Banks offer convenient methods for people to conduct various financial services. To begin, they are a secure place to keep your money safe, and your assets can increase as a result of interest paid on your deposits. Thanks to technological advancements you are also able to pay your electricity, water, and phone bills as well as other public fees at the bank. Regarding Korean money (won), it comes in denominations of ₩1,000, ₩5,000, ₩10,000, and ₩50,000 bills and in ₩10, ₩50, and ₩100 coins.

Opening an Account

Let’s take a look at the common savings account. In order to open an account, first fill out the form provided by the bank. You will need to write your name, address and how much money you will put into your account. It is possible to use your signature instead of a dojang(도장), or personal stamp. A foreign national will need proof of alien registration and their passport. Banks have many teller windows. Go to the one that deals with new accounts and follow the procedure. Once you have opened a savings account you will be issued a bank book. This may be used to make deposits or withdrawals from the different branches of the same bank.

Types of Accounts

  • Regular Savings: Interest is not high, but you can withdraw your money at any time without a fee.
  • Fixed Deposit: Pays higher interest, the condition being that your money is to be kept in the account for a predetermined period of time.
  • Reoccurring Deposit: Pays higher interest, but you are required to deposit a specified amount of money into the account ever month or over some other set period of time.

ATM Cards and Credit cards

An ATM card can be made once you open a bank account. The card allows you to withdraw money from your account after banks have closed, until 10pm or midnight, at various automated teller machines located in convenient locations. You must decide on a four number password at the time you apply for the card. The password is required whenever you withdraw money. The card will be made while you wait at the bank. Credit cards on the other hand take between 7 to 10 days to be issued, and are delivered to the address of the applicant. Loss of either an ATM or credit card must be reported to the bank immediately.

Automatic Payment of Public Utilities

It can be a hassle to pay public utility bills, such gas, water, and electricity at a bank teller’s window, as each bill has different dates by which they are supposed to be paid. If you go through a pre-authorization procedure ahead of time, the bank will do the work of paying your bills for you. The process is simple and straightforward. All you have to do is submit a form to the bank asking them to enable automatic payment of various public utility bills. The bank will then take the money from your account and pay these bills when due and send you a receipt each time.

Sending Money Overseas

Look for a bank with a sign near the entrance noting that it handles foreign currencies. There are three methods of sending money overseas; telegraphic transfer(T/T), bank check, and postal check. Apply using the proper form and filling out the correct information. Telegraphic transfers are the fastest and securest method of sending money to a bank account in another country. Sending money will require that you have your bank book and a wage statement from your employer.

(1) Telegraphic Transfer(T/T)

The fast and surest way to send money is by telegraphic cable. You must know the name of the bank, the name and address of the branch, the account number, the bank code, and the telephone number of the owner of the account.

(2) Postal Transfer

Using registered mail, a check is sent to the bank receiving the payment. It takes as long as a letter to deliver.

(3) Bank Check

A bank check issued by your bank is sent to a recipient residing overseas. As the check is sent through the regular mail, this method should only be used when sending smaller amounts of money.

Currency Exchange

Exchanging money requires that you have your passport or Alien Registration Card with you. Most banks are able to exchange money of major currencies. If you sell foreign currency you have with you when you enter the country, be sure to keep the receipt, because it is more advantageous when you purchase foreign currency again when it comes time to leave.

Money Issue Between Individuals

Money transactions require a certain level of trust among the parties involved. As such, financial dealings between individuals must be kept perfectly clear. For example, whenever one lends someone money make sure to receive a bond of debt (an I.O.U). It should be a record of the person's name, address, Resident Registration Number, the amount being borrowed, the monetary unit the amount was borrowed in, the date the money was borrowed, the date the money will be repaid, and interest if any to be paid on the principal amount. The document should also be stamped with the person's registered personal stamp (ingam dojang). Once the amount has been repaid in full, write a receipt for the person to conclude the loan transaction.
When the other person's credit behavior and financial standing is in doubt, secure something as a guarantee (dambo). There are two kinds of guarantees, a personal guarantee (injeonk dambo), meaning that another individual or group of individuals guarantee the loan on behalf of the person borrowing the money. Then there is also a physical guarantee (muljeok dambo), usually in the form of collateral or provisional registration on real estate, or by transferring the ownership of the same. Movable estate or collateral securities may also be used as a physical guarantee.