Copyright © 2013 - 2018 Tai Pan Management Services Ltd., Company Service Provider Licence No. TC004077 , Registered in Hong Kong. No 1942748.



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Residency, structuring and other jurisdictions


Previously, companies incorporated in Hong Kong were able to open accounts at a number major banks in Hong Kong. However, for the last couple of years, opening a conventional bank account in Hong Kong has become almost impossible due to stricter banking regulation.

Now, generally, only local and known customers can open conventional Hong Kong bank accounts. Over time these rules (and their effects) may be relaxed, but for now, generally, foreign owned and/or managed companies cannot open accounts with any mainstream bank in Hong Kong.

This leaves those establishing a Hong Kong company with two alternatives:


1. A conventional bank account outside Hong Kong.

2. An E-Wallet account either international or Hong Kong based.


Are you looking for an alternative to conventional banking? Conventional banking is an analogue clock. It’s time to upgrade to the digital smartwatch that is capable of a lot more at far faster speeds. Welcome to the world of E-Wallets.

You might be wary of using new technology, particularly where storing money is concerned. It might surprise you to learn that E-Wallets are remarkably similar to systems that you have probably already used like Paypal.

However, E-Wallets are more comprehensive than Paypal for the typical business. They provide a range of useful benefits including, variously, pre-paid cards, a dedicated real bank account, and in some cases payment processing. You’ll be able to handle and transfer money easily while getting the peace of mind that the E-Waller is properly licensed.


Using an E-wallet, you will be provided with an online account. This can usually be accessed through a mobile app or computer which includes a 'dashboard' to utilise various different services e.g. receive and pay funds, convert to a different currency, top up your pre-paid card.

E-Wallet accounts also allow you to make or receive payments to account holders, without paying a fee.

Unlike Paypal, using a service like this, you will receive a debit card. You can add or withdraw money from this card in dollars, Euros, pounds, HK dollars etc. These cards can be used to make direct purchases online or physically, or to withdraw money from a cash machine (ATM) just like any other bank card.

Some (but not all) E-Wallets offer merchant services; i.e. the ability to take payments from customers. A particular feature is 'Pay by Link' where an invoice can be sent to a customer/client with a payment link. The customer can settle the invoice by clicking on the link and paying by credit card. Conventional online shopping carts are also offered by some providers.



Opening a conventional bank account is time consuming and by no means certain - particularly in Hong Kong. By contrast an E-wallet offers speed of opening and convenience. If you are tired of waiting for hours to see a bank manager to open a new account, an E-Wallet is usually no more than a few clicks away. You will have full access in no more than a week for corporate accounts. Personal accounts can typically be set up instantly.



Almost all E-Wallets now are regulated, although the quality of regulation varies by country, it should be understood that E-Wallets do not come with Government protection in the event of failure or insolvency. Banks by contrast in many countries are covered by state guarantees in the event of insolvency e.g. in the EU a guarantee of a €100,000 is offered to all bank customers.

We would not recommend using E-Wallet to hold your pension pot or for large cash balances, but for day-to-day business (and private) expenditure they are fine.


However useful an e-Wallet account is, there may be situations where a conventional bank account is required. Hong Kong banks are now extremely difficult to open accounts with. You would need to visit the bank, possibly more than once, show your connection to Hong Kong and have no guarantee of success.

Hong Kong companies can of course open accounts outside Hong Kong. We work with banks in Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius and Cyprus. Our web page at International Formations website gives full pricing information.

Singapore probably remains the ideal location to maintain a bank account for a Hong Kong company. As with Hong Kong, requirements have become tighter in recent years and the bank we work with, OCBC, require a detailed reason as to why they (Singapore) should offer banking facilities. At a minimum OCBC will require a local presence (a virtual office which we can offer) together with an explanation as to the company’s intended connection with Singapore e.g. that new business is being sought in the country.

Malaysia Our relationship with OCBC (a Singapore bank) enables us to offer banking facilities in Malaysia. The advantage over OCBC Singapore is that the opening deposit  is much lower - RM 50,000 and there is no minimal balance requirement to be maintained. The bank also offers multi currency accounts and full on line banking.

Mauritius is one of the few offshore centres still offering banking facilities. We offer 3 banks in Mauritius - Afrasia, ABC and Bank One. In all three cases bank maintenance charges are minimal although the cost of transfers is a little higher than average. Both banks offer efficient Internet banking and in the case of Afrasia debit cards are available in US$ and Euros.

Europe, through the European Central bank is trying to make it very hard for European banks to offer banking facilities to non-European companies. There are also measures to prevent ‘Shell’ or ‘Brass-plate’ companies from obtaining banking facilities within the E.U. These measures are primarily aimed at the typical zero tax IBC jurisdictions e.g. BIV, Panama, Belize etc. In order to open bank account it has to be shown that the company has real substance e.g. office, telephone number and/or employees. We can offer workable solution for this. We can offer banks in Cyprus and Switzerland.  

How can we help with banking facilities?

We can assist with both conventional bank account and also E-Wallets, including one which is Hong Kong based.

Please contact us for a quote.