Managing your Hong Kong business with Payoneer local receiving accounts
As one of East Asia’s main business hubs, Hong Kong has long been a focal point for cross-border B2B payments. Unfortunately, doing business in Hong Kong without a local bank account can be challenging, with tedious paperwork, high currency conversion fees, difficulty tracking payments, and long clearance times only some of the problems you might encounter.
While processing cross-border payments from Hong Kong is much easier with an HKD bank account, opening one isn’t always easy. Here, we’ll go over how to open a business bank account in Hong Kong as well as an alternative option offered by Payoneer, which can greatly simplify doing business with local contractors, suppliers, and business partners.
Opening a business bank account in Hong Kong
While non-citizens and residents can theoretically open a business bank account in Hong Kong, even without registering their business locally, banks rarely approve such requests. Both local banks, like OCBC Wing Hang, DBS Bank Hong Kong, and the Bank of China (Hong Kong), and international banks, like HSBC, Citibank, and KBC Bank, all expect you to register your business in Hong Kong first.
The Hong Kong financial system places a lot of emphasis on due diligence, so banks require a long list of supporting documents and can take a long time to investigate you and your business. It takes at least 2-4 weeks, and often several months, to get a response to your application. Most banks require all the signatories of the account to visit in person to verify their identity, even if they allow you to begin your application online. In some cases, banks will meet online via Skype or Zoom, but only on a case-by-case basis.
Here are some of the documents you can expect to have to bring to open a HKD business bank account. Some might need to be certified by a lawyer or local notary:
● Proof of identity for all the business’ directors and beneficiaries
● Proof of residential address for all the directors and beneficiaries
● A business plan
● Evidence of trading history in Hong Kong and/or East Asia
● A resolution by the board of directors giving approval to open the account
● Certificates of incorporation and registration of the company. For a Hong Kong-based company, this includes the certificate of incorporation, a valid business registration certificate, and the articles of association. Offshore companies need to show a certificate of incumbency and certificate of good standing.
● A chart showing the structure of the company and all its ultimate beneficiaries
● Specimen signatures for each signatory
Note that different banks often have different requirements for opening a business bank account. Before getting started, make sure the bank accepts applications from non-citizens and exactly which documents it requires.
Even with these documents, your application might still be rejected. Hong Kong banks usually don’t work with businesses they consider high risk, including those that interact with anyone on a sanctions list. If the bank thinks you don’t have enough business history with entities in Hong Kong or East Asia, your application will likely be denied.
Opening a local HKD business bank account can also be very expensive. You’ll usually need to make an initial deposit ranging from HKD10,000 to HKD200,000, not including a possible application fee of HKD400-HKD10,000. You can also expect to have to keep a minimum monthly balance in the account, and/or pay a monthly maintenance fee.
Some banks offer online-only HKD business banking, in which the application process is done online, some fees are waived or delayed, and you usually get a faster response. However, fees and deposit requirements are often still high, and you’ll still need to go through the same complex application process.
Simplified banking in Hong Kong with Payoneer local receiving accounts
The Payoneer HKD receiving account acts just like a local Hong Kong bank account, allowing you to receive payments in HKD from Hong Kong-based customers and clients, manage currencies, and pay contractors, suppliers, or remote employees in Hong Kong. Anyone you work with who has a Hong Kong bank account can use the same domestic bank transfer network to make a convenient local bank transfer to your Payoneer HKD receiving account.
It’s easy to set up your HKD business account with Payoneer. Just register with Payoneer and choose which local receiving accounts you need — HKD, SGD, GBP, EUR, CAD, or USD. You’ll soon be able to view your account details and share them with clients on your invoices, through email, or over WhatsApp.
You can withdraw funds in over 150 different countries and currencies for a low, transparent fee, or you can hold them in your Payoneer account in HKD and use the funds to pay local taxes or global contractors either to their Hong Kong bank accounts or to their Payoneer account.
Once you have your local HKD business account, you’ll be able to enjoy faster cross-border payments that don’t require piles of administration and paperwork every time. Your transactions will be more transparent and easier to track, so there’s less risk of fraud or of payments getting lost on the way.
Additionally, you’ll be able to lower your business expenses and improve cash flow, because funds will clear more quickly, and you won’t have to pay expensive currency conversion fees. Many freelancing and ecommerce platforms like Upwork, Toptal, Amazon, and eBay, pay out faster when you can link a local currency account, and you won’t leak money in the currency exchange rates.
Your local business bank account also helps you forge business connections. People usually prefer to work with entities that have a local account, because they trust familiar local payment systems and are nervous about the risk of fraud or data breaches from international money transfers.
Finally, several automated bookkeeping and accountancy tools are more effective when you can connect them to a local currency account. That way, they can automatically deduct taxes and pay other local fees.
To learn more about Payoneer local receiving accounts and how they can be used to boost your cross-border business, click below: