There are three main types of bank accounts in Colombia that are of interest to a foreigner. Each is best suited to specific needs--and each has its own set of requirements.
Setting up a bank account in Colombia is probably one of the most frustrating and difficult tasks you will undertake. As many foreigners have discovered, it's worth getting help from a professional agency like Colombia Legal & Accounting to make the process as easy as possible to save time and stress.
A common thread among all the Colombian bank accounts for foreigners is transparency. Banks will want to ensure the legal origin of the money, and will run background checks to make sure you have been an upstanding citizen in your home country. The government takes the entry of money into Colombia very seriously, and the regulations must be carefully followed to avoid legal issues and fines.
Opening your own bank accounts in Colombia is a step will you probably want to take as you establish your life in this country, and it's a step you'll need to take if you intend to open a business in Colombia.
This can only be done with a cédula, the Colombian identification card. You can qualify for a cédula de extranjeria (Colombian foreigner's ID card) with any Colombian residency visa (this does not include the tourist visa) that is good for more than three months. These include the Colombian business visa, work visa, marriage visa, retirement visa, and more. Banks also often want to see a letter certifying your employment in order to open a personal Colombian bank account.
This is essential if you want to start a business in Colombia. You will not be able to get a business license without a corporate Colombian bank account. As with the personal account, you will usually need a cédula for this account, as well. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
This can be done without a cédula and is a great option for those who aren't yet living in Colombia. Opening an account with an investment bank allows you to manage your investments internationally while giving you access to better exchange rates and the opportunity to work directly with a personal banker.