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Dear visitor, if you know the answer to this question, please post it. Thank you!

Japanese bank account and phone problem 2016/4/5 13:39
Hello, so I arrived in Japan from the UK a couple of days ago and I was hoping to open a bank account and get a phone.

First I went to Shinsei Bank near Tokyo Station. My language school recommended this bank as they have English speaking staff. So they said that because I lack a phone (i have a British one but it does not work here at all) I needed to get a Japanese phone number. They recommended Softbank nearby.

When I went there, they said they needed a Japanese bank account or a credit card. I only have a UK debit card so this was not accepted. I also tried Docomo with the same response.

On returning to the bank and explaining my issue, they sympathised but didn't know what to do, the suggested to try elsewhere for phones but didnt know where to get any without a Japanese bank account.

So am I screwed? Is there any way to get a phone, prepaid or contract, without a Japanese bank account?
by Reyson  

Re: Japanese bank account and phone problem 2016/4/6 08:41
Yes, you can get a MVNO plan with just a Visa/Mastercard, etc. There is a commitment of several months, however, and you need to pay a penalty (a couple thousand yen) if you cancel before the end of the contract period. You also need a SIM-free phone.

If it's just short-term so you can have a phone number on your name, you can try Docomo-based ones b-mobile or OCN Mobile One. If you want to use one as your main phone provider (which is what I am doing), look into au-based ones such as UQ Mobile.

This does raise the question of how people usually solve this problem, as Shinsei is very popular with foreigners due to their English service, but as far as I remember you are the first one asking this question here.
by Firas rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese bank account and phone problem 2016/4/6 10:49
Softbank has prepaid phones that do not require a Japanese bank account.
by [] (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese bank account and phone problem 2016/4/6 17:06
go to Japan Post bank.
by ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese bank account and phone problem 2016/4/8 09:08
this is one of the run arounds i hate when dealing with things in japan, but to be honest, a lot of us do one of two things: 1) give the landline for your employer/school/eikaiwa and don't say anything like "it's not my number, it's ___" because the less you reveal, the better, or 2) make up a phone number to give them. they don't actually use the number, and once you have your phone, all correspondence will go through your provider email/website.
by kayjazz (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese bank account and phone problem 2016/4/8 10:02
Thank you all so much! I did consider using someone else's phone number but didn't want to get into any potential trouble haha.

I managed to find another Softbank in a place called Yodobashi Camera. Their staff were excellent and I was able to get a prepaid sim and phone from them.

Now on to opening the bank account!
by Reyson (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese bank account and phone problem 2016/4/8 12:13
Good on you.

Just to check, the Softbank prepaid sim and phone you got at Yodobashi is it the Simple Style 3G type? Cost less than 10K?
TQ.
by @@ (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese bank account and phone problem 2016/4/8 19:38
Yes it cost around \6,500
by Reyson rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese bank account and phone problem 2016/4/12 02:46
My suggesting would be to set up a voip account with a company like voip.ms. You can pay them with paypal (meaning any currency) and use an app on your phone or computer to receive calls.
by morikaweb (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese bank account and phone problem 2016/4/12 13:03
For the reference, you could also have set up a VoIP with a free Japanese 050 number and use an app on your phone. The number is free, the subscription is free and it is free to receive calls.

http://ip-phone-smart.jp/smart/smartalk/
by Alex (guest) rate this post as useful

About the bank account 2017/4/17 19:35
So now that you got the phone number, were you able to open a bank account in Shinsei Bank? At my language school they suggested to go to the Japan Post Bank because it is easier, but I'm willing to go through some effort if it means that I can get a proper bank account rather than transfer later on, and shrug this question off if it's too awkward lmao but do you go to TCJ? Because I can swear the guy sitting next to me at the entrance ceremony asked the same exact thing you did
by Sinda (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese bank account and phone problem 2017/4/18 16:48
At my language school they suggested to go to the Japan Post Bank because it is easier, but I'm willing to go through some effort if it means that I can get a proper bank account

In what way is JP Bank not "proper" enough for you?
by Firas rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese bank account and phone problem 2017/4/20 11:05
From what I've heard and read most people do not like it, so as someone who is only a foreign student I would rather go with an alternative that has overall better reviews, it's only a question of preference
by Sinda (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese bank account and phone problem 2017/4/21 00:13
Oh I see, cause the Internet says so, right. Well, have fun. :D
by Firas rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese bank account and phone problem 2017/4/21 17:42
lol - JP Post is the largest bank in Japan.

Anyway, to solve you problem with Shinsei, do this:


0: An internet phone number will not work (eg a skype 050 number). They require all customers to have a Japanese mobile number - a friend's landline is not good enough (I tried that too).

1: Go to Bic Camera and get a FreeTel sim on contract (Y999/month) paid with your UK credit card. You need to have residency (your visa), and if they are idiots (usual) they will ask for your Japan phone number for the contract - which is why your are there in the first place. Eventually the staff might understand the product they sell and set up the direct debit and mess around making sure the sim works with your phone.

2: Have lunch while the Bic Camera guys sort out paperwork.

3: Go to Shinsei with a phone number and resident card - account and cash card issued within 30 minutes,

4: Be home when JP post deliver the activation code - re-delivery is good, but if you never see the notice, you need it resent from the bank (I had my delivery failure notice put somewhere other than my mail box - clever JP post people.)
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese bank account and phone problem 2017/4/21 22:16
"JP Post is the largest bank in Japan." and it was established by Japan government. (the government still owns most of the stocks.)
and Shinsei bank has a bad history of bankrupt.
by ken (guest) rate this post as useful

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