If you are moving abroad to South America to live and possibly even take up employment in Argentina you will probably want to open up a bank account while you are living there. There are no across the board rules and regulations that are applicable to foreigners opening up banks accounts at a financial institution in Argentina. In fact the requirements for opening a bank account in Argentina can vary from one banking institution to the next.
There are basically two types of accounts that foreigners can open at banks in Argentina. The two account types are savings accounts and current accounts, which are known locally as a cuenta de ahorros and as a cuenta corriente. Current accounts are the equivalent of checking accounts in the United States. The requirements for opening up an account at a bank in Argentina are mostly dependant upon the type of account that you wish to open up for yourself. It is advisable to contact several banks to see what their requirements are for opening up a new account before you select the institution that you should do your banking with.
You are given two currency options when you go to open up an account at a bank in Argentina. You are open an account in Argentina pesos, which is denoted as AR$, or you can open an account in U.S. dollars, which is denoted as US$. The cost of opening up an account may vary depending on the currency that you choose.
Typically you will need to show the bank your passport, which must be valid, as well as proof of residence in Argentina. You may even need to show a rental contract for your proof of residence. Your minimum deposit amount will vary but the most common is AR$ 1,000. You may also be required to have proof of employment and will need to have an employment contract with a minimum of six months or one year.
Banks in Argentina are usually open from 10 am until 3:00 pm during the week. Typically banks in Argentina are closed on Saturdays and Sundays but have ATMs that are accessible 24 hours a day.
Counterfeit money is a big problem in Argentina so it is important that you take great care to ensure you are always getting real money. If you need to do currency exchange it is best to do this at a bank. If you do it at an exchange booth then you take a large risk of getting counterfeit money. The easiest way to spot counterfeit currency is to look for the watermark and the metal colored strip on the bills. The Argentina peso is available as bills or bank notes in the following denominations: 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100. The Argentina peso is divided into 100 centavos. The coins you will find are 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavos as well as a 1 peso coin.