Why would I want to?
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC 工商银行 gōngshāng yínháng) is the preferred bank to use in conjunction with AliPay, the Chinese version of the PayPal online payment service. Once you have an online ICBC account, you can get an AliPay account. Once you have an AliPay account, then you can start using Taobao - the Chinese version of Ebay. And that means lots of goodies at low, low prices :)
To open an online ICBC account, first you have to go to the bank…
1. Take the following to your local ICBC:
- your passport
- two A4 black and white photocopies of the bio page from your passport
- RMB 100 for account opening fees (= RMB 85 for the U-shield USB key, and RMB 15 for the debit card)
- and whatever amount of money you want to open the account with
You have to make sure you ask to open account with online banking (网上银行 wǎngshàng yínháng) and a U-shield password device. Here’s what you say in Chinese:
wǒ yào kāi yī gè wǎngshàng yínháng, yào yǒu wǎngshàng yínháng gōngnéng hé U dùn
What’s the U Shield USB key for?
They will give you two forms to fill in. The blank ones look like this:
Filled in it looks like this:
2. Hand over the completed forms, your passport, photocopies and all the money.
3. The bank teller will ask you for a six number password for your account – this is the number you use with your card in cash machines, bank tellers etc, whenever you want to get at your money. It is also the same number as your online password – you have to change this online password as part of the process of getting online banking set up.
|4. The bank teller will then give you back:
5. Now you’ll be sent over to another desk to activate your U Shield, here they should also take you through the steps to install the ICBC banking software on your computer (explained below in English). Without that software installed, you can’t access your account online. However, you can install the software on as many computers as you want (Windows only, of course).
So now you’ve got an account, you need to install the banking software on your computer…
How to install ICBC banking software on your computer
Please note: For this you can only use Windows 2000/XP.
2. This install link will take you through to a new page which offers two ways to install ICBC online banking software on your computer, either through the individual components (certificate driver, controls, patches etc) or install everything all in one go with an “ICBC Internet Banking Assistant” (工行网银助手). It’s easier and safer just to go for that option, you know you’re not going to miss something vital then. So click on the first link:
3. It will give you the usual “Where do you want to save this file” window, and you can start downloading (the file name should be “ICBCSetupIntegration.msi”).
4. Open the file, and the installation will start. It will ask you what language you want to use – again for this guide I’m just using Chinese, though English is an option. Click next until it asks where you want to install the program, and whether you want anyone to be able to use it (任何人) or just you (只有我). Choose the options you want and click next twice, then “close” once it’s installed.
5. Now the helper is installed, and you can find it in Start > Programs > 工行网银客户瑞软件 > 工行网银助手 > 工行网银助手. Start the program and you’ll see this:
Close Internet Explorer if it isn’t already, and click on the furthest right button at the top “安装向导“ (=”Install Wizard”).
6. …and it’ll take you to this window:
The first two options you shouldn’t need to change, it should already be set to “Account Type: Personal (个人)” and “Certificate Type: U Shield (U盾)”. But you do need to enter you U Shield USB key serial number, it’s printed on the the back of the USB key. Then click “next (下一步)”.
7. … to see this:
You just need to click “next”.
If you’re interested, this is just telling you what the program will install: The certification software and COM controls are essential if you want to use the online banking, the software in the middle is account management and anti-phishing software, that bit’s optional.
8. The software will unpack…
and when it’s done you’ll get this:
Click “next (下一步)” and you can choose where to install the software:
You’ll get the same window for the anti-phishing software and the U Shield USB key installation, just keep clicking next and eventually you’ll get this window:
… which just tells you everything’s been installed successfully. Click on “Return (返回)”, and you’re done! But don’t close the window yet!
9. It’ll show you this list:
Click on the “Personal Banking (个人银行)” link.
By the way, you no longer need the Wizard – you can close it now. You won’t need it when you access your account either, just log in directly through Internet Explorer…
10. It’ll open up Internet Explorer and give you this page:
You need to enter:
- your debit card number
- your password number (the six digit number you gave the bank teller when you opened the account)
- the security number (squiggly numbers in the box)
Click on “Login (登录)” and you’ll go through to…
11. This page, this is where you change your online password:
Here’s what it’s asking you for:
登录密码 = Login password (the one you gave the bank teller, the one you just used on the previous page)
新登录密码 = New password, this new number must be at least six digits long, and contain numbers AND letters
新登录密码确认 = Re-enter your new password.
验证码 = Enter the squiggly numbers from the neighbouring box.
证件类型 = Type of ID certification, you want to choose “passport (护照)” because that’s what you gave the bank teller when you opened your account.
证件号码 = ID certification number, ie. your passport number.
Fill it all in and click on “Confirm (确认)”….
12. If it’s all worked, you’ll get this page confirming that your new password has been accepted (”您的登录密码已经修改成功”)
… and click on “Next (下一步)” to go through to a page for setting your backup verification phrase (预留验证信息)…
13. On this page:
Your backup verification phrase (预留验证信息) is quite a neat idea, you can enter any phrase you like (”Green eggs and ham”, “My dog’s name is Baozi” etc) and any website that asks for your ICBC bank details will return this phrase. You should see a line something like this:
您在我行的预留验证信息是：“Green eggs and ham” 如果该回显的信息与您预留的不一致，请您立即停止交易，并尽快与我行客服电话95588联系。
Your ICBC verification phrase is “Green eggs and ham”. If this is not your verification phrase, please immediately cease this transaction and contact our customer service department immediately on 95588.
So if that’s not your phrase, chances are you’re on a fake site.
Once you’ve entered your phrase click “Confirm”, you’ll be given a page restating your verification page and telling you to remember it. Click through to go back to the login page…
14. Once you’ve logged in again, you’ll be given a page with a quick message:
Which just gives you the option of using a name instead of your card number to login. Tick the box if you don’t want to see the message again, click “Ok (确定)” and you’re through to….
15. Your account! That’s it, you’re in, finally….
So next time you want to access your account online, go to the home page at www.icbc.com.cn and then click on the button for “Personal Online Banking Login (个人网上银行登录)” and you’re away…