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Getting a Debit Card as a Foreigner

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Postby maoman » 12 Sep 2003, 12:15

hexuan wrote:
Sir Donald Bradman wrote:
Once again I point out that it is easy for Taiwanese in the UK to get bank accounts, credit cards etc...

Bullocks. It's really hard for foreigners in the UK to get bank accounts. I was unable to get one until I was employed by a new agency who was able to 'sponsor' me. If you don't have a job and are unble to show 3 months of phone bills or something to proove residence you can't get a bank account.

Utter and complete nonsense. Just because you couldn't get a bank account doesn't mean everyone else can't get a bank account. I have accompanied countless Chinese and Taiwanese people to British banks over the years, including last year (when were you talking about, and what was your visa status?) to help them open bank account. A passport and an address is all that's required. Every overseas student bar none at my university had a bank account. It took 20 minutes to open one. No guarantor. Opening my wife's bank account took 10 minutes. No guarantor. No address check. No nothing. Soon afterwards she got an HSBC Gold Card on her own merit, on the strength of a part time job. No guarantor. Massive credit limit.

I've had the same experience in Canada, helping Taiwanese get credit cards. The requirements are not stringent by any definition.
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Postby Alleycat » 12 Sep 2003, 12:19

On my second day here i.e. without an ARC, I walked into ChinaTrust on Roosevelt in Gongguan, 20 minutes later I left with a bag full of loot.

Just kidding, it was only a bank card.
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Postby Sir Donald Bradman » 12 Sep 2003, 13:16

Hexuan, my point was that it can be very difficult to get bank accounts in the UK. That was 5 years ago though. Maybe it's changed in the meantime. It was not just me. I was stayong in a hostel in London (on a 2 year work visa) and evreybody there had the same problem which was that you needed proof of residency in the form of utility bills in your name. My reference to having a job was that without utility bills in my name, the only way I was able to get a bank account was through the recommendation of my employer. Other people I was staying with were completely unable to do so. I was also unable to get a library card at the local library (which is very easy in Taiwan). On the other hand, you don't even need an ARC to open a bank account in Taiwan.

Sorry if my information is out of date though.

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Postby Alleycat » 12 Sep 2003, 14:09

Ditto Bri. I almost strangled a video store clerk for not wanting to accept my lease agreement (I had not yet received my first bill) and my passport as proof of my address and identity respectively.
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Postby Big Fluffy Matthew » 12 Sep 2003, 14:12

You need proof of Identity, and proof that you live where you say you live, like a driving licence or bill. Can you get a bank account here without having an address ?
I did have a problem once trying to open a bank account in the UK because they wouldn't accept my provisional driving licence because they are easier to fake. I felt like strangling them too :x but, when you change address you don't have to have proof :roll: I opened a bank account in the Netherlands without proof of address.
But Brian, you weren't being discrimated against because you're not British, It's the same rules for everyone. Which I think is what this thread is about...
Er.... thingy.
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Postby Alleycat » 12 Sep 2003, 14:14

Absolutely. I gave my address as Happy Family I. I could have made up any old thing.
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Postby Sir Donald Bradman » 12 Sep 2003, 18:09

But Brian, you weren't being discrimated against because you're not British, It's the same rules for everyone. Which I think is what this thread is about...


That's the point I was making in another thread.

In the UK I was not being discriminated against for being not British, that's true. It was my inability to prove my residence that was the problem. It could be argued that making it difficult to get bank accounts library cards etc (and in some cases impossible) for short-term workers, migrant workers or others unable to prove residence is discriminatory against foreigners, but that would really be pushing it. It's certainly inconvenient and probably unfair to people legally in the country who should probably be entitled to those services.

Now you could also say that in Taiwan I am not discriminated against for being not Taiwanese. It's my inability to show household registration that is the problem. It could be argued that making it difficult to get credit cards etc (and in some cases impossible) for foreign students, migrant workers, professionals and foreign spouses without household registration is discriminatory against foreigners.

Obviously it is a lot tougher in Taiwan than int he UK, I'm not disputing that, but is it just a difference of degree? Maybe there's a real difference in that foreigners have no way of getting household registration in Taiwan, whereas inthe UK foreigners can get proof of residence. In the UK, whereas the library was inflexible with their 'no proof of residence, no library card' rule, the bank provided another mechanism - recommendation from an employer. So those Taiwanese institutions that deny credit or other services to people without household registration shoudl provide another mechanism for those people to use their services. That's a guarantor or a deposit in many cases.

Sure it really annoys me sometimes that after living here and paying taxes for years and being married to a Taiwanese citizen, I still can't get credit without a guarantor because I don't have household registration, but if we want to get these services we're going to have to come up better arguments than 'it's discrimination' (or at least good arguments saying why it's discrimination).

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Postby Lord Lucan » 12 Sep 2003, 20:46

Brian is entirely right to say that bank account applicants in the UK need an address. However, this issue has been hotly debated recently in the UK, the focus being that many people are being "economically excluded" from society because they are of no fixed abode. Even welfare payments are now being made into bank accounts. Bank accounts are now easy to obtain, if you are resident, but credit is obtained on the basis of credit scoring - obviously a form of risk analysis. It is clear to me that the bank my wife is with saw her as a good credit risk, whereas I (a British Citizen from birth) have sadly demonstrated myself to be a poor credit risk.

If a Taiwanese bank (or Zhonghua Telecom) turned around to me and discussed my creditworthiness, I would be much happier with a refusal, and the process might afford us both the opportunity to reach a mutually profitable arrangement (I was willing to pay the 2 years' fee for ADSL on the spot in cash, and have outgoing calls from my voice line barred, making economic loss on the part of CHT impossible) but I was not allowed to present this offer. Sadly, they saw I was a Whitey, and refused to even entertain my application.

Taiwanese banks are operating in a bubble. It is contrary to the economic principles upon which banking is founded to expect to be able to make a profit without risk. It is worth noting that Taiwanese banks have historically paid not the slightest bit of attention to the creditworthiness of their debtors, which is why their non-performing loan ratios are so high, and why they are traditionally no more than an extension of the Central Bank which supports their profligacy. I would be interested to know how a Taiwanese bank would extract money from a defaulting Taiwanese debtor who simply has no assets. Having someone's household registration details on record will not assist them in recovering debt if there are no assets to recover. Or have they discovered how to create money out of thin air ?

British banks attempt to operate on the basis of credit risk analysis, and sometimes they get it spectacularly wrong. It is not an exact science. Taiwanese banks are clearly making enough money without having to trouble themselves with such silly notions.
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Re: Getting a Debit Card as a Foreigner

Postby cyberguppy » 23 Oct 2013, 13:28

I'm shaking up this thread a little.

Taiwan Business Bank refuses to give me a DEBIT card on the basis that foreigners need a gaurentor.

This seems like discrimination and I'm going to go speak to their management. Anyone know what the ACTUAL LAW is for discrimination so I'm not making empty threats.(preferably internet link so I can print it out and show them). Also, the conversation will have to be in Chinese.

See their responses below:

台灣企銀辦理外國人信用卡比較嚴格,必需要保證人
若要辦理可選擇其他銀行辦理信用卡,扣款選擇台企銀行

I already have a Fubon VISA debit card.

Thanks
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Re: Getting a Debit Card as a Foreigner

Postby cyberguppy » 23 Oct 2013, 13:33

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