This tutorial is written based on our Bank of China experiences. Other banks may be different (but generally similar).
How to Open a New Account: ATM Card and Passbook Account with Telephone Banking and E-Banking
About this Account type
This account type is good for daily use of RMB and allows you to get information about your account online and over the phone. This is useful if you travel and want to get information on your China account while somewhere else.
You will receive an ATM card which you can use to withdraw money and pay for things in many stores. This account has a 10 RMB annual fee, and opening the account requires a 5 RMB card fee. The opening deposit must be larger than 1 RMB. Foreign currency deposits are possible.
You will also receive an electronic key to use online, and will be able to use a phone to get information on your account. There will be opportunity here to set passwords individually for each access point for your account (one password for online, one for ATM card, etc.) – you can also set all the passwords to be the same.
Before you go, you should prepare your passport, write down your address, and decide what you really need the account for (for example will you receive money, will you use it to buy things, will you use it to pay bills).
Prepare these things:
2] Your Address
3] Annual fee 10 RMB
4] New Card Fee 5 RMB
5] Deposit (Officially a minimum of 1 RMB but prepare 100 RMB just in case)
(Fees as of January 2009)
6] A folder or bag to put receipts in, as you will receive a pile of them at the end of this process
Find the address of a bank [link: bank addresses] that you would like to use.
How bank locations will affect you if you loose or damage your card
Each bank is a separate business, so when you loose or damage your card, you have to go back to the branch office where you opened the account. For the purposes of receiving money from another party, withdrawal, deposit, using the ATM, and closing accounts, you can go to any branch.
When you arrive:
1] Get a ticket by selecting "Personal Banking"
2] Ask the people at the front desk to start a new account.
They will give you a form, which is available in English. Ask for the English version.
("Bank of China Form of Application for Opening a Personal Settlement Account / Debit Card Business")[link: scaned image of form]
3] Fill in the form:
The first form section is called "Application for Accounts Opening"
The first space on the form is "Business Type". Select "2. Open a New Passbook Account with the Card". Mark the box with a check [√].
About Account Types
This tutorial covers creation of a passbook plus card account [pic passbook and card], for details on other account types please select the type of account you would like to open here.
The next space is "Service Type". Select E-Banking [√] and Telephone Banking [√]. If you wish to learn how to create a different kind of account, please select from our other account tutorials here.
Next, skip down to "Personal Information"
You will need you passport for this section; the "ID Number" space should be filled with your passport number.
You will need to know your address to complete this section of the form.
At the end, you will be asked to sign it, you can sign it in English. Make sure that on each form you sign, the signature is the same.
4] Wait for your number to be called.
5] When your number is called, go to the the window that is announced (or shown on the screen).
6] At the window, give the bank teller the form that you have completed, and your passport. The teller will begin to process the form.
The following steps (7-10) will create a new account with a new passbook and card.
7] They will ask for a minimum deposit, which is officially 1 RMB for Bank of China, but may be 100 RMB depending on the branch office. This account will require an Annual Fee of 10 RMB and a New Card Fee of 5 RMB. (Fees as of January 2009)
About account fees
Fees for each type of account are different. This type of account acually has the lowest fees of the account types that we know about, and has the lowest required minimum balance.
Steps 8 and 9 may occur in a different order depending on the bank teller
8] You will be asked to create a password (PIN) for your passbook, six digits. Type it and press enter. You will then be asked to type it in again.
9] You will be given an envelope shaped paper [pic] inside of which is a pre-printed password for your card. You will be asked to type in this password to activate your card. The teller will advise you to go to the ATM to change the password for your card.
10] You will be asked to sign two documents to confirm that you are opening an account. One is regarding the rules of the account, and the other is to confirm the opening of the account.
The following steps (11-15) will set up Telephone Banking
11] The teller will ask you to type in the password for your card (this is the pre-printed password on the envelope shaped paper from step 9).
12] The teller will ask you to type in the password for your passbook (this is the password you made up in step 8).
13] You will then have to type in the card password (from step 9) twice.
14] You will then create a new password for telephone banking, by entering it twice.
15] You will sign two documents (text in Chinese, sign in English, to confirm that you are in fact setting up telephone banking). This will complete the process for telephone banking.
The following steps (16-20) will set up E-Banking
16] The teller will ask you to type in the password for your card (this is the pre-printed password on the envelope shaped paper from step 9).
17] You will then create a new password for E-Banking, by entering it twice.
18] You will sign two documents (text in Chinese, sign in English, the first to confirm that you are in fact setting up E-Banking, and the other document states that you agree to follow the protocals that are outlined by the bank for use of E-Banking).
19] The bank teller will give you an electronic key [pic of key]. This key has a screen which shows you your current password. When you log in you use the password on the key.
20] The bank teller will then tell you the website address (he or she might write it on your receipt).
21] You will receive a pile of receipts, a passbook [image of passbook], a card [image of card], and your passport.
22] Store each of these important articles safely in the right place. At this moment it is easy to misplace your passport, card or something else important.
23] Try to use your card in the nearest ATM. Insert your card, select English. Type in the pre-printed password on the envelope shaped paper when prompted. Select Change Password. Change the pre-printed password to one that you select.