Monday, November 29, 2010

Transfer Money Abroad from a Nong Hyup Korean Bank Account

A lot of foreigners are concerned about transferring money from their Korean bank accounts to their accounts back in their home country. There are also a lot of rumors about certain banks being unable to transfer money, etc.
Upon arriving in-country, the EPIK orientation program opened accounts with Nong Hyup (logo above) for us with our passport numbers instead of our alien registration card (ARC) numbers as they had not yet been issued at orientation. Nong Hyup is not the best bank in the country, per se, as there are other banks with better English websites and cheaper transfer rates, but it is the most ubiquitous bank in South Korea.
To address two rumors:

  • Contrary to what the folks working at the Nong Hyup branch in Yecheon told me, there is an English website
  • Contrary to what most of the folks in the EPIK program would have you believe, including the people who work for EPIK, it is  possible to transfer money to a bank in one's home country from a Nong Hyop account.
I was very enthusiastic to find that not only was it possible, but it also only cost $30 to transfer online, as opposed to the $60 I paid in fees to both Nong Hyup and Wells Fargo when transferring in-person.
Assuming you already have access to Nong Hyup online to check your balance (you must visit a bank branch in order to obtain this access), here is a set of instructions on navigating the process. Big thanks to Jacky for helping through this process myself.
  1. Go to in Internet Explorer 6 or 7 on a Windows machine.
  2. Click on "Global banking" at the top right of the page, click English
    • If you have checked your balance before, you should have already installed any necessary security software
  3. Click "Log-in" at the upper left hand of the page. Find your digital certificate and enter in your password as if you were checking your balance.
  4. Click the "NH Bank" logo at the very top left of the page. You will remain logged in.
  5. Again, click "Global banking" and select English.
  6. Locate the box towards the bottom labeled "Foreign Exchange"and click the link "Information of Overseas Remittance"
  7. On the left hand side, in the navigation menu, select "Overseas Remittance Request"
  8. Remittance Type: 1: Small Remittance
    • Small remittance is anything less than $1,000. Anything transfer over $1,000 is reported to the U.S. government. To diminished snags and hassles, I recommend keeping transfers under $1,000 and doing multiple transfers over time.
  9. Maintenance Branch
    • Here, click "Search" next to the field. A new window will pop up. Enter in the town of your closest NH branch in Hangul. If you don't have a Hangul keyboard, use this. For example, I enter in "예천".
  10. Foreign Currency: select USD
  11. Amount: enter in 999.99 (or whatever amount you wish to transfer)
  12. Account Pin: NH Pin
  13. Foreign Currency Account Number : Leave the drop down and Amount field blank
  14. Beneficiary Name: Your Name
  15. Bene Account: American Account Number
  16. Bene Address: the billing address registered at your bank in the States
  17. Bene Phone: leave blank
  18. Bene Email: optional
  19. Option: Make sure the "Bank information direct input" radio button is selected
  20. Bene Country: Select USA from the drop down
  21. Bank Name and Branch: Enter in the bank name and local branch nearest your billing address
    • example:
      • Wells Fargo
      • 2200 W DIVISION ST.
      • SAINT CLOUD, MN 56301
  22. Bank Code or other info: Enter in your American bank's routing number.
  23. Under the Customer Information area, enter in your contact information while in Korea.
  24. Leave the "Additional Information" field blank.
  25. At the bottom, click confirm
You will be asked to enter in numbers corresponding to the card you received when signing up for online banking that has a bunch of random numbers on it. If you are alerted that you have not selected an NACF option, select the "gift card" radio button. I have no idea what this does but it worked for me.
I have done two transfers and both have shown up in my American account within 24 hours of processing the transfer online.

*Please note all denominations are in USD and regard transferring to an American bank account.