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Banking

Managing your money: an introduction to banking in Japan

A Japanese bank account is a necessity for our Instructors as Gaba can only remit payment to Japanese banking institutions. We recommend all newcomers to Japan apply for an account with any of the major Tokyo banks (Shinsei, Prestia, Mizuho, MUFJ, SMBC) as they tend to have branches nationwide. Alternatively, Japan Post’s Yuucho Bank is a convenient alternative.

Opening a bank account usually requires the following:

  • Passport
  • Resident Card (Zairyuu) OR Certificate of Registered Matters
    If you have not received the actual card yet, you can use the receipt issued at time of application instead.
  • Telephone number
  • Hanko (inkan) stamp (May be required. See the Signature stamp section below.)

Different branches will have different requirements for opening an account, but the documents mentioned above are usually required by most banking institutions. For specific application requirements, please visit the bank branch and speak with a representative. Gaba recruiters can recommend specific branches with English speaking staff.

Prestia (formerly Citibank Japan)

From November 2015 Citibank Japan was incorporated into SMBC and continues business under the name Prestia. English may be available in urban branches and English language online banking is available. Presita may charge a small monthly fee for maintaining an account.

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 Shinsei Bank

Most Shinsei bank branches offer English Language support in addition to easy-to-use English-language online banking services. The bank has less branches than other banks in Japan, but you can access your account through a large number of third party ATMs nationwide.

 

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Passbook: “tsuucho” 通帳 (MUFJ Bank)

For most banks you’ll be able to obtain a tsuucho (bank passbook) at the time you open your account. For Shinsei and Prestia, please ask for an official document stating your full name and bank account number in lieu of the passbook as these banks do not issue them. This document will be required at the time of contract signing to ensure timely remittance of monthly payments.

Blurred image of a bank passbook

Signature Stamp: “hanko/inkan” 印鑑

A hanko (also known as an inkan) is a stamp engraved with the bearer’s surname. Hanko are the Japanese version of a signature and subsequently are an important tool for living in Japan. They help when getting a telephone or internet service, when setting up a bank account, joining a gym or anything else that requires you to prove your identity.

Although you are unlikely to use a hanko as frequently as Japanese people do, it is always handy to have one. There are shops which will engrave your name in katakana onto your very own hanko for around 2000 yen. It is probably best to learn how to write your name in katakana beforehand!

Bank Transfers

There are a number of options available for those who are interested in transferring money internationally. Most Japanese banks have an option to do a direct transfer from your bank account in Japan to any account you request. Transferring via your Japanese bank account may require you to submit an application in person or a pin code card for security purposes. Alternatively, you can also do a transfer online via your Japanese bank account if you have a remittance account. See below for a list of options we suggest for sending money home.

Japanese banking institution (direct transfer)

Branch (in person)
Fee From 4,000 yen to 7,000 yen
(depending on the amount transferred)
Process
  1. Complete a transfer request form
    2. Submit the completed form and present a photo ID to the bank staff
More Information Check the banking institution you have or plan to open an account with
Online (remittance account)
Fee From 300 yen to 500 yen
(payment for the transaction will be automatically deducted from the account you are transferring from)
Process
  1. Register for online banking with your bank
  2. Register for a remittance account (e.g., Shinsei GoRemit)
  3. Follow the steps with your bank’s online transfer procedures
More Information http://www.shinseibank.com/goremit/en/

Western Union

Branch (in person)
Fee From 990 yen to 9,000 yen
(depending on the amount transferred)
Process
  1. Find a Western Union Agent location
  2. Complete the application form
  3. Pay for the your transaction
  4. Receive a receipt & use it for tracking
More Information http://www.westernunion.co.jp/en/

Seven Bank 7-11 via Western Union

Branch (ATM)
Fee From 990 yen to 7,000 yen
(depending on the amount transferred; payment for the transaction will be automatically deducted from the account you are transferring from)
Process
  1. Open a Seven Bank account and sign up for the international money transfer service (Japan to overseas only)
  2. Deposit funds into your Seven Bank account
  3. Insert your Seven Bank card into the ATM and select “International Money Transfer”
  4. Follow the instructions on the screen to make your transfer
More Information http://www.sevenbank.co.jp/soukin/en/

 

Online
 Fee  From 990 yen to 7,000 yen
(depending on the amount transferred; payment for the transaction will be automatically deducted from the account you are transferring from)
 Process
  1.  Open a Seven Bank account and sign up for the international money transfer service (Japan to overseas only)
  2. Deposit funds into your Seven Bank account
  3. Follow the instructions online to make your transfer
 More Information  http://www.sevenbank.co.jp/soukin/en/

Family Mart via Western Union

Branch (ATM)
Fee From 990 yen to 3,000 yen (depending on the amount transferred)
Process
  1. Apply for a registration card
  2. Receive your registration card, ID, and password via postal mail
  3. Use the FamiPort machine to make your transfer (you will need your registration card, ID, and password)
  4. After you complete your transfer on the machine, a receipt will be issued for you to pay for your transfer transaction; pay it at the counter
More Information http://www.wu-moneytransfer.com/en/transfer/index.html

 

Online
Free 990 yen to 3,000 yen
(depending on the amount transferred; payment for the transaction will be automatically deducted from the account you are transferring from)
Process
  1. Apply for a registration card
  2. Receive your registration card, ID, and password via postal mail
  3. Sign into your Western Union money transfer account (or follow the instructions included with your registration card)
  4. Follow the instructions online to make your transfer
More Information http://www.wu-moneytransfer.com/en/transfer/index.html

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