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Everything You Need to Know About Ulsan

Sending Money Home

Sending money home is wrought with difficulties, and myths.

The most common myth told by banks is that you can only send your money through one bank, if you’ve used it, it’s the only one you can use. This is a lie. You can use any company you want, even if you don’t have an account with them.

The second is that you need your passport and contract. This is all garbage. Some banks won’t transfer money without them. Do what I do, walk out the door. Your alien card is your id here, once you have your card, you are not legally required to carry your passport. In fact, they are breaking the law by not accepting your legal ID.

What I’ve discovered is the KEB, or the Korean Exchange Bank. Branches are found in Samsan across from Lotte, in Sinjeong across from Cityhall (currently under renovation) in Guyoungli under the Wabar, in Banjeojin on top of the Hyundai Department store, and at other locations around the city.

The KEB is the best bank to send money home with. Trust me, I’ve used almost every bank in the country to send money at one time or another. KEB is the most professional, and the most consistent. Recently, they’ve also discovered a new market in the country…Foreigners.

KEB has two programs currently for us. One is the EasyOne bankbook. You don’t need an account with them to set this up, all you need is your home banking info, and your alien card. This booklet streamlines the process, and there are no wire transfer charges from Korea. This will save you about 18000 won EVERYTIME you transfer money. If you are like me and send money every month, this will save you about $220 over the year (which you could donate to Ulsan Online). The best part about this program is that you can send your money, without ID or hassle, through ANY post office in the country.

Yup, all you need is the book and cash and it takes you 20 seconds. They don’t ask you any questions, you just hand the booklet and money to the teller in the post office, and they hand you the book back. Done. Money transfered. No line ups, no hassles, no problems, no Konglish. Or you can just use a bank machine (I believe it’s only free through KEB or the Post office’s banks), but you can send money from anywhere!

The other service they have is bank accounts IN ENGLISH. Yup, statements, and theoretical bank tellers, all entirely in English. Though I doubt that Ulsan will have many bilingual tellers, wouldn’t you like an English bank book?

If you are looking to reduce frustration in Korea…check out the KEB.

IF you are looking to increase frustration, check out the Shinhan in Mugeodong, especially the guy who works in the FX department. He’s a lovely one.