Different business has different business model. Over the years, I understand many Hong Kong companies have no customers in Hong Kong or China at all. The reason to have a Hong Kong company is for taxation purpose only. In fact, it is not necessary for a Hong Kong company to have a Hong Kong bank account. It is legal for a Hong Kong company to have its bank account outside Hong Kong. This is purely a business decision. To open an account in Hong Kong, you have to fly over to meet with bankers in person. Interview usually takes an hour.
If you live in Asia, it is never a problem to visit Hong Kong. It is only a few hours flight. However, if you live in London, Melbourne, Barcelona, then it can sometimes be a long flight away. We all know that “Time is money”. If you have busy schedule, you can also consider banking options outside Hong Kong. Below are some banks for your reference.
Banks outside Hong Kong
When we talk about Switzerland, many business owners would have thought of the world class banking. It is all about secrecy and it is part of the landmark federal law. CIM bank is in Switzerland. Privacy is one of its core values. The Bank is regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority and is a member of the Swiss Exchange. According to CIM’s website, its service for SWIFT payment was recognized by Deutsche Bank and J.P Morgan for the past 10 years. CIM bank can open corporate accounts for Hong Kong company remotely.
The Belize Bank Limited (BBL) is based in Belize. The bank has 100 years of history. It was incorporated in 1902 and was known as Bank of British Honduras. Ten years later, the Royal Bank of Canada purchased the bank operation. Belize Bank purchased the operation in 1987 and the name has been changed to “The Belize Bank Limited”. The official language of Belize is English.
Bank One is a commercial bank in Mauritius. The Bank has a total of 13 branches in the country. Its service was recognized as one of the best in ecommerce risk management by VISA 5 years ago. Apart from providing service in Mauritius, Bank One also has physical presence in South Africa. They are willing to serve customers who are interested to enter into the African market.
Standard Chartered is one of the most famous banks in the world. It has 160+ years of history. The Bank has physical presence in 59 markets, and it has over 85,000 employees worldwide. Standard Chartered is listed on the London and Hong Kong’s Stock Exchanges. Standard Chartered (Malaysia) welcomes Hong Kong company to open a corporate account with them remotely.
ABC Group is based in Mauritius. According to its website, ABC group has around 89 years of history and it has become one of the top 100 entities in the Indian Ocean. ABC has business in different fields, including but not limited to banking, automobile, shipping and logistics. ABC Banking Corporation provides service to both domestic and international customers. ABC Bank is willing to open a corporate bank account for Hong Kong company remotely.
DBS Bank is a multinational bank which is based in Singapore. The Bank has physical presence in 18 markets. It has a “AA-” and “Aa1” credit ratings. It is one of the highest-ranking banks in the world. It has also been named as the “Best Bank in the World” by Global Finance in 2018. DBS has also been recognized as the “Safest Bank in Asia” by Global Finance for 10 consecutive years since 2009. DBS has a total asset of 551 billion (SGD). It has over 200,000 Corporate banking customers and over 26,000 employees. DBS (Singapore) can open a corporate account for Hong Kong company.
E-wallet Platforms in Hong Kong
There are many other banking options in different countries. However, banks are always banks. They need to comply with different ordinances and bank account opening can take time. If you are in a rush to receive payment, you can also consider “E-wallet platforms”. If you reside in the United States, Europe or Australia, you might have heard of Transferwise or Revolut. In fact, there are many similar platforms in Hong Kong and they are regulated by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
E-wallet platforms do not have long history. However, most are willing to open a corporate account for you remotely. This is probably the biggest advantage. If you have never used an e-wallet before, you can understand e-wallet as Paypal or Stripe. However, e-wallets have more functions. It gives you a designated account number and an IBAN. You can use e-wallet account to remit or receive bank wire payment.
The first platform I want to introduce is Transferwise. Transferwise provides a multi-currency account. There is no setup fee. It is free to receive payment while there is a small fixed fee to send payments. Transferwise can also provide you with a company Mastercard which you can make payment online.
Transferwsie currently supports 50+ currencies. Some examples are Hong Kong dollar, Australian Dollar, Swiss Franc, Chinese Yuan, Euro, British Pound, Japanese Yen, Thai Baht, Vietnamese Dong, New Zealand dollar, Singapore Dollar, US Dollar, etc. You can link Transferwise with payment platforms such as Stripe and Amazon. Account opening can be completed remotely.
The second platform we talk about is Currenxie. Currenxie supports 18 currencies. It covers major currencies such as USD, EUR, HKD, etc. The e-wallet account can be linked with amazon, shopify, ebay, paypal and stripe so it is a perfect option for e-commerce business.
Currenxie provides customers with a Mastercard which you can use for both online and offline payment. Currenxie can open corporate account remotely. There is no account opening fee. Currenxie only charges fee on outgoing payments. Each transaction is around HK$195. There are no fees for receiving payments.
We have a designated contact person at Airwallex. I must say that Airwallex’s employees are very responsive. Airwallex was launched in 2015. It supports 18 currencies. It also provides company with Mastercard service. They have 8 international offices and 420 employees over the Globe. Airwallex can open account remotely. However, it may sometimes request face to face meeting depending on your business nature.
We can expect that there will be more and more virtual banks in the year 2020 with more comprehensive service. I hope the above information gives you more ideas about banking options in or outside Hong Kong. If you are interested in the above-mentioned options, you can contact them directly. If you prefer to open a corporate bank account in Hong Kong, you can read my other articles in this blog. Alternatively, you can contact our team at email@example.com and we can give you more tips.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for reference only. The above information is provided to you on an “AS IS” basis without any express or implied warranty of any kind and is provided for a general, indicative purpose only. In particular, Get Started HK Limited does not make any express or implied warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, security, timeliness in relation to such contents. Bank or E-wallet fees may vary from time to time. If you are interested in the above-mentioned banks or platforms, you should confirm pricing with them directly before you start the application.