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  • MJHanson
  • Expert Waygook

    • 500

    • May 02, 2011, 09:42:58 am
    • Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
I've used Kookmin Bank (KB) for the three years I've been in Korea.  I've never liked the way they do remittance.  It costs 34,000 won to send money home and I have to visit the bank to do it.  As far as I know, KB does not let you do international transfers through online banking.  Maybe it has changed recently - if so, please let me know!

Either way, KB has had security issues over the years and I want to change banks.  So could people tell me about their banks and their experiences?  Especially anything regarding the following:

- Remittance rates
- Online banking ease of use
- Credit cards and point benefits
- Cooperation with frequent flier programs

Thanks!!!


Re: Korean banking reviews, especially concerning sending money home
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2014, 02:33:02 pm »
I second KEB.  Very easy to get set up and to send money home but online banking is a nightmare.  I'm pretty sure that is true of all Korean banks though...


Re: Korean banking reviews, especially concerning sending money home
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2014, 02:33:55 pm »
I use KEB. I've only ever gone into the bank twice: once to set up my account and my online stuff and then once more to properly set up my remittance account to send money home. I was served by the same woman twice and her English was strong (not strong enough that I could manage to explain that I wanted a remittance account on top of what else I was doing but I was slightly confused as well). Since then I just transfer money on payday and it automatically goes home after a...15,000 won (I think) transfer fee.

If you want to make it your primary bank I can't speak to them either way. Their ATMs are probably the most rare of the major banks but they're not ridiculously uncommon. I also hear that because they specialize in being a foreigner bank their cards work in some places outside of Korea (when I was in Japan I only saw stickers for KB, KEB, and Woori).

As far as I know they haven't been wrapped up in any of the banking scandals lately either. Definitely not that moronic "I'mma just download the credit card data of millions of people on this USB drive and walk away" scandal that wracked KB.


Re: Korean banking reviews, especially concerning sending money home
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2014, 02:41:24 pm »
another +1 for KEB. never had a problem with them. You can set up a remittance account and to transfer money home all you do is log onto your online banking, transfer money from your savings/cheque account to your remittance account, and it remits automatically back home.

you can also get the purple-coloured cheque card from them with a T-money chip, which can be quite convenient. and it'll work overseas, provided you designate them as your primary foreign-currency handler. they also give out 2X credit cards without too much hassle.

KEB also has a number of branches open on Sunday in Seoul (but not Saturday - i don't think any banks are open on saturday in korea) which can be handy if you need to do something at the actual bank but can't get there during the week. I think there may also be a few branches open in Busan and Daegu on Sunday.

The KEB online banking seems good. I can't compare it to any other banks as i've never used them, but i've never had many problems with the KEB online banking.


  • specter13
  • Expert Waygook

    • 791

    • November 29, 2010, 10:00:26 pm
    • Seoul South Korea
Re: Korean banking reviews, especially concerning sending money home
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2014, 02:47:00 pm »
I also use KB and after doing it once at the bank I am able to do it from the ATM now. It is usually pretty cheap to send money home. I have never had to pay 35 dollars per transfer.


Re: Korean banking reviews, especially concerning sending money home
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2014, 02:57:36 pm »
My main bank is Gwangju bank, but I use a KEB Easy One account to send money home.  The KEB account is linked directly to my US account.  I just use my banking app to transfer money into it, and it is then automatically sent to my US account.  It's very convenient and easy.  I don't remember how much they take out, but it is probably around 15,000 won.


  • nschenk512
  • Super Waygook

    • 294

    • March 04, 2013, 08:52:49 am
    • Busan, South Korea
Re: Korean banking reviews, especially concerning sending money home
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2014, 03:09:02 pm »
I have a Citi account back home, and I have a Citi account here. I transfer at a slightly higher rate of exchange (like 3-5 won more) than transferring to non-citi accounts, but it's more than made up due to the fact that I pay no transfer fees.

If you can get your parents or another member of your family to open a Citi account for you, you can take advantage of that. I don't have but my one CC from back home, but being an international bank, maybe it'll be easier to get a CC here.

Citi internet banking is less stressful for me than KEB's is for my bf (AKA him watching me deal with it because he can't stand technology not working).


  • a87
  • Super Waygook

    • 330

    • July 21, 2013, 12:31:10 am
Re: Korean banking reviews, especially concerning sending money home
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2014, 05:26:13 pm »
KEB all the way. Sending money back home has never been an issue, AND they're open on Sundays from 10am to 4pm for foreigners only. How sweet it is.
Take that apologists!


  • MJHanson
  • Expert Waygook

    • 500

    • May 02, 2011, 09:42:58 am
    • Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Re: Korean banking reviews, especially concerning sending money home
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2014, 07:17:05 pm »
Sounds like KEB is the way to go! 

Thanks for all of the replies! 

If it is true that you can do cheap transfers from a KB ATM, then I am angry at the bank for never telling me this - yet another reason to leave!


  • skyv88
  • Waygookin

    • 16

    • May 08, 2013, 01:29:29 pm
    • korea
Re: Korean banking reviews, especially concerning sending money home
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2014, 08:51:27 pm »
I have KB and i always sent money through the ATM. It only charge 5,000won per wire. My Chase bank at home charge me another 15 for international incoming. so total about 20 USD. Go to KB and set up an ATM money transfer. Once that is done, you can sent money any time you want from the ATM (evening/weekend). No need to go to the bank anymore.


Re: Korean banking reviews, especially concerning sending money home
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2014, 09:08:10 pm »
Citibank.
Free transfers.
But it takes some work to set up an acct. Here and one abroad



Re: Korean banking reviews, especially concerning sending money home
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2014, 10:12:13 pm »
KEB all the way. Sending money back home has never been an issue, AND they're open on Sundays from 10am to 4pm for foreigners only. How sweet it is.
 

Wow, did not know this. Is this only the Itaewon branch or all branches? Interesting and convenient if it is true.


Re: Korean banking reviews, especially concerning sending money home
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2014, 10:35:34 pm »
First apologies if this question has been answered elsewhere, I have tried searching through threads but can't seem to find the same scenario I need.

Question: is anyone with Shinhan bank? If so, any Brits tried to transfer money home recently? I can't seem to find the transfer fee anywhere either. Is the process hard? I don't really understand the website so I was wondering if anyone could offer tips or a simple 'how to' that would help me a lot

So confusing, thanks!


Re: Korean banking reviews, especially concerning sending money home
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2014, 10:50:34 pm »
KEB all the way. Sending money back home has never been an issue, AND they're open on Sundays from 10am to 4pm for foreigners only. How sweet it is.
 

Wow, did not know this. Is this only the Itaewon branch or all branches? Interesting and convenient if it is true.

it's only certain branches. note that some are open from 10am-4pm, but others are open 11am-5pm. i would just go sometime between 12-4pm to safely make sure the bank is open. here's a list: http://www.keb.co.kr/IBS/multi_lang/ncompany/eng/KBI1706P.jsp


Re: Korean banking reviews, especially concerning sending money home
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2014, 08:17:32 am »
Would like to jump on the KEB bandwagon. 

I have the rural NH bank in my village that can not even transfer overseas!  KEB account and KEB Easy One account that once set up I just transfer into that account on payday. 
100,000 minimum amount to transfer overseas.  I think if you put less money into this account it will just sit around until you deposit again.  15,000 transfer fee and decent exchange rate.  The money transfers FAST to home arriving at my home bank in less than 48 hours. 

Also KEB has a facebook page(Korean Exchange Bank for Expats) that does giveaways and discounts.  Last year I did a full templestay with them including transportation for free.  A nice benefit.  Each month they have some event that will only cost 10,000 for a month.  For March it is 10,000 to do 3 things at Building 63 in Seoul. 
« Last Edit: March 18, 2014, 08:23:29 am by patthebunny »


Re: Korean banking reviews, especially concerning sending money home
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2015, 07:44:57 pm »
despite my glowing review earlier in this thread, over the last couple of months i've become increasingly frustrated with KEB due to a number of issues.

i'm going to keep my KEB remittance account but i'm seriously thinking about changing my main account to another bank.

any banks in particular that people would recommend? i've heard Wooribank is pretty good but what is their English service like? that's one aspect i'm actually getting frustrated with when it comes to KEB. often i'll go into a KEB branch and there won't be anyone there who speaks English at a decent level so i have to sit on the phone with their translator.

the level of customer service i've been receiving from KEB recently has also been less than adequate.

another thing that's started to annoy me recently about KEB is their internet banking, which has been giving me a lot of hassles recently. things don't seem to be going well since the merger/buyout/whatever with Hanabank.

so any banks out there with decent internet banking?


Re: Korean banking reviews, especially concerning sending money home
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2015, 09:47:17 pm »
KEB's foreign remittance account is fast.

Gave up on their internet banking ages ago


Re: Korean banking reviews, especially concerning sending money home
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2015, 08:09:37 am »
One thing is that while citibank doesn't have fees on transfers, the only US-accounts I found had $10-15 fees per month unless you were a university student or always kept at least $1500 in the bank.


Re: Korean banking reviews, especially concerning sending money home
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2015, 08:21:37 am »
I'm with Shinhan. I really like their remittance service. It costs me 13,000 on the Korean side and $20 on the US side. I do it all online. This summer, I am taking a trip home and I am going to see if I can set up a US Shinhan account and thereby avoid the $20 on the US side of the transfer.

Online banking is in English, and there customer service hotline has a great English speaking staff. I highly recommend them. Never had a problem.


  • Kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 2196

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: Korean banking reviews, especially concerning sending money home
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2015, 08:46:22 am »
I have the rural NH bank in my village that can not even transfer overseas! 
If you set up internet banking, NH isn't that terrible: the website is in English, you can remit up to around 3,000,000 won per transfer, and the fee is 15,000 won (in addition to whatever your other bank takes), and is 24/7.
Internet banking can be a hassle to set up, though.

But if you're choosing a new bank, OP, I would also recommend KEB. It has the reputation for being the best Korean bank for foreign remittances.