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Column / 2019.12.27

The reason that "Japan Post Yucho Bank" is popular among foreigners living in Japan is the ease of opening an account

According to a survey* targeting foreigners living in Japan conducted by YOLO JAPAN Co., Ltd. (Representative Director: Tasuke Kaji, Tokyo Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo), which operates the largest media in Japan with more than 140,000 foreign residents registered from 226 countries, almost all foreigners living in Japan have a Japanese bank account, nearly 60% of which are with Japan Post Yucho Bank.
*Survey period: May 24, 2019 - June 23, 2019, Respondents: 670 YOLO JAPAN members from 75 countries

Some of the reasons Japan Post Yucho Bank is chosen is that whereas other banks require a stay of 6 months to open a bank account, Japan Post Yucho Bank only requires a stay of 3 months. In addition, not only can you apply in English, but Vietnamese and Chinese languages are also supported. Also, it came to light that foreigners appreciate that Japan Post Yucho Bank doesn't require a personal seal to open a bank account.

Specifically, the following comments were received from survey respondents:
"It was the only bank that I could open an account at without speaking Japanese." (Nigeria, female, 20s)
"It's convenient for students because you can open an account without a personal seal or a place of employment." (Kenya, female, 20s)
"I was able to apply on the internet. I applied for a bank account at another bank at the same time, but the other bank required that I stay in Japan for longer than 6 months, so I went with Japan Post Yucho Bank." (France, female, 20s)

In 2nd place and lower were major banks such as Mitsubishi UFJ Bank, Mitsui Sumitomo Bank, and others including local banks opened by foreigners who live in rural areas.The reasons for choosing these banks were the number of branches and ATMS as well as the chosen bank being the designated bank of their employer or university.

Even though almost all foreigners living in Japan have bank accounts, many of those people felt that opening a bank account was difficult. The points that were difficult were cited as "The paperwork has to be filled out in Japanese," (72%, 479 people), "A personal seal was necessary," (25%, 170 people), "My stay in Japan is less than 6 months," (14%, 92 people), among others. In these respects, Japan Post Yucho Bank is popular because it meets the needs of foreigners. Other than these reasons, about a quarter of people answered, "I don't have a cell phone" (26%, 175 people) as a reason opening a bank account is difficult.

In addition, we also received the following comments about the experience of opening a bank account.

"Since there is no 'middle name' in Japan, it was difficult to write my full name." (Philippines, female, 30s)
"The waiting time was extremely long and the staff seemed to dislike dealing with foreigners. There was too much paperwork." (Vietnam, female, 20s)
"Due to my nationality, most banks refused to let me open a bank account." (Iran, female, 30s)