Opening a bank account in Cambodia as a self-employed foreigner (unkempt & unshaven)

If you are not formally employed or do not have your own registered company in Cambodia, not every bank is willingly going to provide you with a bank account. Moreover, if you don’t have a lease agreement (e.g., you live at a hotel), it’s even more difficult.

I tried to open accounts with all 36 licensed banks in the Kingdom. I’m self-employed, do not have a registered company, and don’t have a lease agreement. I succeeded nine times.

I discovered that there are three types of banks:

  1. The no-hassle, no-questions asked banks. You just walk in with your valid visa (I have a 6-month visa), deposit a low amount, usually just $10, and walk out with your passbook!
  2. The ones that want at least some kind of proof that you live here. A lease agreement is usually required. Other requirements may be an official address confirmation, a visa valid for at least a certain period of time or a recommendation letter from an existing costumer.
  3. Those banks that require proof of employment or a Cambodian business license.

On the other hand, it’s also entirely possible that some banks just aren’t inclined to open accounts for unkempt & unshaven random foreigners like me. So, your mileage may vary. But anyways, here’s the list:

1. No-hassle banks

ABA Bank

Bank of China

Cambodia Post Bank

Canadia Bank

Cathay United Bank *

Phnom Penh Commercial Bank

RHB Indochina Bank

Sacom Bank

Shinhan Khmer Bank

2. Some-proof banks

Agribank **

BIDC Bank

Bank of India

Bangkok Bank

Cambodia Asia Bank ***

First Commercial Bank ****

ICBC Bank ***

MB Bank
Phillip Bank

Sathapan Bank (Maruhan Japan)

SHB Bank

Taiwan Cooperative Bank **

3. Proof-of-employment banks

Acleda

ANZ Royal

Booyoung Khmer Bank

Cambodia Mekong Bank

Cambodian Commercial Bank

Cambodian Public Bank

CIMB Bank

Foreign Trade Bank of Cambodia

Hong Leong Bank

Kookmin Bank

Krung Thai Bank PLC

Maybank
Mega International Commercial Bank

Union Commercial Bank

Vattanac Bank Ltd

* without proof of employment, you won’t be able to apply for an ATM card
** need some official proof of address
*** at these banks, they only got apprehensive once they saw me copying the address from my hotel card (it took me a while to realize that it would be advisable to memorize the address). They might have given me the account otherwise
**** First Commercial Bank wants a recommendation letter from an existing customer. That’s apparently the only requirement

7 thoughts on “Opening a bank account in Cambodia as a self-employed foreigner (unkempt & unshaven)

  1. Hey there, thanks for the article, very interesting… do you know more about online banking (accessing in the kingdom and from a different country), checks, national transfers and commission delivering time? thanks 🙂

    • I don’t know about accessing online banking abroad, but those I tested inside Cambodia worked fine. Don’t know anything about checks. Inter-bank transfers are quite expensive compared to other countries. Not sure what you mean by commission delivering time?

  2. Thanks for sharing. For your information, some banks impose penalty if the bank account is inactive. One friend of mine was ‘fine’ for not using the account.

  3. Hi – very informative (you must have spent serious time visiting that many branches!).

    Quick question – is it safe to provide a hotel address for banking purposes (assuming you come and go and do not really stay for good)? I presume some banks will send authentication/security devices weeks after you create the bank account.

    Regards.

    • Yes, they never send you anything (or at least, I never had anything sent to my guesthouse). In the worst case, you can just tell them that you would prefer to come pick it up. That always works for me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *