Banking services including deposits and savings, direct payment for utility bills, automatic debit transfer for credit card, remittance, etc. are all handled at banks and post offices (yucho ginko). Banks are normally open 9:00-15:00, while banking services at post offices are open 9:00-16:00 (some post offices are open until 18:00). Although banks are usually closed on weekends and holidays, there are some that are open in the evening and on weekends. As long as you have your cash card, cash deposits and withdrawals are both available via automatic teller machines (ATM) or cash dispensers. In addition, financial institutions also offer online banking services on the Internet or through the web on your cell phone.
Opening an Account
When opening an account at banks or post offices, you will need to fill out an account application form in which case you will need a form of personal ID such as your residence card or something that verifies your name, current address in Japan, and date of birth, as well as your personal seal.
There are two types of machines at which you can use cash cards: the ATM (Automated Teller Machine) and the CD (cash dispenser). The former type not only allows deposits, but also allows withdrawals, passbook updates, and bank transfers, among other transactions.
Keep in mind that the service hours and handling capability for each machine vary greatly and fees may be levied depending on the time of your transaction.
Cash Withdrawals with Foreign Cash Cards or Credit Cards
While it is possible to withdraw cash using a cash card issued overseas, it may only be allowed on ATMs that are compatible with your card. For more information, please consult your financial institution or credit card companies.
If your card bears any of the following trademarks, it can be used at Yucho (postal) ATMs: VISA, VISAELECTRON, PLUS, MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus, American Express, Diners Club, JCB, China UnionPay, or Discover. There are ATMs at convinence stores such as seven eleven.
Cash Withdrawals and Deposits
When making a cash withdrawal at a bank counter, you will need the personal seal which you registered when you opened your account. If using a bank card, cash can be withdrawn from ATMs or cash dispensers, but be aware that there may be limits to the number of withdrawals and and the amount that can be withdrawn per day. Inquire at each financial institutions for more details. Also, it is not possible to deposit more than 100,000 yen into another person’s account from an ATM. In such cases, you must present identification (Residence Card, etc.) at a bank counter and complete procedures from there.
Both banks and post offices provide several domestic and overseas remittance services. However, as each financial institution varies in commission fee and handles services differently, it is best to consult your financial institution for finding ways to send your money overseas. A form of personal ID (residence card, etc.) is required for conducting domestic and overseas remittance that amounts to more than 100,000 yen.
Receiving Money from Overseas
Japan Post Bank (Yucho)
Remittances from overseas can, in principle, only be depositted into an account with a name that match the receiver’s name. For details on the documents required to claim a remittance and any associated fees, inquire at your financial institution.
Foreign Currency Exchange
While you can exchange foreign currency at major banks and post offices, depending on the type of currency you are seeking, some outlets may not have it in stock and may not be able to exchange it for you right away. Essentially, it is the best to visit the head office of your bank or a Yucho branch office linked to the central post office in the city when seeking a variety of foreign currencies. When exchanging a large sum or minor currency, contact a local financial institution to find out whether such exchange is possible.