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Jordan - Banking

Expats are able to open bank accounts in Jordan and there are many options available to them in terms of the banks they can choose from and the types of accounts on offer. A bank account is essential for carrying out day to day business but some expats might prefer just to continue using their existing account in their home country. This is possible but the charges that may be applied could make this an expensive option.

A current account can be opened for an individual or a joint account for a married couple and many banks will give the option of opening an account in various currencies. Accounts are available in Jordanian Dinars, American Dollars, British pounds, Euros and several other currencies. Account holders are able to have more than one account at a bank.

All banks will require a minimum deposit when opening an account. The amount required will vary from bank to bank and will also depend upon the type of account, but an average for a current account is 200 Jordanian Dinars. It is more for an account in a foreign currency, which averages around $300 (USD) or the equivalent.

Cheque books and debit cards are standard issue with current accounts. Overdraft facilities are unlikely to be granted unless you have been in the country for some time, although there may be some room for negotiation on this, depending upon your personal circumstances and your relationship with your bank manager. Current accounts do not attract interest rates and statements are only issued twice a year. Applications for a current account can be made either online if the bank has the facility, or face to face at a branch.

The documentation that is required includes a valid ID – for an expat this is usually a passport or a locally issued ID card, proof of residency and a copy of a utility bill. If you are renting a property in the country then you will also need a copy of your tenancy agreement. Most banks will require that the account holder has a minimum age of 18 and can also prove their income. This means either copies of a bank statement from your home country, proof of salary from your job in Jordan or proof of another source of income. If you do not yet have a place of residence in Jordan then you will be unable to open a bank account.

Most banks offer their customers access to online banking services, phone banking and ATMs. ATMs are located outside most banks and in shopping areas, although there is usually a daily limit on the amount of money that can be withdrawn. Using a credit card in an ATM will incur additional charges for cash advances. Care is advised when attempting to use a foreign issued card in a Jordanian ATM, as they do not usually accept them. Ensure that the ATM you wish to use is linked to your own bank in some way or clearly states that it will accept your card.

Savings accounts are another option for expats when living and working in Jordan. These will offer a higher rate of interest and savers can also choose to put their money into a fixed term savings account, which means a good interest rate in return for little or no access to the funds for a set period of time. Banks are also able to offer other financial products such as pensions and investments.

Deposits can be made to bank accounts either by cash, cheque or bank transfers. Bills can be paid by cheques, standing orders or direct debits. Monies can be deposited at any branch of the bank you have chosen and most banks will allow you to carry out different transactions at different branches.

The main banks in Jordan have branches in all the main towns and cities and there are a number of international banks which have branches in the country. International banks such as Citibank and HSBC have a presence in the country but the local banks are also very welcoming to the expat community. English is widely spoken and most banks will have several members of staff who speak the language fluently. Most banks have call centres which are open during normal working hours and several banks operate customer service centres outside of these hours, but this will vary from bank to bank.

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