Opening corporate / business bank account in Japan. Part 5: Sumishin SBI Bank

Final post (for now) on opening corporate / business bank account in Japan.

In the previous post, I wrote down some tips on what to prepare and what to do and not do when applying for a bank account in Japan.

In the final post, I would like to introduce the only bank account that I could make. Sumishin SBI bank. (well, I only applied to two. First was Rakuten bank and then after I got rejected, I applied to Sumishin SBI bank. Luckily for me, Sumishin SBI bank is one of the best online banks due to low fees and the easiness of opening a bank account.

Here are the reasons for recommending Sumishin SBI bank.

1) Easiness of opening the bank account
The difficulty of applying online is that you cannot sell yourself to the bank. You are mainly judged on the paperwork only. So for a newly created company, no matter how much income is expected, you are treated equally as everyone else.
The beauty of Sumishin SBI bank is that when they are unsure about your company, rather than rejecting it (which is what happens in most other banks), they will send you an email where you can explain what your business does in detail.
So if your business contents are building web page, you get a chance to show what website you have already made and how much you got paid.
If you have published a book or done interviews, this gives you the opportunity to showcase this.
It is great to be given an opportunity to explain what you do in sentences rather than bullet points in a business contents section.
Also, they accept mobile phone number!
Maybe the only negative is you seem to be rejected automatically if you use a virtual office address.

2) Service itself:

  • One of the lowest fees you can find (if not the lowest). If you are sending money to a Sumishin SBI bank account, the fee is 50 yen. If to any other banks, it will be 160-250 yen. Megabanks charge about 750 yen.
  • If you receive 10 payments into your bank account in one month, you can send money to other banks for free ten times in a month. Also if you spend more than 100,000 yen a month using their debit card, again you can send money free ten times a month. Depending on the type of business, these criteria are relatively easy to hit. And will save you 250 yen x 20 times = 5000 yen/month.
  • Fee for using an ATM is a flat rate of 110 yen. Which is cheap. For example, Rakuten bank, the use of ATM are 220 yen.
  • You can use most of the ATM that you see in town. Such as Seven Eleven, Family Mart, Lawson, Aeon, Post office ATMs. In most cases being able to use convenient store ATM should be enough.
  • If creating a bank account is successful, you can create a VISA or Mastercard Debit card without any screening. !00% guaranteed. And it is free!!!
  • VISA debit card will give you 0.6% cashback and Mastercard debit care will give you a 0.8% cashback. Which is reasonable. In comparison, Rakuten bank, their debit card will give you 1% cashback but will charge you 1,100 yen fee per year.

Well, I hope these series were useful!

Unfortunately, most applications will still need to be done in Japanese so if you would like any help, do reach out to us!


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