It Pays to Bank in Cambodia: Tips for Expat Banking

Feb. 16, 2017, 11:35 a.m.

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Adjusting to the way of life of another culture or country can be quite difficult, especially if you have to set up mailing and bank accounts.

But it actually pays to bank in Cambodia. Here is why:

No Withdrawal Fees

While it’s not really necessary for expats who move in to Cambodia to create a local bank account, it will be a more practical approach or option since the ATMs generally charge around $5 for each transaction you make through an international card that’s issued outside of the country. It’s also important to note that ATMs in Cambodia dispense in the US dollar currency or Cambodia Riel.

Big Money Issues

It is also important to know that these ATMs often generally only shell out $20, $50 and $100 bills  - which can be troublesome if you’re out and about, exploring the city. Most local establishments will not be able to provide you change if you decide to pay them with a huge bill. So, try and keep your purchases in order and, if possible, try and work manage your budget into smaller denominations when going on your adventures outside the expat districts of the city. Consider going through major supermarkets, malls and hotels first if you have these large bills at hand before going into the more authentic destinations that will be able to work with the money you have.

How do you open a bank account and ATM in Cambodia?

In order to open an account at a bank in Cambodia, generally you’ll have to provide either proof of your local employment or the copy of the property lease contract provided to you by your landlord. Just present any of those with your passport that shows a one-year visa and you won’t encounter any problems opening an account at any bank in the country. Most employees from these banks are also able to communicate in English and various other languages. So, there will be no issue when you try and process the requirements.

What are the requirements to open a bank account in Cambodia?

Enchan Sreyleak, the Sales Consultant of Yong Yap Property, mentioned in an interviews that Cambodian citizens are required to present an ID card or a passport to the bank. Initial deposits vary between different banks. Some require an initial deposit of $100 to $500. Some banks require an initial deposit of $10 to $500.

It’s a bit different for foreigners. Foreigners are required to present a passport, a visa that’s still valid for six months, or a job contract. These requirements also vary between banks. Initial deposit that are required by banks can range anywhere from $10 to $500.

How about an ATM card?

Sreyleak says it’s good to use an ATM card, but you will be charged a monthly fee. You are also supposed to actively use your ATM card. If  you don’t use it within a given time period, you will be charged an extra fee if you want to use it again.

Which Bank in Cambodia is good for Expats?

There are two banks in Cambodia that are considered expat favorites. They’re Hong Leong and ANZ Royal Bank.

Hong Leong Bank, with its parent bank coming from Malaysia, is a popular choice for it’s tech friendly internet banking platform and free inward money transfers from any country. All transactions can be performed online like any mature market with the highlight being free local transfers to any bank. They also allow you to take cash out of any regional Hong Leong ATM for free where they have presence, Vietnam and Singapore being the most popular outside of Malaysia for business travel and leisure purposes.

ANZ Royal Bank is also preferred for expats because they have branches in all major cities like Phnom Penh, Battambang, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville and more than a hundred ATMs situated all over the country.

 

Need to borrow money for a property or personal loan? Find out the interest rates of the Cambodia’s best banks!