What is the local currency?
The local currency is the New Taiwan Dollar, commonly referred to as the NT (dollar).
What denominations does it come in?
Bills commonly come in denominations of 1,000, 500 and 100NT. Coins come in denominations of 50, 10, 5 and 1 NT. Much more rarely, you may come across a 2,000 or 200NT bill or 20NT coin. Hang onto these if you're a collector of currency.
What is the best way to exchange currency?
Most larger local banks and international hotels will readily change USD, HKD, EUR and yen. Less common currencies may need to be exchanged at an international bank.
What are commonly-used forms of payment for everyday purchases (such as groceries)?
Cash and/or credit cards are the only way to pay for purchases. Checks are not commonly used in Taiwan, and are generally only for transferring large amounts of money (i.e., rental payments).
Will I be able to use my credit card around town? If not, list when I’ll need cash.
Most retail outlets will accept Visa and Mastercard; American Express is less commonly accepted.
Chain grocery stores such as Carrefour, Costco, Welcome and Tesco will have at least one checkout line for credit cards. Corner stores, fresh markets and smaller independent stores still only take cash.
By what method are bills (such as rent and utilities) paid?
These bills can be paid at the bank, by direct debit or at many convenience stores.
If you wish to pay at a bank, the bottom part of the bill will be removed. The other part of the bill will be stamped with the date and returned to you.
If you wish to directly debit your account, you must first take a copy of a utility bill to the bank. They will help you to fill out a form listing the address and other information from the bill. You will then have a line record in your bankbook every two months stating where the money was paid and in what amount.
Easiest of all, you can pay at any 7-11, Circle K, Family Mart or other convenience store. Each utility bill now comes with a bar code, which the convenience store scans before accepting payment. You will be given a receipt for the payment.
Rent can be paid by transfer through most ATMs, if you have the correct bank and account numbers.
Your landlord can provide this to you. Otherwise your landlord may collect cash from you every month in person. If the lease is in the company's name, the company will have its finance department either transfer the money on the agreed-upon schedule or will issue checks, sometimes post-dated for the year in advance.
What are the requirements for opening a bank account? At what stage of the settling-in process should I open it?
Local bank accounts require that you possess an ARC (Alien Resident Certificate) before opening a bank account, and international banks often require you to hold the ARC for a certain period of time (often three to six months) before opening a account. International banks may require minimum balances, depending on the type of account. Local banks will accept any amount for basic savings accounts.
Will foreign residents be able to find banking services in their native languages?
The International Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) branches in Tien Mou will have English-speaking staff and all international banks will have English-conversant staff. These include HSBC, Standard Chartered, ABN Amro, Bank of Montreal, etc.
Most other languages are not accommodated, though you may occasionally find someone who speaks a little French.
Are there any restrictions on services for those who are new to your country?
Obtaining a credit card through a local bank or through an international bank can be difficult. American Express is the only one who will issue cards to foreigners solely on the basis that they hold an ARC and employment. Most other local and international institutions require the applicant to hold the ARC for a certain period of time and provide a credit history. It may also be necessary to provide a guarantor, a Taiwan national who will guarantee your balance in the event of default on your part.
It would be best to continue carrying your home credit card unless there is a compelling reason not to.
What are typical banking hours?
Typical banking hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock?
ATMs are available around the clock, and around the block! There are very few places in Taipei that are more than a five-minute walk from a bank machine. Withdrawals from a machine that is not affiliated with your bank will cost 7NT - about 22 US cents.
Is there any other money information that might help me?
Money gets spent very quickly in Taiwan! Converting back to your home country currency helps to keep the spending in control.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.