Bank accounts have become a necessity in the lives of individuals everywhere in the world. Not only do they allow us to manage our day-to-day financial affairs with simplicity and ease, but also come with a range of benefits that make them absolutely indispensable.
So, if you are opening your first current account, or planning to replace your present bank account with a new one, you don’t have to settle with the first option you come across. It is a good idea to compare products and services across multiple banks to choose the one that meets all your requirements.
Advantages of opening a bank account
We list some of the top benefits of opening a bank account.
- Keeping your cash safe: Keeping your money in a bank account greatly reduces the possibility of losing your money to theft or accidental loss.
- Saving time and effort: Using the electronic services provided by the bank through its various electronic channels and portals can help you pay for the majority of your utility bills, service fees and allows for quick and secure transfer of funds.
- Managing your money in a better way: You can follow up on your monthly expenses through your monthly bank statement and keep track of where your money is spent.
- Facilitating financial transactions: A bank account makes it possible to pay for services or receive funds by bank transfers or by cheque.
- Receipt of salary: Some companies pay their employees’ salaries through bank transfers, and therefore having a bank account is a primary requirement.
- Discounts and offers: Customers can benefit from the bank’s rewards programs, which allow customers to save money through discounts and other free services.
Conditions for opening a bank account
If you are a Saudi citizen, you will need a copy of your personal ID card, national ID card or family book (for minors) or your Saudi passport, in order to apply for a bank account.
For expatriates, proof of identity is required as well as a copy of the expatriate’s passport. However, if the expatriate holds a magnetic resident’s card, then there is no need for a copy of the passport.
General documents required for opening a bank account
You will have to provide the following documents at the time of application.
- An officially issued card bearing the signature of the customer to be used in his/her transactions with the bank.
- Fingerprint if the customer is illiterate and his/her personal seal.
- The issuance of a cheque book and an ATM card if requested by the client
- Customer’s affirmation that there are no legal restrictions or prohibitions preventing the bank from dealing with him/her, and a confirmation that all the information provided by the customer to the bank is correct.
- Customer’s acknowledgment of his responsibility towards the funds deposited in his/her account or deposited in the accounts of other customers.
Types of bank accounts
The names and types of bank accounts vary from one bank to another, and the benefits associated with one bank account may not be the same as those available elsewhere.
Here’s a look at the basic bank account types.
- Current account: This account makes it is possible to carry out traditional banking transactions such as depositing or withdrawing cash, issuing cheques, paying and collecting cheques, as well as paying recurring expenses via telephone or internet banking such as utility bills. You can also open a joint account with someone else.
- Saving or Deposit account: This account variant allows you to save money over a period of time with a margin of profit on the balance deposited in the account and there are no restrictions on the number of withdrawals from that account balance.
- Time Deposit Account: This account allows you to save money for a period of time with a higher profit margin than a savings account, where it is linked to a certain fixed deposit amount and a certain period of time.
- Special account for ladies: Some banks in the Kingdom provide exclusive and tailored banking services for women in the form of bank accounts designated for ladies.
- Special account for children: Parents can open these bank accounts, which offer a good way to teach children about banking and saving money.
Opening a bank account is free of charge
According to Saudi Central Bank’s (SAMA) new bank regulations, no fees are charged to customers when opening a bank account. This service is provided free of charge. There is also no fee charged should the balance fall below the required amount.
Did you know?
- According to the directives of SAMA, accurate information about the customer must be made available and that data must be updated.
- The Bank shall deduct the agreed fees only, in addition to the amount of the commissions and fees as shown in the bank’s tariff schedule issued by SAMA. No commissions or new fees can be imposed without obtaining prior approval of SAMA.
- The Bank shall accept and execute all applications for opening new accounts, if the client has completed all the related forms and procedures and fulfilled all requirements necessary to open an account, except if directed otherwise by SAMA.
- The Bank is permitted to close your account if no funds are deposited in the account for 90 days.
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