Personal Panama bank account for foreigners

When it comes to relocating to Panama, expats often find themselves navigating a host of new experiences. One crucial aspect of settling into this beautiful Central American country is establishing a panama bank account. In …

When it comes to relocating to Panama, expats often find themselves navigating a host of new experiences. One crucial aspect of settling into this beautiful Central American country is establishing a panama bank account. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process and provide valuable banking tips tailored specifically to expatriates in Panama.

Panama is not a tax haven, real reason to put your money in Panama Bank

One of the key advantages of Panama is its low tax rates, making it an attractive destination for individuals seeking to optimize their financial situation with a Panama bank account. Panama City, Panama, is home to various banks that offer a range of financial services. Understanding the options available among banks in Panama, can help you make an informed decision regarding your Panama bank account.

Additionally, Panama offers various legal structures and figures that can be employed to protect your investments held within a Panamanian bank account. Familiarizing yourself with the legal aspects and regulations related to panamanian banks can be instrumental in securing your assets while enjoying all that Panama has to offer.

Choosing the Right Panama Bank 

The first step in setting up your bank account in Panama is selecting the right financial institution. Panama boasts a variety of banks, each with its own set of services and advantages. To make an informed decision, consider factors such as:

1. Accessibility

Choose a Panama Bank with a convenient location, preferably one with branches in your chosen city or region of Panama. Easy access to your Panama Bank will simplify your financial transactions.

2. Language Support

Opt for a Panama bank that offers services in English, especially if your Spanish skills are limited. Clear communication is crucial for smooth banking operations.

3. Account Types

Explore the types of accounts available at a Panama bank and identify one that suits your financial needs. Some Panama banks offer specific accounts tailored to expatriates. Common types of accounts include:

  • Savings accounts
  • Checking accounts
  • Certificate of Deposit (CD) accounts
  • Foreign currency accounts
  • Investment accounts

Each of these accounts has its own benefits and features, so it’s essential to choose the one that aligns best with your financial goals and requirements.

Make sure you don’t miss any required document to open your account at Panama Bank.

Once you’ve chosen a bank, you’ll need to gather the necessary documentation to open your account. Be prepared to provide:

1. Passport

A valid passport with at least six months of remaining validity is a must.

2. Proof of Address

Most banks will require a utility bill or rental agreement as proof of your local address in Panama.

3. Financial References

Some banks may request financial references or bank statements from your home country to establish your financial history, along with a Panama tax return statement and a payroll (ficha de salario) to ensure compliance with local financial regulations when opening an account with a Panama Bank.

4. Second Identification and Personal References:

When considering opening an account with a Panama Bank, it’s important to note that banks may require a second form of identification (Migration card or driver’s license.) as part of their account application process. This can typically include providing either your migration card or driver’s license. Additionally, some banks may also request personal references to establish trust and verify your identity. 

These steps are in line with the bank’s due diligence procedures to ensure the security of financial transactions and adherence to local regulations. So, when preparing to open an account at a Panama Bank, be sure to have your migration card or driver’s license ready, and be prepared to provide personal references if required.

In-Person Visit

Panamanian banks typically prefer applicants to open accounts in person at a Panama Bank. This provides an opportunity for face-to-face communication, which can streamline the process and ensure all your questions are answered. 

However, it’s important to note that not all banks in Panama City have staff members who are proficient in conducting the entire process in English. If your Spanish skills are limited, it’s advisable to seek an advisor who can assist you with your application at a Panama Bank and facilitate the process. 

Experience the Ultimate in Safety and Convenience for Your Banking Needs: Visit Our Esteemed Banking Centre on the 3rd Floor of Multiplaza for Personal Account Opening in Panama.

While opening an account in person at a Panama Bank offers the advantage of personal interaction, the drawback is that language barriers can exist, and having a knowledgeable advisor can greatly simplify the procedure, ensuring a smoother experience.

Panama Bank Account Opening Services have never been easier. 

Expats in Panama often seek the least complicated avenues to address their migration and account opening needs. Our law firm provides a premium service that handles all the necessary procedures, ensuring that in just a few days, your bank accounts are fully set up, whether for personal or corporate use. You can view our clients’ testimonials here to gain insight into our seamless Panama Bank Account Opening Services.

Initial Deposit

Be prepared to make an initial deposit when opening your Panama Bank account. The minimum deposit requirements can vary between banks, so check with your chosen institution for specific details. Typically, the minimum amount to open a Panama Bank account is around $50. It is advisable to verify this information with the specific bank where you intend to conduct the transaction.

The Dollar is the king in the banks in Panama: your dollar account was never safer. 

Panama stands out in Central America for its dollarized economy and unique financial structure. Unlike many of its neighboring countries, Panama vs Costa Rica doesn’t have a central bank to issue its currency. Instead, it exclusively uses the US dollar as its official currency. The US dollar and the Panamanian balboa are used interchangeably, with a one-to-one value ratio. 

Online Banking

In the digital age, online banking is a valuable convenience. Ensure your chosen bank offers robust online banking services to manage your finances remotely.

Account AccessCheck if the bank provides easy and secure access to your accounts through online platforms.
Mobile AppDetermine if the bank offers a user-friendly mobile app for banking on the go.
Website InterfaceAssess the ease of navigation and functionality of the bank’s online banking website.
Security MeasuresLook for multi-factor authentication, encryption, and security protocols for online banking.
Bill PaymentsEnsure you can pay bills, transfer funds, and manage payments conveniently online.
Account AlertsCheck if the bank offers customisable account alerts for transactions and balances.
Mobile DepositsDetermine if you can deposit checks through your mobile device using the bank’s app.
Customer SupportEvaluate the availability and responsiveness of customer support for online banking issues.
Online StatementsSee if you can access and download digital account statements for record-keeping.
Transaction HistoryReview your transaction history and search for specific transactions easily online.
Transfer OptionsAssess the ease and cost of transferring funds between accounts or to external banks.
Investment ServicesCheck if the bank offers online access to investment accounts and services.
Additional FeaturesLook for extra features like budgeting tools, financial planning, or peer-to-peer payments.
Before choosing a Panama Bank, it’s essential to thoroughly research and compare these aspects of online banking to ensure it aligns with your financial needs and preferences in the digital age.


Setting up a bank account in Panama as an expat is a straightforward process when you’re well-prepared. Choose a bank that aligns with your needs, gather the necessary documentation, and be ready for a friendly in-person visit to the bank. By following these banking tips, you’ll secure your financial foundation in Panama and fully embrace the expat experience.

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