If you’re looking to gamble away your savings at a baccarat table, opening a bank account in Macau might be worth considering.
But, if you’re anyone else and you don’t desperately need to bank in Macau, there are more attractive banking jurisdictions you should consider first including a Singapore non-resident bank account.
Open a Bank Account in Macau
Opening a bank account in Macau as a foreign non-resident is possible. However, visiting Macau is usually required. Additionally, not all Macau banks accept non-residents. So, knowing which bank and branch accept your client profile is critical. To help you open a bank account in Macau, we detail accepted client profiles and alternative options below.
In this article, we’ll review who should (and shouldn’t) open a bank account in Macau. And, we’ll also share other alternatives you might want to consider instead.
But first, it’s important to note that while some banks in Macau may accept non-residents, many do not. In fact, very few (if any), even offer English language support. And, you can forget about remote account opening.
So, to open a bank account in Macau, you’ll need to find a bank that accepts foreign non-residents and caters to your client profile. Then, you’ll need to book a flight to make a visit in person.
That said, there are probably better banking options available elsewhere. Including within Asia. So, before you begin applying to open a bank account in Macau, make sure it’s the best option for your banking needs. We’ll discuss this and much more below.
But, before diving in, if this is your first time visiting GlobalBanks, don’t forget to download your free Non-Resident Banking Starter Guide. It’s designed to help non-residents open accounts in top banking hubs around the world.
Overview of Macau
Macau is a tiny autonomous region along the south coast of China, famously known as the “Las Vegas of Asia”. But, in reality, Macau overshadows Las Vegas’ gambling industry.
In fact, with only 49 casinos, Macau generates two times more revenue than the +100 casinos in Las Vegas combined. Not surprisingly, all of that excitement also contributes to a bit of a shady image.
And, even though there are strict regulations to block illicit fund transfers, people find ways to get their money in and out of the country. Whether through junkets, expensive jewelry, or even credit cards. Such methods allow visitors to cross borders with the regulated amount of cash on hand and then have access to large sums when they arrive. In some ways, it’s a miracle that Macau has remained off the FATF grey and blacklists.
But, just because Macau is a popular gambling destination, doesn’t mean it’s an attractive banking hub. Unlike other gambling hotspots, such as Monaco, Macau banking isn’t as illustrious.
So, before you start thinking about opening a bank account in Macau, you should know whether it’s the best option for you.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at who should consider opening a bank account in Macau.
Who Should (And Shouldn’t) Bank in Macau?
When looking to open an international or offshore account in Asia, Macau isn’t the first choice of most applicants. In fact, there are many other Asian banking hubs that people tend to open with instead.
But, that doesn’t mean Macau can’t be a banking option to certain client types.
In certain instances, non-residents can open, maintain, and even benefit from a bank account in Macau.
Let’s take a look at some of these client types now:
Who Should Open a Bank Account in Macau?
Those non-resident clients who may find a Macau bank account attractive typically fall into one of the following categories:
- Non-residents frequently traveling to Macau
- Individuals conducting business in Macau
- Frequent casino customers looking for better FX rates
- Individuals with clear personal ties to Macau
Of course, not all Macau banks accept non-residents. And, the banks that do accept non-residents, tend to only open accounts when you physically visit the bank. In other words, remote account opening is most likely not an option.
Before we get into who shouldn’t open a bank account in Macau, keep in mind that although Macau is China’s richest city, it’s also one of the lowest paid. So, there are some drawbacks to opening bank accounts here as well.
Who Shouldn’t Open a Bank Account in Macau:
- Individuals with zero ties to Macau
- Anyone that doesn’t plan on visiting Macau
- Individuals that do not do business in Macau, let alone Asia
- Individuals looking for remote account opening
- Non-residents looking for asset protection
- Anyone that requires access to secure and sophisticated online banking
Again, the decision to open a bank account in Macau over another jurisdiction should be based on your unique client profile and requirements. But, unless you have a very clear reason to bank in Macau,, there is almost certainly a more suitable jurisdiction available elsewhere.
Alternative Offshore Banking Jurisdiction
Before you start applying to open a bank account in Macau, you should consider the available alternative banking options.
With this in mind, we’ve outlined some additional banking jurisdictions you may want to consider instead.
Alternative Banking Options in Asia
Singapore and Macau are both city-states, they’re both in Asia, and they share a common language. But, the similarities basically end there. Singapore is a safe haven for many foreign non-residents seeking a stable, well-managed, and conservative jurisdiction. Not to mention, one of the best banking jurisdictions in the world.
But, account opening in Singapore is very difficult if you don’t know which bank, branch, or banker to speak with directly. Likewise, remote account opening can be near impossible.
Fortunately, if Singapore is a jurisdiction that you’re considering, it is possible to open here as a foreign non-resident. But, you need the right information and account opening strategies.
We detail the entire account opening process for foreign non-residents, including why you should consider opening in Singapore and how to get started in our free article How to Open a Singapore Non-Resident Bank Account.
If you’re a foreign non-resident looking to open an offshore bank account in Asia, Taiwan may be an interesting option to consider. This is especially true if you’ve been struggling to open elsewhere in Asia.
In fact, many people are surprised to find out that Taiwan is essentially an Asian offshore banking hub that exists outside of most banking treaties. This is largely due to China’s pressure to exclude Taiwan from international organizations.
Of course, like elsewhere, in order to open a bank account in Taiwan, you’ll have to meet specific account opening requirements, which can be difficult to navigate as a foreigner.
If you’re interested in banking in Taiwan, you can get started with our free article “How to Open a Bank Account in Taiwan” for information on account opening.
Another option worth considering is Turkey. You can find the best bank for foreigners in Turkey with multi-currency accounts, reasonable deposit levels, and the option to open accounts remotely. However, Turkey isn’t for everyone. It is however for individuals spending large parts of the year in Turkey as a tourist, businesses selling to Turkish customers, or you’re part of the Unlock Passport Club and cannot open elsewhere.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can open a bank account in Turkey, you’re in luck. We cover everything you need to know in our free article Finding the Best Bank for Foreigners in Turkey.
The last alternative banking option in Asia you could consider is Labuan. Individuals are interested in opening a Labuan offshore bank account because of the wide range of benefits it can offer. Including, the ability to access multiple currencies, an easier account opening experience compared to other jurisdictions, and access to low and no-tax corporate structures. Labuan banks are also more accepting of foreign non-resident individuals and offshore companies than some other Asia banking hubs. And, to top it off, remote opening is 100% possible.
If you’re struggling to open accounts elsewhere in Asia, Labuan might be a suitable option for you. This is because banking requirements here are oftentimes easier to meet than in Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.
No, the United States is not in Asia. But, it can be a very attractive non-resident banking option for many different clients.
So, if you’re open to considering non-Asian banking hubs, the United States may be worth considering.
In fact, foreign non-residents can open accounts remotely, can access a wide range of banking products and services, and can even build US credit history to access credit cards, financing, and mortgages.
If you’re interested in learning more about banking in the United States, review our dedicated US banking service, GlobalBanks USA.
If the US is not on your radar, another alternative to consider is opening a bank account in a global financial center like the United Kingdom. Or, more accurately, in one of the UK’s offshore banking hubs.
In fact, UK offshore banking has become a very popular option for foreign non-residents looking for “third country” banking options.
Such options include opening accounts in the Isle of Man, Jersey, and Guernsey, all of which have attractive non-resident and expat banking options available.
You can learn more about each of these options in the free articles below:
Expat Banking in the Isle of Man
Non-Resident Banking in Jersey
Banking in Guernsey for Foreigners
That said, if you feel like Macau is a good fit (or you absolutely need to open here), here’s how you can open a bank account in Macau…
Ready to Open a Bank Account in Macau?
If you’re ready to take action and open a bank account in Macau today, you can get started by accessing GlobalBanks IQ, our dedicated international banking intelligence platform.
GlobalBanks IQ gives you everything you need to start figuring out where you should (and shouldn’t) open accounts.
When you join GlobalBanks IQ, you immediately unlock the GlobalBanks Database of international banks – home to 250+ banks in 50+ countries.
And, you get access to our library of premium (members-only) reports. These include proven account opening strategies, country-specific banking options, and lists of banks for specific client types.
Plus, you unlock our account opening checklists, dedicated account opening alerts, and much more.
To get started, click here to see if GlobalBanks IQ is the right choice for you to start accessing the benefits of international banking today.