Savings accounts can be opened with financial institutions such as banks, cooperative banks, credit associations, agricultural cooperatives and the post office. Some form of identification and a personal stamp (inkan) is usually required, but most banks accept a signature instead of a personal stamp from foreign nationals who show their passports. Please confirm this with your bank beforehand.
Post offices are open from09:00until16:00weekdays (or until18:00in the case of Nagasaki Central Post Office). Most other financial institutions are open until15:00.
Types of Accounts
There are 2 main types of accounts:
A debit or savings account is called a futsūyokin or tsūjōchokin in the case of the post office. Interest rates are low, but money can be freely accessed with a cash card and utility bills can be directly debited.
Fixed Term Deposits
Fixed term deposits are called a teikiyokin or teikichokin in the case of the post office. Money is deposited for a fixed period of time and cannot be withdrawn until the end of the fixed term. Interest rates are better than that of a saving account.
Deposits and Withdrawals
Fill out the relevant form and take it along it with your bankbook to a bank teller. When you make a withdrawal, you must also bring the personal stamp (inkan) that you used when you opened your account. Depending on the amount of your withdrawal, it may be necessary to show identification. Some financial institutions also require identification when making a deposit. For more information, please enquire at your local financial institution.
Instead of individually paying utility bills such as water, gas, telephone, electricity, NHK fees, taxes and other monthly charges, you can arrange to have the money automatically withdrawn from your account. This saves time and effort and also prevents payments being forgotten. Complete the appropriate form supplied by your bank, post office or other financial institution and submit them to a clerk along with a bill/receipt, your bankbook and personal stamp (inkan).
Using Cash Cards and ATMS
If a cash card is issued at the time of opening your account, this can be used at an automated teller machine (ATMs) or Cash Dispenser (CDs) to make deposits and withdrawals. Bankbooks are issued immediately, but cash cards are usually sent by recorded delivery a few days after an account is opened. When using your cash card, you will need to also remember your four-digit personal identification number (PIN), which you registered when you set up your account.
ATMs and CDs can be found not only inside branch offices of financial institutions, but also in train stations, department stores, supermarkets and other places. These can often be used outside of financial institution opening hours and on weekends. Operating hours and service charges for using machines outside banking hours vary between financial institutions. Cash cards can be used at the ATMs of other networked financial institutions for a handling fee.
If you lose your bankbook, seal or cash card, contact your financial institution and the police immediately. Do not reveal your PIN number to anybody.
If you move house or leaveJapan, remember to inform the bank of your new address.