It covers payment methods and information on, banking systems, foreign exchange controls, and U.S. and correspondent banking.
Methods of Payment
There are four common methods of international payment: cash in advance; letters of credit (L/C); documentary collections such as documents against payment (D/P) and documents against acceptance (D/A); and open accounts (O/A). Cash in advance terms are generally used in new relationships when transactions are small and the buyer has no choice but to pre-pay. Bank-to-bank letters of credit (L/C) are the most common form of international payment for established relationships because they provide a high degree of protection for both the seller and the buyer. D/P and D/A terms are also commonly used in ongoing relationships and provide a measure of protection for both the seller and the buyer. Open account (O/A) is used only when the seller has significant trust in the buyer’s ability and willingness to pay once the goods have been shipped. O/A terms lend maximum security to the buyer and pose the greatest risk to the seller.
AIT’s Commercial Section recommends that U.S. exporters minimize financial risk by requiring their Taiwan trading partners to finance their imports through L/Cs. The vast majority of Taiwan’s importers use L/Cs with a validity of up to 180 days. Most U.S. companies find Taiwan’s trade finance system to be efficient and report no widespread pattern of deferred payment.
Banks authorized to handle foreign exchange may issue L/Cs. As of June 2021, this includes all 37 local banks (and their 3,389 branch offices), six U.S. banks (Bank of America, National Association, The Bank of New York Mellon, State Street Bank and Trust Company, JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, and Citibank, N.A.) and their branches, and 29 third-country banks. All banks in Taiwan that are authorized to handle foreign exchange have correspondent relationships with one or more U.S. banks.
For more information about the methods of payment or other trade finance options, please read the Trade Finance Guide available at available at https://www.trade.gov/trade-finance-guide-quick-reference-us-exporters.
As of July 2021, Taiwan has a Central Bank, 38 domestic banks (with 3,404 branch offices), and 29 local branches of foreign and Mainland China banks. In addition, there are 23 credit cooperatives, 284 agricultural credit unions, and 28 fishermen’s credit unions. These banks, cooperatives, and credit unions have traditionally played a dominant role in finance in Taiwan.
The Central Bank performs all the functions normally associated with central banks in other markets. It issues currency, manages foreign exchange reserves, handles treasury receipts and disbursements, sets interest rate policy, oversees the operations of local financial institutions, and serves as a lender of last resort.
Taiwan’s domestic banks offer a wide range of services, including accepting deposits, making loans, handling trade finance and providing guarantees, and discounting bills and notes. Most are also involved in the securities business, managing bond and debenture issues, as well as providing savings account facilities. Mega International Commercial Bank assists with long-term industrial and project financing, while the Export-Import Bank of the Republic of China and the Farmers Bank focus on trade finance and agricultural development, respectively.
Foreign banking institutions play an important role in Taiwan’s financial sector, and thus generally enjoy treatment akin to that of domestic commercial banks. Foreign banking institutions are permitted to engage in trade finance, foreign exchange, private and corporate lending, and various kinds of trust businesses. To enhance their overall market presence, many foreign banking institutions have developed attractive consumer loan and credit card service offerings.
Foreign Exchange Controls
Taiwan imposes no foreign exchange (FX) controls on trade, insurance, and authorized investment transactions. Similarly, it does not restrict the repatriation of capital and profits related to direct or portfolio investment, provided that such investment has been permitted or approved by the Taiwan authorities.
Inward and outward remittances not involving any exchange of New Taiwan Dollars (NTD) for foreign currency are permitted. Personal remittances involving an exchange of NTD and foreign currency to or from overseas are limited to NT$5 million ($162,022). For inward or outward remittances involving business firms, remittances are subject to an annual ceiling of NT$50 million ($1,620,220) per account if they involve an exchange of NTD and foreign currency. Any remittance above these amounts for firms or individuals requires approval from the Taiwan Central Bank.
Any single transaction of less than NT$100,000 ($3,240) by a non-resident may proceed directly through authorized banks. However, there is a reporting requirement for any foreign transaction involving NTD that exceeds NT$500,000 (approx. US$16,100). Once registered on the Taiwan Stock Exchange Corporation, foreign investors are free to choose any authorized foreign exchange bank to conduct foreign exchange transactions.
U.S. Banks and Local Correspondent Banks
U.S. Commercial Banks Operating in Taiwan
Bank of America
43 and 48F, No. 7, Sec. 5, Xinyi Rd., Taipei 11049, Taiwan
15F, No. 1, Songzhi Road, Taipei 11047, Taiwan
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
8F, No. 108, Sec. 5, Xinyi Rd., Taipei 11047, Taiwan
The Bank of New York Mellon
11F, No. 1, Songgao Rd., Taipei 11073, Taiwan
Major Local Correspondent Banks
Bank of Taiwan
No. 120, Sec. 1, Chongging S. Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei 10007, Taiwan
Cathay United Bank
1F, No. 7, Songren Rd., Xinyi Dist., Taipei 11073, Taiwan
Chang Hwa Commercial Bank
No. 57, Sec. 2, Zhongshan N. Rd., Zhongshan Dist., Taipei 10412, Taiwan
No. 168, Jingmao 2nd Rd., Nangang Dist., Taipei 115, Taiwan
First Commercial Bank
No. 30, Sec. 1, Chongqing S. Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei 10005, Taiwan
Hua Nan Commercial Bank, Ltd.
No. 123 Songren Rd., Xinyi Dist., Taipei 110, Taiwan
Land Bank of Taiwan
No. 46, Guanqian Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei 10047, Taiwan
Mega International Commercial Bank Co., Ltd.
No. 100, Jilin Rd., Zhongshan Dist., Taipei 10424, Taiwan
The Shanghai Commercial and Savings Bank
No. 149, 3F-12F, Sec. 2, Minshen E. Rd., Zhongshan Dist., Taipei 10483, Taiwan
Taishin International Bank
No. 44, Sec. 2, Zhongshan N. Rd., Zhongshan Dist., Taipei 10448, Taiwan
Taiwan Cooperative Bank
No. 225, Sec. 2, Chang’an E. Rd., Songshan Dist., Taipei 105, Taiwan