FDW Bank Account

Should I open a bank account for my maid? 
Is it mandatory or compulsory to open a bank account for my Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW)?

These are two very frequently asked questions by employers, partially because of the news that they read in the Straits Times and also speculations from what they hear.

This article aims to address these queries and hopefully provide more clarity to the questions. At the same time, to evaluate the the benefits of having a bank account for FDWs.

>>Is it mandatory to open a bank account for my maid?

At present, there is no requirement for FDW employers to open a bank account for their helpers. It is very much due to personal preference on how your helper would like to receive her salary.

>>Should I open a bank account for my maid?

There is no definite answer to this question, as it ultimately a choice and a preference. FDW employers are encouraged to discuss with their helpers on how they wish to receive their salary and if they would like to open a bank account. You may however, consider the benefits of opening a bank account with your maid before deciding to proceed.


  • Since its inception at 2016, the Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE), has managed to help FDWs claim $113,668 in unpaid salaries
  • In 2017, the CDE managed to help maids get back $52,543 in unpaid salaries and salaries that are withheld for “safekeeping” 
  • From 01 January 2019,  employers will no longer be allowed to safekeep money for  FDW. If found guilty, they can face a maximum penalty of $10,000 fine and 12 months’ jail term. Find out more here.
    -The reason for this is to minimise disputes arising from FDW and their employers.
    -Find out more about this new Work Permit Condition by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).


Now that we have established that it is not compulsory to open a bank account for your maid, the next area to consider and really ask yourself is, do you still want to open a bank account for your helper? 

Let us weigh in on the benefits for both employer and helper.

TRACEABLE: Online transfer of salaries are traceable and easily trackable; it will be reflected in the transaction histories and is easily accessible online. This helps to safeguard employer and helpers and helps minimise disputes.

SAVE TIME & HASSLE FREE: Employers can save time and the hassle of going to the ATM to draw the cash. In addition, exact amount to the cent can be paid too!

PAYING SALARY ON TIME: Standing instructions can be set up such that the transfer can occur automatically – never forget a salary payment again!

EASY & $0 REMITTANCE: FDWs can look forward to sending back money with easy via online transfer to their home country banks. To sweeten the deal, transfer via DBS Remit is free too! 

ACCESSIBILE: Never forget and worry about about leaving home without cash again. With the ATMs available islandwide, all you need is an ATM Card to withdraw your cash.

SAFE & CASHLESS PAYMENT: With your cash safe at the bank, you can still use it via NETs payment. You can also use the same card with EZ-Link functions for your public transport (bus and MRT) rides.

MORE TRUST AND ASSURANCE: Build a good and trusting relationship with your employer, knowing that your salary is transferred timely and accurately without all the unnecessary disputes.


1. Employment Agency during the issuance of Work Permit
-Your employment Agency (or maid agency) can assist you in opening of the bank account; MOM and DBS has launched an initiative, allowing a seamless process in opening of the bank account when the FDW reports for her Work Permit Card registration at MOM. The same details will be used for account opening. After which, the ATM card and account details will be mailed to your FDW at your address.

2. Online at DBS Website

3. Walk-in at the Branch

*Apart from DBS, Employers and FDWs can also opt to open the bank accounts at any other banks of their preference. DBS is mentioned primarily because of the initiative with MOM and the seamless ease of opening amongst other reasons.

>>My maid’s bank account is open, how should we proceed from there?
Related Questions:
-My maid has received her ATM Card, how to activate her ATM Card? 
-How to Activate FDW ATM Card?

On successful signing up for the FDW Bank Account, your FDW should receive TWO (02) mailers – one contains the ATM Card and the other contains a PIN.

I. Method 1 – Via ATM
Activation can be done via POSB/DBS ATM, and your FDW will need to provide the following details:

  • New Card PIN from mailer (6-digits)
  • Passport Number (numeric digits only)
  • Date of birth (DDMMYYYY)

II. Method 2 – Via SMS
SMS to 77767: Activate<space>card’s last 4 digits
*Only valid with Singapore mobile numbers. Kindly use FDW’s mobile number during registration.

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Disclaimer: All information provided in this article is provided for the purpose of providing information and to the best of our knowledge. GM Connection Pte Ltd is not in any way linked to any of the organisations or companies or institutes mentioned above. GM Connection and its staff disclaims any liability and shall not be held responsible in any way in connection with the use of the information provided. Information is correct as at 06 July 2020.