My adventure opening a bank account at Acleda

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clutchcargo
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My adventure opening a bank account at Acleda

Post by clutchcargo »

I thought I'd share my recent experience of bureaucracy which may help other members albeit I imagine the story may not be of so much surprise to members who have been here a long time.

So I've been researching transfer of funds from Australia to Cambodia ie AUD to USD. The best options in terms of the least fees and best exchange rates seem to be Transferwise, AUDSmart and OFX. Whilst I currently have an existing ABA account which I like for the ready access to ATMs in PP, I also thought it might be a good idea to also open an Acleda one on account of:

I recall reading that Acleda fees for swift transfer fees including their intermediary bank fees are less than ABA
AUDSmart claim they can do quicker transfers to Acleda
Acleda offers better rates on term deposits than ABA
ABA customer service is often slow if you have any banking issues
Notwithstanding the above, just seems a good idea as an expat to have another bank option and ATM card.

Acleda deposit qualifications according to the website are as follows:

For Foreigner:
Having a passport which is valid for at least 3 months
Having a residential document in Cambodia certified by local authority, certification of employment, employment contract, business agreement with a partner in Cambodia, or mission document
Having a phone, fax, or email address
https://www.acledabank.com.kh/kh/eng/ps_deposit

So, I have an original lease term agreement and residency statement from the local sangkat albeit both are not current and have expired. So rather than continuing to renew my lease term I have since opted for a month by month agreement. Whilst I thought I might have to get a new current term agreement for the purposes of opening this bank account I nevertheless thought I might be able to get it through by showing my latest monthly receipt showing the same address and paid in advance duly signed and stamped received. Also passport with 1 year retiree visa extension.

So I headed off to the closest Acleda branch on Monivong near Central market and I show my papers and the guy says my residency papers are out of date. I show the receipt for 1 month paid in advance to show the continuity and he says: I talk to the manager. He goes away and comes back: Sorry sir, we need a current residency statement or lease agreement. I ask him what sort of term they require for the lease agreement? He says it doesn't matter...3 month, 6 month whatever. I say OK and think oh well, I can get the landlord to draw up a new one.

The irony of this tho is that after I show such a document to open an account, there will be no follow up action in the future as to where I live and I could easily move out elsewhere after the 3/6 mths anyhow..

So riding back home on the moto, I start thinking...why not try another branch? I remembered there's one inside Aeon 1...so I go there and tell them I'd like to open an account. The girl there asks whether I have a job in Cambodia. I say, no, I'm retired. She says 'Sorry sir, we only open account for customers with a work permit. Company policy.' I say 'really'? Yes Sir..

OK so I head back home thinking I told the other branch I was retired and they didn't seem to care... So I think WTF I'll go to their Head Office on Monivong just up from Calmette. Lots of people...I get a ticket and wait approx. 40 mins for my number to come up..thinking geez this is not much better than the wait at ABA (central market). Anyway, I get a girl that seems to have a bit of a giggle coz I'm a barang and after a few words seems to get lost in the discussion so her colleague next to her takes over and her english is really good.

I show her the papers and passport and she seems fine with it and asks me to fill out an application form. I'm thinking this is all good.. Then she asks me: 'excuse me sir, what is your profession'? I think oh shit! So I say retired and she says 'OK' ....great sigh of relief for me. Then she sets the account up including the app ToenChet for me. Then I ask about internet banking via their website and she says: oh, I have to set that up if you want that. She goes away and I notice she's having a long chat with other staff and referring to my papers. She comes back: sir, my supervisor says your resident papers are out of date. Oh dear! So I show her the receipt for monthly rent paid in advance...she says, OK I call my manager. Along the conversation she asks me: Sir, do you have a current Cambodia driving license? I say yes, she says OK my boss says no problem... Yay! :dm:

Anyway, by this time it's 4.30pm (they close at 5pm) and I think she said she can't activate it without funds.. I say OK but she says: sorry sir, cashier closed already can you come back tomorrow to deposit? I'm thinking I don't really wanna have to do that if I have a long wait again so I say can I do that when I come to pick up the debit card in a week. Then she says: how about you give me the cash now and I'll transfer the money from my account to yours.. You beauty!

I gotta say this lady went out of her way to help me and provided great service in a friendly manner. She really wanted to help. So, this adventure started at noon and finished at 5pm including 2 hours at Acleda head office but........

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Yerg
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Re: My adventure opening a bank account at Acleda

Post by Yerg »

I can feel your pain, Clutch. I was lucky enough to open an ACLEDA account for my salary, but at the time I didn't have my visa or Khmer driving license. (I went there on my second day with the company.)

I think I must have met the same lady, because she was simply superb, and did everything to get me an account opened, set up the app and set up my internet banking. (I was lucky, cashiers were still open so I could deposit the money to open the account.)

I suppose it's like most businesses though. You have those that turn up for the salary and those that turn up to do the job to the best of their abilities. (I found there were no "in-betweens" in Cambodia.)

Where I am working now, there are some really fabulous people, who (on close to minimum wage) go way above and beyond their simple duties, because they seem to take pride in their work. There are others who I wouldn't piss on if they were on fire. I've never worked in a unionised environment, but this is the closest I have ever come!

More's to the point, you got your account and it was a few hours well spent, in retrospect!
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Ghostwriter
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Re: My adventure opening a bank account at Acleda

Post by Ghostwriter »

" Then she says: how about you give me the cash now and I'll transfer the money from my account to yours.. "

Whaaat ?
Nothing fishy here ?
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SternAAlbifrons
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Re: My adventure opening a bank account at Acleda

Post by SternAAlbifrons »

Sorry Clutch, but you know how rude we are in Cambodia

:chin:
How much money is in that account now?
:chin:
How much do you earn?
:chin:
Do you own a house and land back home?
:chin:
So that ATM card is ready to go...?
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SternAAlbifrons
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Re: My adventure opening a bank account at Acleda

Post by SternAAlbifrons »

Ghostwriter wrote: Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:19 am " Then she says: how about you give me the cash now and I'll transfer the money from my account to yours.. "

Whaaat ?
Nothing fishy here ?
No, she was a real honey..
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Duncan
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Re: My adventure opening a bank account at Acleda

Post by Duncan »

I would have to say I have had good service in the past at that head office in Monivong but don't have money any more so don't have use for a bank now.

My big question is,,,, with the A$ at the lowest level in eleven years, is it the right time to change A$ to US$
Cambodia,,,, Don't fall in love with her.
Like the spoilt child she is, she will not be happy till she destroys herself from within and breaks your heart.
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Marty
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Re: My adventure opening a bank account at Acleda

Post by Marty »

SternAAlbifrons wrote: Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:26 am
Ghostwriter wrote: Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:19 am " Then she says: how about you give me the cash now and I'll transfer the money from my account to yours.. "

Whaaat ?
Nothing fishy here ?
No, she was a real honey..
I've found low level employees in many businesses to be pleasant and totally honest. It is the ones in the higher ranks that are "fishy." What's it cost to start an account? 50 or 100 dollars? No bank teller is going to risk her job over that much!
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newkidontheblock
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Re: My adventure opening a bank account at Acleda

Post by newkidontheblock »

Wasn’t there a poster singing the praises of ACLEDA a while back saying no waiting, no lines, fast service? And how ABA was so much worse compared to ACLEDA?
willyhilly
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Re: My adventure opening a bank account at Acleda

Post by willyhilly »

I always got good service at acleda especially at head office. The girls were always lovely.
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Re: My adventure opening a bank account at Acleda

Post by pczz »

newkidontheblock wrote: Thu Feb 27, 2020 3:28 am Wasn’t there a poster singing the praises of ACLEDA a while back saying no waiting, no lines, fast service? And how ABA was so much worse compared to ACLEDA?
yes, it was me. And i stand by it. Best time to go is between 2 and 3. Head office is equally empty at those times, usually. Clutch seems to have gone around 4 which is "i will pop in the bank on the wayhome from work"time. In another thread an ABA customer was having more issues. ABA apparently only allow $10,000 outward transfer without an invoice form other countryl, ACLEDA allow 20,000 if its going to your own account abroad. With regard to the need for a lease, that appears to be a new thing for all banks because a month ago i was asked for a lease stamped by the Sangkat to open an extra account at Prasac, even though I had been a customer for years and already had 2 accounts. BTW PRasac still offer 8% on term deposits in USD.

When I want to do a wire transfer at ACLEDA monivong I show the guy by the ticket machine the last transfer form. then he takes me straight to the front of the q and the nice lady there fills in the whole thing for me. I have never found a time when ABA head office, Central MArket or Mao is not busy except at night. In aeon there is almost always a q at the 1 atm they have as opposed to ACLEDA which has about 10. The catch is that ACLEDA charge you 50 cents a month forTOANCHET and 50cents a month for internet banking, but AFAIK the new TOANCHET does everything you can do on internet banking except wire transfers. Its a bit clunky compared to ABA but it has higher security wit a 6 didgit pin on the app.You can now also transfer money with TOANCHET to other banks
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