The first thing you ought to know is if you can actually open an account in Singapore in the first place. There are certain countries in which, if you're not a citizen or resident, you're absolutely forbidden to open a bank account there. Fortunately, Singapore isn't such a place. Even if you're just a visitor, you can still set up an account in many banks in the country. There is such a thing as a non-resident account, which lets you save and store money whilst you're in Singapore, no matter how long your time here may be.
It won't hurt if you know the different types of accounts available in Singapore. First, there's the standard savings account, which allows you to store any income you earn in the country and even from abroad. If you'll be permanently residing in Singapore, you get the option to choose which type of savings account to open: a privilege, priority, or even private account. A current account relatively serves the same purpose but you have to pay little to no interest when it comes to certain transactions. A multi-currency account, on the other hand, allows you to store different currencies within the same account.
Now that you know you're actually allowed to set up a bank account, it's time to start the process. It's a simple one that practically only entails you to submit certain documents, take with a bank agent, and wait until your application gets approved. In terms of the required documents, they include your passport, proof of address, and proof of income. Your proof of address can simply be your new lease contract with your landlord or monthly rental bill. While your proof of income can be your income tax return from your company here in Singapore.
This is a good question! In many other countries, most of their banks allow you to open your local account remotely, even before you step foot in the actual country itself. However, in Singapore, most banks here require you to be physically present for the application process. Though some do allow online applications, that's actually quite rare in the country. Many local banks here prefer that you actually step foot in one of heir branches and to personally meet with you to ensure that you're serious in doing your finances with them. This also allows you to submit your required documents personally.
But while physical banking is more preferred in Singapore, that doesn't necessarily mean that they don't do things online here. In fact, practically the only time banks require your physical presence is during the setting up and application process for your account, Once that's done, you can start banking online through your chosen bank's digital platform. Don't worry, most banks have their own online portals. They help make transacting a lot easier in the long run. Still, when choosing a bank, other than having its own online platform, it's better to go for one with a branch that's near your place in Singapore.
So, what are the best Singaporean banks to go for? POSB is a good option since it has branches and ATM machines throughout the country. Wherever you end up in Singapore, there's sure to be a POSB branch near you, making it one of the most accessible banks in the country. HSBC is an international bank that's extremely popular here in Singapore. And since it has international branches, the one in your home country might actually allow you to set up your account remotely. One of the very few to do so. Finally, UOB is also a bank that has a decent ATM machine presence in most of the country.
If you have plans to move and work in Singapore, make sure that one of the first things you do is to set up a local bank account for yourself. It will save you a lot of time and effort when handling your money here!
And when you've successfully saved a lot of money in your local account, you can finally invest in a luxurious Singaporean apartment as your new home here!