|l Korean Currency|
|Korean currency is the 'won' (￦)|
Bills: 1,000￦, 5,000￦, 10,000￦, 50,000￦
Coins: 10￦, 50￦, 100￦, 500￦
Click For Currency Design
|l Bank Checks|
|Bank checks, available at banks and ATMs, come in denominations ranging from 100,000 to 10,000,000 won. ATM machines can dispense 100,000 won bank checks, while 100,000 to 10,000,000 won bank checks are available from bank tellers. These checks are not personalized and function much like cash. Bank checks are accepted by larger businesses and banks, with the presentation of proper identification.|
|Bank Operating Hours
Monday – Friday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
|Opening a Bank Account
Bring with you your alien registration card and passport. Fill out the account application (many banks have English forms) and make a required minimum deposit to open an account. The minimum deposit may differ between banks, but is usually about 1,000 won.
|Types of Bank Cards
Cash Card: A cash card enables deposits or withdrawals within the balance of the account, using ATMs. This card cannot be used as a debit card to make purchases.
Debit Card: A debit card can be used like a cash card, but may also be used to make purchases at vendors and restaurants. The amount of purchase will be immediately withdrawn from the account. Spending is limited to the amount of available funds in the account.
Credit Card: A credit card may be used to make purchases at vendors and restaurants within the user's credit limit. Korean credit cards differ from Western credit cards in that the balance must be paid in full every month on a designated day. Failing to do so would make the credit line unavailable until the balance has been fully paid off. Many credit card companies and banks issue credit cards to foreigners, but the qualifications and required documents may differ between banks.
|l ATMs (Automated Teller Machines)|
|Automatic teller machines provide many banking services without having to visit a bank teller. Customers may make withdrawal, deposits, wire transfers and pay bills, among other transactions. Cash, debit and credit cards can all be used at ATMs. Bankbooks can also be set up to be used in ATM machines of the account's bank when opening an account, and would have the same functions as ATM cards, with the added benefit of recording deposits and withdrawals. Many ATMs do have the option to conduct transactions in English, although most offer limited services in languages other than Korean. Customers using an ATM from a bank that they do not have an account with will be charged a fee.
Banks in Korea do not provide 24-hour ATM service. Services often begin at 8:30am and end at 10:00pm, although some ATMs are available until midnight. Transactions made during non-banking hours (including weekends) will incur a fee, usually 500 won per transaction.
It is important to note that with the exception of Citibank bank accounts, only Korean bank accounts are recognized when making ATM withdrawals in Korea. Some ATMs at major banks, however, can make cash advances on international credit cards. For information about withdrawing cash from foreign bank accounts, read the CDs topic below.
|l CDs (Cash Dispenser Machines)|
|Cash dispenser machines only provide cash withdrawal services are generally available 24 hours a day. CDs can commonly be found in convenience stores, subways, railway stations, bus terminals and department stores. Convenient hours and locations enable CDs to charge much higher fees for withdrawals than ATMs. Machines with the Plus and Cirrus logos also allow access to funds from international bank accounts, when using international debit cards with those logos on the back.|
|l Currency Exchange|
|Foreign currencies can be exchanged into and from Korean won at banks, exchange service centers, or authorized currency exchange shops. Rates vary from bank to bank, and are sometimes better at currency exchange shops.|
|l International Credit Cards|
|Major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club) issued in countries outside of Korea are accepted at most restaurants, consumer goods stores and service businesses. ATMs at some major banks can also make cash advances on international credit cards.|
|l Sending Money Overseas|
|Foreign residents working in Korea and paying Korean income tax may send their entire income home, based on their tax payment certificates. These transactions may be made at banks, and some banks have also made international money transfers available online to foreign residents. There are three ways to send money overseas: wire transfers, bank checks, and postal checks.
Wire transfers are the fastest way to send money overseas, but can be expensive, with fees charged by both the sending and receiving banks. Many foreign residents choose to send over large sums of cash at once instead of many smaller amounts, to minimize the number of fees incurred.
|Wire Transfers Require:|
• Alien Registration Card
• Name and Address of the Bank Receiving the Transfer
• Routing Number and Swift Code of the Bank Receiving the Transfer
• Name and Account Number for the Account Receiving the Transfer
|With bank checks, a check is issued by the bank and sent, via regular mail, to an individual. Fees for bank checks are often less, but the amount of time taken to receive the money may be considerably longer than for wire transfers. Postal checks utilize registered mail services to send a check to the bank receiving the payment, and take the same amount of time as a letter to be delivered.|
|l Online Banking|
|Online banking is very popular in Korea and is a convenient way to pay bills and to make domestic wire transfers (a common form of payment in Korea). Some banks have also made international money transfers available online to foreign residents. Requests for Internet access to bank accounts may be made when opening the account. A certificate is issued when first accessing an account online, which limits account access to that individual computer. To avoid these limitations, a user may use a USB drive when installing the certificate to allow account access from any computer.|
|l ATM Use Overseas (With Korean Bank Cards)|
|Foreigners are usually issued cash and debit cards that are for domestic use only and cannot be used outside of South Korea. This can be misleading, as these cards will often have international access symbols on the back. Foreigners may apply for international ATM access by filling out a form at their banks.|