Opening a bank account
You will be able to open a bank account only if the duration of your stay is more than three months and you have been issued a residence card. In the case that you cannot open an account, your salary will be paid in cash or by overseas remittance.
With a savings account at a bank, you can make deposits or transfers of funds, accept overseas remittances, pay utility bills automatically, complete credit card payments and currency exchanges, etc. When you receive a scholarship or salary, you need to have a bank account for bank transfer. Most banks are open from 9 am to 3 pm, Monday to Friday. ATM services are available after office hours. Money can be deposited and withdrawn at ATMs, but transaction fees may apply, depending on time of day and kind of ATM. You can find ATMs not only at banks but also in many convenience stores.
Opening a bank account
The documents required to open a savings account will depend on the bank. Many banks commonly ask for the following:
- Residence Card (bank account cannot be opened until your Residence Card is issued)
- Certificate of residence (can be obtained at your ward office)
- National health insurance certificate
- Inkan (a personal seal; signature may be accepted)
- Tohoku University Student ID (if you are a student)
Fill in the application form and other documents specified by the bank. It is recommended that you apply for an ATM card at the same time. You will need to register a 4-digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) when making the card. Be sure not to make the combination of digits too simple or easily guessed, in case someone else should try to use the card. A bankbook will be issued on the day you set up your account. The ATM card will be sent to you later.
Inkan (a personal seal)
Overseas money transfers and currency exchanges
The procedure required for transferring funds to the bank account of any receiver is very simple. To send money through a bank, fill out an application form with the receiver’s bank account information: bank name and location, branch name, account type, account number, and account holder’s name and address.
Yucho bank does not accept remittances from overseas during the first six months of an account’s activity. If you are planning to receive your living expenses from overseas, it is recommended to open an account at another bank.
Foreign currency exchanges and the cashing of traveler’s checks can be done at designated banks which are indicated with the sign, “Authorized by the Treasury Department.”
Automatic payment of utility bills
An automatic payment service is available at banks to assist with paying such utility bills as electricity, gas, water, telephone and NHK subscription (a subscription is required of those who watch TV at home). To apply for automatic payment services, you will need your bankbook and the personal seal you used for opening your account, along with your utility customer number. The customer number can be found on your bill.