Opening a non-resident account in the Bank of Georgia
Bank of Georgia is the second largest bank in Georgia. It was established in Tbilisi as far back as 1903. Today this financial institution holds 34.4% of the total assets the Georgian banking system has. Besides, it holds 32.4% of the overall loan portfolio and 33.9% of all deposits. The Bank of Georgia is a universal bank as it provides a full spectrum of services both to private individuals and to legal entities, including non-residents who can open a personal or a corporate account here as well as use other retail and corporate services including investment management.
Client, investor, and workforce support is the bank’s central mission. It aims at helping the society build a better future by relying on its business experience, commitment, and innovations.
Introducing the Bank of Georgia
This financial institution has the lion’s share of the Georgian banking market. On January 1, 2018, the Bank of Georgia had 2.3 million customer accounts. The bank also has one of the largest networks of branches (281 banking units), 850 ATM’s and 2 842 teller units located all across the country and abroad.
Several times the Bank of Georgia has been awarded prestigious international prizes. For instance, in 2014 Global Finance named it the best social networks bank and the safest bank in Georgia. In the same year, International Finance Magazine awarded the Bank of Georgia the best private bank of the country prize.
99.52% of the bank’s assets belong to BGEO Group, a company registered in Great Britain. The following are the Bank of Georgia departments:
- representative offices in Great Britain, Hungary, and Turkey;
- the Georgian finance and investment company;
- a university;
- the Georgian leasing company;
- ‘Prime-leasing’ company;
- the Belorussian People’s Bank and leasing company;
- the ‘Tree of Life’ fund;
- the ‘Creditinfo’ company.
The Bank of Georgia was the first in Georgia and the second in UIS countries to put its shares on London stock exchange.
Types of Accounts in the Bank of Georgia
Non-residents can open the following types of accounts in the Bank of Georgia:
The first two of those can be used for both keeping money and making payments. A deposit account is meant for money accumulation.
As a special note, it must be said that in accordance with the Georgian legislation all personal accounts are insured for up to 5000 lari (around US$ 2000).
Bank of Georgia Universal Account
From the functional point of view, a universal account is similar to a bankcard. It can be used to make deposits to, to transfer money, to withdraw cash, and to convert currencies. The client is issued a plastic card that provides access to the money on her universal account.
A universal account is a multi-currency account. It allows making payments in 4 currencies: lari, US dollars, Euros, and British pounds.
It is free to open a universal account but the client has to pay for the plastic card and in addition to that 1 lari per month for the service.
With a universal account the client receives access to:
- Internet and mobile banking;
- telephone banking;
- automatic payments;
- regular payments.
Standard personal account in the Bank of Georgia
This type of account opens access to all standard banking services: receiving and making payments, exchanging currencies, and withdrawing cash. This account is also multi-currency.
It costs 10 lari to open a standard account, and in addition, the client pays 1.5 lari a month for the service.
Unlike with the universal account, a standard account allows performing banking operations only at the branch office where it was opened. Apart from that, the client is not issued a plastic card when opening an account of this type.
Opening personal accounts with the use of banking packages from the Bank of Georgia
Clients can use banking packages offered by the Bank of Georgia in order to save on the commissions. This offer allows using several banking services while paying only the cost of the package.
The banking package costs 1.5 lari per month, and for this moderate sum the client receives the following:
- multi-currency universal personal account;
- plastic card;
- Internet, mobile, telephone, and SMS banking;
- access to direct debiting;
- automatic regular payments.
Types of deposits in the Bank of Georgia
Non-residents are invited to use multiple deposit programs that the Bank of Georgia offers. One can open the following types of deposit account here:
- Fixed-term deposit. Its advantages are as follows: a high interest rate, the possibility to convert the money into any currency at any time, beneficial terms for a loan against pledge of deposit. One can open a fixed-term deposit for the period between 3 and 24 months. The minimum deposit is 500 lari or the equivalent in other currencies. The interest is paid depending on the deposit type: monthly, at the end of the term, or at the beginning of the term. If the client opens a deposit account by use of Internet or mobile banking, she receives an additional 0.2% to the basic interest rate. The nominal interest rate on a lari deposit is between 6.55% and 10.2% a year;
- Accumulation deposit. This type of deposit will help accumulate the needed sum of money when a major purchase is planned. The advantages of this type of account are as follows: the possibility to add money to the account, the possibility to convert the money into any currency, and beneficial loan terms. The minimum deposit is 10 lari, the time period is between 3 and 24 months, and the interest is paid monthly or at the end of the term. The interest rate on a lari deposit is between 7.15% and 10.2% a year;
- Child’s deposit. This account serves to accumulate money for a child until they come of age. The time period for this deposit is between 2 and 18 years, the minimum deposit is 10 lari, and the interest rate is 10.2% a year if the deposit is made in the Georgian national currency;
- Demand deposit account. The main feature of this type of account is the possibility to use the money freely. The client can both withdraw money and make an additional deposit at any moment in time. The minimum deposit is 500 lari or the equivalent in other currencies, and the account remains functional without any time limitations. It costs 10 lari to open this type of account. The client also pays a commission of 0.6% (0.5 lari minimum) when withdrawing cash. It is possible to avoid the cashing commission by withdrawing money at the branch office where the account was opened. One can only put lari or US dollars on a demand deposit account. The interest rate is, correspondingly, 7% and 1.25% a year;
- Electronic money box. This is a free service that helps accumulate money. It works in the following way: the client indicates a sum between 0.25 and 10 lari (or the equivalent in other currency) and this sum is transferred to a savings or any other type of account every time the client uses her pay card (makes a payment, withdraws cash, etc.).
The client can also obtain a deposit certificate. To do that she has to deposit minimum 5000 lari or the equivalent in other currency.
It is possible to open all types of deposit accounts (apart from the demand deposit account) in either lari, or in US dollars, or in Euros, or in pounds.
Bank of Georgia pay cards
The bank encourages its clients to use pay cards that will allow permanent access to the money in their accounts. The Bank of Georgia issues a large variety of cards, not only Visa and MasterCard but American Express as well. Moreover, this bank is American Express exclusive issuer in Georgia.
Clients can be issued the following pay cards at the Bank of Georgia:
- debit cards — classic and premium class cards of all payment systems, including cards for children over 6 (sCOOL Card), and those with an unique individual design (Lovecard);
- credit cards – only American Express: Standard, Gold and Blue;
- corporate cards – Visa/MasterCard Business, American Express Business and Gold Business.
In order to obtain a plastic card the client has to file an application in a bank branch office. She also has to indicate the account number that she wants to have access to by means of the pay card.
Bank of Georgia personal account management methods
The client can have permanent access to her personal account in the bank of Georgia by use of the following banking methods:
The client can have access to her accounts via an Internet page on the Banks’ website. The client can use Internet banking to do the following:
- obtain exhausting information about her accounts, credit cards, and loans;
- obtain account statements for any period of time;
- pay the bills including the mobile phone bill;
- pay a credit installment;
- create deposit accounts and make deposits to them;
- activate regular and automatic payments;
- block pay cards;
- convert currencies.
To receive access to Internet banking the client has to visit a branch office in order to obtain a DigiPass (from a password generation device) and then make a call to the call-center.
The client can use mobile banking only after she installs a special application on her smartphone or iPhone. This application gives access to all the accounts and allows performing all kinds of operations: checking the balance, paying the phone bill, making payments, transferring money, and so on.
This is another popular method of finance management with the Bank of Georgia. By calling a designated phone number, the clients can do the following:
- convert currencies;
- make a transfer to any country in the world;
- make a deposit to an account;
- activate, deactivate, or alter automatic payments;
- check the balance and obtain information about account money flows.
In order to be able to use this service the client has to have a pay card as well as a CIC code that is provided at the moment of card issue.
SMS banking provides an opportunity to manage one’s finances with the help of a mobile phone. With this method the client can do the following:
- block and unblock plastic cards;
- check the balance;
- obtain information about payments and accrued interest;
- pay the phone bill;
- make money transfers.
Depending on what service the client desires, she has to send a code message to the short number 4444. The list of code messages is available on the bank website.
One can register for the SMS banking service at any Bank of Georgia branch office or via the website.
The Bank of Georgia gives its clients an opportunity to manage their finances by use of their e-mail addresses. With this method the client can do the following:
- make transfers between her accounts;
- make payments both within the country and outside;
- make payments on loans;
- manage automatic and regular payments;
- make deposits to accounts;
- convert currencies;
- obtain account statements;
- order pay cards.
The client who holds a debit or a credit card can activate the e-mail banking service. It can be done only on a personal visit to a Bank of Georgia branch office.
How to open a personal account in the Bank of Georgia
A non-resident can open a personal account in the Bank of Georgia not only on a visit to a branch office but also remotely. To use this opportunity the client has to provide a foreign passport and fill out an application form. This form has to contain the necessary personal information as well as information about active bank accounts, intended financial operations, approximate yearly account turnover, and private property.
Personal accounts in Georgia have the international IBAN format and contain 22 digits.
By opening a personal account in the Bank of Georgia, the clients will receive access to quality attendance and a large variety of bank services that they can use anywhere anytime. With this financial institution, all sorts of banking systems are at the client’s disposal. In addition to low commission fees and loyalty to its clients, the Bank of Georgia rigorously follows the confidentiality requirements, which attracts many people. The fact that Georgia is not a member of the automatic data exchange group facilitates protecting the clients’ privacy.
If you contact Offshore Pro Group, you will soon be able to enjoy all the benefits that the leading Georgian bank can offer. Please send us a message to [email protected] and we will do our best to open an account for you in the Bank of Georgia as soon as possible.
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