Banking an Overview
I have a couple of bank accounts here. BCA and Permata. Both are opened differently
BCA involves proving who you are with your passport and kitas and then you have deposit 500k to open the account. You receive your ATM card and Paying in book a week later. You are charged for both and there are monthly charges but they are small. BCA has an ATM within evrey square kilometer in Jakarta so they claim. Some are 24 hours most are 6am to 10pm. You can do fair few things at the ATM, such as transfer money, pay bills, get phone credit, cash and other things,
You need to state when opening the account that you want the English option as they will assume you will want the Indonesian option almost straight away. Also ask for international banking codes should you want to receive money to your account from abroad. It is simple to sort out. If you want to send money the minimum is 1.1 million and there are certain times when it can be done only. Banks shut around 2pm.
Non Tunai ATM means no cash and so they are for just paying bills etc and Tunai is cash. Most ATM dispense 50k except on Bali where is 100k which is frustrating.
The customer service is fairly good if you get an English speaking assistant which you can request and also you can internet bank and set up bank balance checks via sms. There are however no information leaflets in English about their service and so a lot of things are not explained.
I should also comment that for some reason, Americans may not get a BCA account but I have yet to find out why. Also your signature needs to match your Passport one exactly. If you lose your cards or they are stolen you have to report it to the police and pay for the adminstration before you can receive a new card. BCA will not help you unless do this procedure.
Permata is pretty much the same, except when you open an account you are given an electron card and it is active immediately. You can direct into your account with it. If you use the card in any other ATM machine other than Permata the cost is quite high so beware. Whilst other banks allow you to use their machines they also charge up to 35k per transaction.
I have received money and sent it out of the country with no problems at all.
Each bank has special deals and offers. For example you can pay for Airline tickets with certain airlines with Permata bank and their ATM's. Other banks offer different airlines and services.BCA do not but are the most widely accessible bank and ATM in the city.
When you go out of the city then the banks change to local banks with the chance of finding ATMs less likely in smaller towns and in places none at all.
If you are travelling through the country, swap notes into smaller ones and try not to have any 100k notes as not only do they look almost exactly the same as 10k notes,no one wants them. Also 1000k notes are often dirty, smelly and in terrible condition so wash your hands when you handle the money. Bali seems bad for that.
Currently in the city there seems to be a problem with receiving coins in change and so you maybe given candy in its place. Just smile and thank them. They really dont have the small coins to give you. Why? I cant say, it is one of the quirks of living here.
Guide section: Bank
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