International Wealth consultants with your questions or comments anytime. Remember, we can always make your future brighter and more prosperous!

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