All you need to know about handling rupiah in Jakarta, for those who are new to the banking system
So you’ve just made the move to Jakarta, and now you’re wondering how banking works in Indonesia. Well, it’s not uncommon for smaller businesses to be cash-only, and you don’t want to rack up card fees by using your international card from back home, so we highly recommend making this a priority on your list of things to do when moving to the Big Durian! Here are some things to think about.
Before choosing a bank, consider these things:
- Are their ATMs conveniently located throughout the city?
- Will they require a minimum deposit in the account?
- Does it offer internet/mobile banking?
Opening a personal bank account is quite easy, however, banks in Indonesia do require 1) letters of reference from employee/sponsor, and most importantly, 2) a copy of your KITAS and Passport. Indonesian banks will not let you open a bank account with a KITAS.
BCA (Bank Central Asia)
BCA is one of Indonesia’s most popular banks, noticeable by its very long queues at their ATMs and branches. The queues may be long, but BCA has branches conveniently located all over the country. They also have a very handy debit system that is taken at most restaurants and shops without extra charge.
CIMB Niaga is another big local bank. Recently, CIMB Niaga introduced cardless ATM withdrawals. All you need is your account number to text to CIMB Niaga’s mobile banking service. CIMB Niaga also offers children’s savings account, which might come in handy if you have some little ones in tow.
There are a number of foreign bank ATMs located over the city, most often found in shopping malls. Keep in mind that if you are planning on traveling to more rural areas you will probably have trouble locating any of these ATMs.
There are very few HSBC branches in Indonesia, however, if you have an HSBC account in another country, you will easily be able to link all your accounts online. You can usually find HSBC ATMs in the more upscale shopping malls, and visit their website for their head office.
You can also find Citibank ATM branches in the bigger shopping malls and major cities.
ATMs usually only dispense Indonesian Rupiah, and you can have the option of either Rp 50,000 or Rp 100,000 notes.
You can also use the ATM to pay your bills, transfer money to other accounts, and buy cellphone credit.
A few local banks partake in the ATM Bersama debit program. If your ATM card has an ATM Bersama logo on it, you can use that card to take money out of any corresponding ATM Bersama machine free of charge.
There are many moneychangers located conveniently around the city. You can even find moneychangers in the malls. One thing to note is that Indonesian moneychangers do not take any dollars dated pre-1999. And take care of your notes – moneychangers in Indonesia do not like taking foreign currency that are folded or creased in any way.
The Indonesian Rupiah comes in a variety of notes and coins:
- Notes: Rp 100,000; Rp 50,000; Rp 20,000; Rp 10,000; Rp 5,000; Rp 2,000; Rp 1,000
- Coins: Rp 500; Rp 1,000
This article is sponsored by Crown Relocations.