Those wishing to open a bank account in Taiwan must do so in person. This requires a valid Alien Residence Certificate, a passport and some banks may require a personal chop. Taking a Chinese-speaker along to the bank will help expedite this process.
Foreign banks and some newer local banks pay savings interest on a monthly basis, while most local banks pay interest every six months. Checks cannot be written against a savings account, but funds can be withdrawn at any time, either in person or via an ATM. Local banks use passbooks while international banks usually issue a monthly statement with transaction records.
Checking accounts are not common in Taiwan and personal checks are seldom used. Opening such an account is complicated and time-consuming, with banks generally requiring a banking relationship of at least six months before an application can be made. Needless to say, payment for day-to-day needs and expenses using checks is extremely rare.