Bank recommendations

Will_M

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Jul 15, 2017
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43
Hi all,
Almost 5 months in living the dream in Indonesia.
I have a BCA account and I was exploring the possibility and feasibility of transferring money into my UK Barclays account.
Two questions:
1. Is the process easy enough? Or is it wiser/easier to use a different UK high street bank?
2. Is it better to transfer a large amount or multiple small amounts? Is it a one off payment or a percentage of the funds that is used to pay for the transfer?
Thank you
 

atlantis

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2. Is it better to transfer a large amount or multiple small amounts? Is it a one off payment or a percentage of the funds that is used to pay for the transfer?
I don't use the international transfer services of banks anymore and am not sure if regulations have become more drastic but here is what I can tell you:
  • It is much better to transfer a large amount than multiple small amount. Not only you may have a better rate for bigger amounts (talk to your bank) but save on fee.
  • I was splitting in several transfer only when amounts were in excess of USD 100.000 only when money was sent out of Indonesia. It was due to the regulation imposing administrative requirements I could live without. When sending in, no limits, unless if you fear attracting the attention of PPATK which was not my case.
 

atlantis

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It pays to shop around checking for rate of exchange differences between banks. It can save you a lot of money.
 

sul1995

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  • I was splitting in several transfer only when amounts were in excess of USD 100.000 only when money was sent out of Indonesia. It was due to the regulation imposing administrative requirements I could live without. When sending in, no limits, unless if you fear attracting the attention of PPATK which was not my case.

Sorry, I believe it is USD 10.000 (not USD 100.000), or am I wrong?
 

atlantis

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Sorry, I believe it is USD 10.000 (not USD 100.000), or am I wrong?
I correctly typed it. In excess of USD 100.000 the regulation for money being transferred out of Indonesia was much more a pain in the neck administratively which is why I was splitting it. I had to pay suppliers mainly in China and Thailand and to finance our commercial operations in France and neighboring countries. It was more convenient for me to do so from Indonesia, country were I was repatriating the sums invested and profit made after products being sold in Europe.

The threshold of USD 10.000 is for when you bring in or out cash. However, though it requires to be declared, it is a very straightforward administrative procedure to declare it, unlike the scrutiny you have to overcome to transfer out amounts above USD 100.000. I tried once and was require to submit invoices of my suppliers and a couple of other documents. I decided that organizing myself and splitting the transfers was a much smarter way to proceed.

I don't know if the procedure for transfers in excesss of USD 100.000 has been simplified and eased, but I doubt it.
 

Will_M

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43
Thank you.
I would have to declare all transfers above 10,000usd out of Indonesia? Would BCA do this automatically or is this something I would have to do myself?
Sorry for basic questions.
 

atlantis

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Thank you.
I would have to declare all transfers above 10,000usd out of Indonesia? Would BCA do this automatically or is this something I would have to do myself?
Sorry for basic questions.
No. Not above USD 10.000. Above USD 100.000 as I wrote in #2. Below USD 100.000 no problem at all. Just meet with your banker once, tell him what your doing and he will leave you alone, save for your birthday when he will feel obligated to bring you an ugly cake or a carton of apples.
 

snpark

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I bank with BCA and they are great for domestic / online etc but for international I would suggest you try and open an HSBC account - then you can do BCA-HSBC domestic instantly (or within a few minutes) and then online from HSBC ID to any UK bank online and you should get it next day. Certainly when I transfer FROM UK (Lloyds Isle of Man) it arrives next day in my HSBC ID account every time, then I can transfer online from HSBC to my BCA instantly. I think for Int'l transfers from BCA you need to go to the branch as their KlikBCA doesn't allow for Int'l. HSBC is by far the best bet IMHO.
 

make_batik_great_again

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Nov 27, 2019
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Since the thread title fits my matter of concern, I post here :)

I would like to open a bank account. A few weeks ago, I applied for an account at Jenius. It took a lot of time for them to check if I am allowed to have an account at their bank - I also had to ask for the status several times and went to their office because the online customer service was not satisfying. And in the end, they rejected my application for a bank account now. The woman in the office did not know the reason why I was rejected. Maybe because I only have KITAS, not yet KITAP, or maybe because members usually get a credit card and (as far as I know) banks do not like to give that to foreigners.

All in all, this whole process was quite time intense and annoying and, therefore, I would like to avoid to have an experience like that again. Which bank would you recommend for a foreigner on KITAS? I would like to have an account at a bank which has no or very small fees. I would not use the account so much. Just for transferring money from abroad and then withdraw money from time to time. And maybe one or two transactions to transfer money to a deposito at another bank. I think CIMB could be the right bank for this purpose? But is it easy for foreigners to open an account at CIMB or also likely to be rejected?
 

harryopal

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I opened an account with Kitas at BCA without any problems. If you are transferring funds from an overseas bank I suggest you first of all find out what the transfer costs would be for say $2000 and the amount of Rupiah that you would receive at your bank here. And then check out transferwise.com
You can open the transferwise website without registering and you can immediately see what the costs would be for a transfer and the Rupiah conversion here. I found that transferring using my Australian bank and with the appalling exchange rate the Australian bank gave I was losing.... hundreds of dollars over several transfers. And usually the Aus bank hung onto the money for a couple of days. Using transferwise I can have my money in my BCA account literally in 5 minutes.
 

Orestes

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Dec 16, 2019
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Same here. I opened an account with CIMB NIAGA last year just having a KITAS at the time. Quite easy (maybe the fact that my wife has an account with them for years helped).
Went to their office, customer service fills in a form and done in 15 minutes.
I also inquired about a credit card. Also possible, as long as I would open a deposit with them (can't remember the exact amount required but I believe it was 50 million IDR) and do the application at the office.
We also use WeTransfer to do international transfers to this account and CIMB also has a user-friendly app for payments, top up and cardless transactions.
 

Brian86

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Aug 12, 2018
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I had no problem opening accounts at BNI and BCA with KITAS. I prefer BNI of the two, their mobile app is far better, and there are far more BNI ATMs in my area. ATM, bank branch, mobile app, and online banking are the main ways to interact with a bank, if you will mostly do just one or two of those I would recommend focusing on which bank is best in that regard. You can search and observe for yourself which bank has the most branches and ATMs near you, and if you're interested in mobile app or online banking experience, some people here who have used multiple banks can probably offer valuable insight.
 

Will_M

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Jul 15, 2017
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My BCA bank account is purely KITAS from employment and BCA opened it within a few minutes.

I mostly transfer money out of Indonesia and into an English account. Most of the time is within an hour or two.
 

make_batik_great_again

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Thanks for the feedback. Since I will not have so many transactions (only receiving money via Transferwise and withdraw money every now and then), the main point are the fees to me. Are they quite similar, comparing the mentioned CIMB, BCA and BNI or big differences?

I opened an account with Kitas at BCA without any problems. If you are transferring funds from an overseas bank I suggest you first of all find out what the transfer costs would be for say $2000 and the amount of Rupiah that you would receive at your bank here. And then check out transferwise.com
You can open the transferwise website without registering and you can immediately see what the costs would be for a transfer and the Rupiah conversion here. I found that transferring using my Australian bank and with the appalling exchange rate the Australian bank gave I was losing.... hundreds of dollars over several transfers. And usually the Aus bank hung onto the money for a couple of days. Using transferwise I can have my money in my BCA account literally in 5 minutes.

Thanks. Yes, I will use transferwise. My wife used their service several times already. I just need an Indonesian account so that I can transfer to IDR via TW.
 

Dominique

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Jan 8, 2020
Messages
32
Hi all,
Almost 5 months in living the dream in Indonesia.
I have a BCA account and I was exploring the possibility and feasibility of transferring money into my UK Barclays account.
Two questions:
1. Is the process easy enough? Or is it wiser/easier to use a different UK high street bank?
2. Is it better to transfer a large amount or multiple small amounts? Is it a one off payment or a percentage of the funds that is used to pay for the transfer?
Thank you
Hi,
I also have a BCA account and do regular transfers out of the country. I confirm that you may not transfer more than 20,000 USD in one go, unless you provide an extensive documentation in support for this move. But you can do this every month.
Is it easy : if you have a business account yes, you can do it online. If you have a personal account in local currency you need to go to the bank.
The amount charged is a commission on exchange, it is a percentage of the total amount transfered, it is extremely modest (in average 0,2% is the cost of each transfer I make).
You may be able to transfer online if you have a personal account in foreign currency, to be checked with BCA.
 

Brian86

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Aug 12, 2018
Messages
17
@Will_M and @Dominique

When you transfer money out of Indonesia, where does the currency conversion take place? Do you have your Indonesian bank convert the currency and then send it to the destination, or do you send IDR to the destination bank and allow them to convert it to the desired currency? Or is there a 3rd party conversion processor like Transferwise that works going out of Indonesia?

Thank you for any insight
 

Will_M

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Jul 15, 2017
Messages
43
I inform BCA in a branch that I will transfer out of the country into a GBP account and theoretically buy GBP there and then. They offer the rate and I accept or decline. I’m guessing it is possible to transfer money out in IDR and let your foreign bank deal with the conversion but I have never done it that way.
 

snpark

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It all depends if you tell your bank to send £5000 or 100jt. (Example). If you send rupiah the beneficiary bank does the conversion. If you stipulate from here to send a GBP amount they will debit in rupiah
 

Brian86

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Aug 12, 2018
Messages
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It all depends if you tell your bank to send £5000 or 100jt. (Example). If you send rupiah the beneficiary bank does the conversion. If you stipulate from here to send a GBP amount they will debit in rupiah
Yes, thank you, I understand this, I'm just looking for any personal insight into which they have found preferential. I wish Transferwise would handle outbound Rupiah, that would likely be the best rates possible.
 

Dominique

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Jan 8, 2020
Messages
32
@Will_M and @Dominique

When you transfer money out of Indonesia, where does the currency conversion take place? Do you have your Indonesian bank convert the currency and then send it to the destination, or do you send IDR to the destination bank and allow them to convert it to the desired currency? Or is there a 3rd party conversion processor like Transferwise that works going out of Indonesia?

Thank you for any insight
We are talking about a bank transfer, so there is no possible third party involved in the transaction aside of the Central Bank of Indonesia, if we can call that a third party. You are the one to decide in which currency the transfer will be made, either in local currency, in which case the conversion will take place at destination (provided the destination accepts a transaction in Rupiah), or in a foreign currency that you have designated, in which case the conversion is made at the point of origin, virtually by the Central bank of the country of payment. Considering the low key charge applied by BCA, I doubt you would have any advantage sending funds in Rupiah and let your bank in the UK handle the conversion ! I;m not even sure they would take it. This being said, I am not sure either that the British Pound is part of the currency basket of the CBI, you should ask the bank first if transfers in GBP would be possible. If not your best choice is to transfer in Euros but definitely you would be charged twice exchange commissions.
 

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