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When settling down in a new country, one of the most important things to do is opening a local bank account, but we all know how difficult it can be to decide who to bank with, especially when you are unfamiliar with the new country’s banking system.

Having a resident bank account makes it more convenient and accessible for you to exchange money and conduct financial transactions locally, as well as avoid any foreign bank charges. But it is a common option for many expatriates to maintain their normal account in their home country rather than opening an account in a new country because many international and national banks have headquarters in Indonesia. So it is always best to do your research first.

Each bank will have its own requirement for foreigners to open an account but they will generally need a reference(s) from your employer or sponsor, copy of your passport, a copy of temporary stay permit (KITAS, KIMS) card or permanent residence license (KITAP) and a minimum deposit. But since each bank has its own unique policies and a vast range of services, it is best to give your bank a call to make your inquiries then go for a personal visit.

Of course, every bank has its own benefits and some may be more suitable for you than others so here is a list of some of Indonesia’s most popular and reliable banks to consider for your financial needs, according to

1. Bank Central Asia

Bank Central Asia (BCA) is one of the most popular options for locals and is the bank with the second-largest market capitalization in Southeast Asia. Established over six decades ago, BCA currently operates 135 branches and over 850 sub-branches in Indonesia. It is incredibly easy to spot a BCA ATM machine anywhere as it has over 17,000 placed around the country.

2. Mandiri

Bank Mandiri is another popular option, especially since it is the second-largest bank in the nation in terms of assets, loans, and deposits. Not only does it have over 2,000 branches around the nation, but it also has six major subsidiaries to help with your financial needs. Bank Mandiri’s ATM machines are also easy to find with over 17,500 of them in the nation.

3. Bank Negara Indonesia

Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) is one of the state-owned banks in Indonesia, which does not only provide services in Indonesia but also in New York and other parts of Asia, making it an ideal choice for certain foreigners with a home account in a specific country. Since 1946, BNI has over 2000 branches, sub-branches and outlets around Indonesia as well as five overseas branches in Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, London, and Seoul.

4. Bank Rakyat Indonesia

As of 2018, Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) is listed as the largest bank in Indonesia in terms of assets. It also provides services in several US and Asian markets, thus making it easier for certain foreign expats to conduct financial transactions abroad to their home country.

5. Bank Permata

While Bank Permata only has about 320 branches and sub-branches in Indonesia, it is a go-to bank because of the many affiliated promotions and discounts it offers. Established in 1954, it also has 44 cash and mobile cash offices and over 1000 ATM machines.

By: Divyha Pridhnani-Bhojwani

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