Thai Bank Deposits for US Citizens

Thai bak deposits for US citizens can seem a little tricky at first, but there’s a relatively easy way to handle them. If you’re a US bank account holder you can save international transfer fees via the US Automated Clearing House system (USACH) and Bangkok Bank’s New York branch. By stipulating the 9-digit routing number for Bangkok Bank’s New York branch (026008691) in your US transfer instruction, the funds will be transferred via the US ACH system directly to your Bangkok Bank account in Thailand. Your benefits for this extra hassle?

Even if you don’t have a U.S. bank account you can still get Direct Deposit in Thailand. Bangkok Bank – which I use and recommend – will accept U.S. government Direct Deposit. Here’s how to get it:

Social Security requires that you do not have an ATM card on the account they pay into, so you will need a second account with an local ATM card that you can transfer funds to from the account your benefits are paid into. The second account is for your normal daily use.

The 1st account, the one that SS pays into shows your incoming deposits as ‘Foreign fund transfers’. You will need that to prove to The Thai Bureau of Immigration that your funds are coming from outside of Thailand when you renew your annual retirement extension. It can take several months for Direct Deposit to kick in. Then, to access each deposit, just update the account at any Bangkok Bank branch office. You can then transfer the funds into your regular working account.

4 Responses

  1. I read somewhere on Thai Visa that Bangkok bank: “To add, if your transfer method INTO Thailand from the U.S. is (as I suspect) via domestic ACH transfer to Bangkok Bank New York, that will be ending effective April 2019 as well. If so, How and what changes will need to be made?

    1. You are correct, but nobody knows how things will work yet. Here’s what we do know:

      The current BKKB system for domestic ACH transfers from the U.S. to Thailand via their NY branch is ENDING as of April 1, 2019. The online U.S. ACH domestic transfers you have been doing all along to BKKB NY will no longer function after that point.

      –The end of the current domestic ACH transfers system for the NY branch, according to BKKB, will have NO IMPACT on the current Social Security and any other federal government direct deposit arrangements already existing thru BKKB.

      –BKKB in their updated webpage is advising its U.S. customers that after April 1, 2019, they should use a different system with their U.S. banks’ online banking called IAT (International ACH Transfers). However, the apparent problem with that is, no one seems to know of any U.S. banks that currently provide consumers online access to IAT or any U.S. banks/CUs that have announced plans to support it for consumers.

      The current BKKB system for domestic ACH transfers from the U.S. to Thailand via their NY branch is ENDING as of April 1, 2019. The online U.S. ACH domestic transfers you have been doing all along to BKKB NY will no longer function after that point.

      –The end of the current domestic ACH transfers system for the NY branch, according to BKKB, will have NO IMPACT on the current Social Security and any other federal government direct deposit arrangements already existing thru BKKB.

      –BKKB in their updated webpage is advising its U.S. customers that after April 1, 2019, they should use a different system with their U.S. banks’ online banking called IAT (International ACH Transfers). However, the apparent problem with that is, no one seems to know of any U.S. banks that currently provide consumers online access to IAT or any U.S. banks/CUs that have announced plans to support it for consumers.

      For transfers of up to around $3K or less Transferwise puts more baht into your Thai bank account when both “exchange rate and fees” are considered. For amounts above approx $3K you will be a little better off using an Int’l Wire/SWIFT. And you can transfer to “any” Thai bank; not just Bangkok Bank which you are limited to if using the Bangkok Bank ACH method which for all practical purposes will end 1 Apr 19 since IAT is not offered by U.S. retail bank accounts…only Domestic ACH and Domestics/Int’l Wire (a.k.a., SWIFT) is offered. IAT transfers is primarily a corperate accounts thing used for international payment of goods/services, payroll, etc.

      Schwab would normally give you $1000 U.S. per day. But you might well raise some eyebrows there if you were to do 10 consecutive Thai ATM withdrawals and incur 2200 baht in ATM fee refunds in a matter of days. Schwab has modest fees for their wire transfers, including international ones. And even better rates if you happen to have a large balance with them.

      Specifically, $25 fee for either domestic or intl wire transfers. And, if you have a $100,000+ account balance with them, you get three free wires per quarter, domestic or intl.

  2. I opened Bangkok Bank account specifically for ach transfers from my US bank account. The trial deposits from Wells Fargo, PayPal and TransferWise never hit my Bangkok Bank account. I called customer support in the NY branch, and they said they were rejected because none of them used the IAT format.

    1. Yes, the US is in the process of switching to IAT. The good news is that IAT will make it easy to get Social Security directly deposited to your Thai account

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