Opening a DBS / POSB bank account - everything you should know

Hannes Ausmees

DBS is one of the largest banks in Singapore, with a broad range of accounts for individuals and business customers. There are over 150 branches of DBS in Singapore - so it could be a convenient option if you’re a new arrival here and need an SGD bank account.

If you’re wondering about how to go about the DBS bank account opening process this guide is for you. We’ll cover the account types available, the DBS account opening procedure and the paperwork you need to provide.

We’ll also introduce Wise and the Wise multi-currency account as a smart alternative if you need a flexible account to handle SGD and a range of other currencies.

Table of contents

What types of bank accounts DBS offers?

Let’s start by walking through the types of account DBS provides to personal customers. The good news is that there are plenty of different options depending on your preferences and requirements. Let’s dive right in.

My Account¹

The DBS My Account is a digital multi-currency account with access to 13 currencies. You can open an account alone or as a joint account - including a joint account with a child if you need one for a family member. Accounts are available to both foreigners in Singapore, as well as Singaporean citizens and PRs.

Eligibility requirements:

  • No age restriction
  • No initial deposit required
FeesFee in S$
Service ChargeS$0
Account Fee for paper statementS$2 per month

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DBS Multiplier Account²

The popular DBS Multiplier Account lets you earn increasing amounts of interest based on how much you use your account and the other services available from DBS. Deposit your salary in the account, and then use your linked card for spending, spend with PayLah! or buy insurance and investment products from DBS, to see the biggest return.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Over 18 only
  • No initial deposit required
FeesFee in S$
Service ChargeS$5 if you hold less than S$3,000 in your eligible balances

eMySavings Account³

The eMySavings Account is operated through POSB - formerly Post Office Savings Bank. POSB is owned by DBS, and so customers may be able to take accounts through either DBS or POSB depending on their specific requirements.

The eMySavings Account lets you save regularly, by adding a preset amount of money to your account directly from your eligible DBS or POSB account. Choose the amount you want to save, from 10 SGD to 3,000 SGD a month, and the day you want the payment to be credited to your savings account, and the transfer will be made automatically. You can then earn interest on your savings which is credited monthly.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Over 16 only
  • Must hold an eligible account from POSB or DBS already
FeesFee in S$
Service ChargeNo account charges

POSB SAYE Account⁴

Similar to the eMySavings Account, the SAYE account from POSB lets you save regularly from your eligible DBS or POSB account. You’ll need to have your salary deposited in your eligible linked account, and can save from 10 SGD to 3,000 SGD a month. You’ll earn interest on your savings which is credited monthly, with an additional 2% interest on savings available in the first 2 years you operate your account, as long as no withdrawals are made.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Over 16 only
  • Must hold an eligible account from POSB or DBS already, and have your salary deposited there
FeesFee in S$
Service ChargeNo account charges

POSB Payroll Account⁵

The POSB Payroll Account is aimed at Work Permit holders - Migrant Workers and Migrant Domestic Workers for example. You can have your salary deposited into this account directly, to get a DBS debit card for easy spending and withdrawals. You can also remit money from your bank account using the DBS remittance service.

Eligibility requirements:

  • For Work Permit Holders only
  • No initial deposit required
FeesFee in S$
ATM withdrawal feeS$2 if you make more than 4 withdrawals a month
In branch withdrawal feeS$2 if you withdraw under S$2,000 using an in branch service

Fixed Deposit Account⁶

Fixed deposit accounts let you lock away funds for a fixed amount of time, to earn a higher interest rate. Usually the longer you’re willing to leave your money with the bank, the higher the rate you can achieve. However, if you need to withdraw your funds before the fixed term is over you might lose the interest you’ve accrued, or be liable to penalty fees.

DBS offers fixed deposit accounts in Singapore dollars and a selection of foreign currencies, with deposit amounts from around SGD 1,000. The shortest term available is one month.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Over 12 years old
  • Deposits in Singapore dollars start from S$1,000
FeesFee in S$
PenaltiesYou may be subject to penalties or lose the interest accrued if you withdraw your funds before the fixed term ends

Opening a DBS account for businesses

DBS also offers a good range of account products for SMEs and corporate clients. You may be eligible to open your account online - and if not, you can still start your application online and conclude it by visiting a DBS branch to present your paperwork. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Head to the DBS business website
  2. Select the account you want and click the option to apply online
  3. Follow the prompts to enter your business information including UEN, and contact information for all account users
  4. Await an email to confirm your account is open - or to let you know you need to visit a branch or submit more paperwork

Learn more about opening the DBS business account here.

Opening a DBS account online

If you’re Singaporean, a Singapore PR, or hold an existing employment permit you may be eligible to open a DBS account online or in the DBS app - if not you’ll need to visit a branch to get started.

Registering online is easiest if you’re already set up with your SingPass and MyInfo, as you can retrieve your personal data from MyInfo using your SingPass, to automatically complete the required forms. Here’s how to register online⁷:

  1. Download the DBS app or head to the DBS homepage
  2. Select the account you want to apply for and confirm if you already have a DBS account, or if this is your first application
  3. Use MyInfo to retrieve your personal details and populate the online form
  4. Depending on the situation you may need to complete verification by emailing images of the required documents. The paperwork needed may vary based on your situation and account type. You’ll receive an SMS with instructions if this is required.

Documents required for opening a DBS account

The documents you need to open a DBS account will depend on whether you’re Singaporean, PR, or a foreigner. If you’re an expat in Singapore, what you need will also depend on your pass type. Let’s take a look at the paperwork needed as a foreigner working in Singapore as an example⁸:

  • Your valid passport
  • Proof of your employment - Employment Pass or IPA issued by the Ministry of Manpower
  • Proof of residential address - various documents are accepted including a utility or credit card bill, employer letter or payslip

Can I open a DBS account as a foreigner?

Foreigners who are legally in Singapore to live, work or study can apply for a DBS account. You’ll need to present all the required paperwork, which will include your passport and Employment, Dependent, Long Term Visit or Student Pass.

How to contact support

Here’s how to get in touch with DBS if you need further support⁹:

  • Drop into your local branch
  • Use the DBS chat service via the DBS app or website homepage
  • Call on the general helpline - 1800 111 1111 - or select the correct number for your specific issue from the selection on the DBS website
  • Submit feedback or a complaint via the DBS website

Up to 3x cheaper multi-currency account with Wise

Whether you need an account for yourself or your business, you could be better off with the Wise multi-currency account.

Open your Wise account online for free, with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. You’ll be able to hold 54 currencies - far more than the DBS maximum of around 12 foreign currencies - and you’ll always get the mid-market exchange rate with no markups when you need to convert from one currency to another. That means no expensive exchange rate fees when you spend online with retailers based abroad, when you send money overseas, or travel.

Wise family of products

Apply for your Wise debit card to spend and make withdrawals in 200 countries, with no foreign transaction fees or hidden costs when you’re overseas. Finally, Wise multi-currency accounts also come with local bank details for 11 currencies so you can get paid fee free from 30+ countries. Perfect if you get an income from overseas and want to make it easier to receive foreign currency payments.

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  1. DBS My Account

  2. DBS Multiplier Account

  3. eMySavings Account

  4. POSB SAYE Account

  5. POSB Payroll Account

  6. DBS Fixed Deposit Account

  7. DBS bank account opening

  8. Required documents for opening a bank account

  9. DBS contact information

Sources checked on 24.03.2022

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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