I previously said I would do a Part 2, but have decided to hold off on making a more detailed post with screenshots about doing a wire transfer. I have them, but I don't know how I feel about it... nervous I guess. If someone REALLY wants details on how to do the transfer, please let me know in the comments below, and I can talk with you directly. I might also do the Part 2 but instead of screenshots, just use booklet page numbers like I have done here in this post, since the booklet has pictures in it.
This is going to be a long post, so I have added a break into it so you can click if you want to read it all. If you are interested in using online Japanese banking, you don't necessarily need to be fluent, but you need at least some reading skills to do it, and some common sense ^_^. Read on.
So, recently I signed up for JP Bank Direct (ゆうちょ銀行ダイレクト), i.e. online banking. I think online banking in Japan can be very very useful, but very difficult for foreigners here due to lack of English support. For me, the closest bank to my house is a good 20 minute walk and can be a bit of an inconvenience if all I need to do is transfer some money (Forty minutes round trip to only do a bank transfer?? Yeah...).
Now, if you speak zero Japanese, you may need help signing up (i.e. bring a friend), but I went to the JP Bank and told them what I wanted to do. You can probably say something like this: 「ゆうちょ銀行ダイレクトを使いたいんですが。」("Yuucho ginkou direct wo tsukaitai n desu ga.") Basically saying I want to use the JP Bank Direct. They will give you a paper to fill out with your basic info, as well as bank account info. I'm not sure if you can write it all out in romaji, but you can ask them. Beside which, if you don't know how to write your address in kanji, then you need to learn it, or copy it from you Gaijin Card. Make sure you have some form of photo ID, a hanko, and your bank book. If you don't have it, you can't sign up that day. Make sure you write your name as it is on A. your ID or B. your bank book. Ask the staff which they prefer. Also, something that confused the hell out of me for a moment was that you get to choose a 6-12 digit pin number that you will need to remember (it's basically an online signature pin). Anyway, once you fill it all out, show the attendant at the number machine and they will make sure you filled everything out. Then they will give you a number to wait your turn. At the desk, they take your ID and stuff to make copies, etc. They will also make sure you hanko'd everything where it needs to be. That didn't take long. When the lady helping me out came back, she gave me copies of the forms I filled out and all my stuff back. IT TAKES ABOUT TWO WEEKS to process. Sorry, you won't get it right away. You have to sign off on it when it's delivered too so be aware of that.
Read on to learn more... sorry if it's confusing >.<
Okay, two weeks over and you get your little packet in the mail. It comes with a green paper that has an Internet Service Card, and the password for your first time logging in. I didn't get screen shots of my first log in unfortunately, but there is a booklet that shows you how to sign up (Japanese only), with screen shots (page 8 for logging in on a computer). So the (p. X #XX) is corresponding to the booklet I got and the screenshots in it. You should follow along with the booklet if you get confused, because it hops around the pages.
(p. 8 #1) First, you click the login button
(p. 8 #2) Then type in the お客さま番号 (customer number) on the CARD. Click 次へ (next).
(p. 9. #1) Next, type the 初回ログイン時に入力するパスワード (First time log in password) that is on the green PAPER (インターネットサービス is written above it). You will then click ログイン (log in) and be taken to a screen with red letters.
(p. 9 #2) Click パスワード変更 (change password).
(p. 9 #3) You will first: type in the first time log in password, second: a new password of your choosing, third: the new password again, and the last thing is: that 6-12 digit pin number you chose when you signed up. Then click 次へ (next).
(p. 9 #4) It will take you to a page that basically says your password was changed and when. Continue on by clicking 次へ (You may or may not need to log in again).
(p. 10 #5)You should now be on page 10 in your booklet if you are following along with the screenshots. You are going to set up your security. You first will need to click 次へ again and then you will see a screen with a bunch of pictures.
(p. 10 #6) Choose a picture that you will remember and click 次へ.
(p. 10 #7) Now, if you can't read any Japanese, you might be in trouble. You must choose three security questions and type the answer in hiragana. I chose the easiest ones I could read. Once that is finished, you guessed it, click 次へ.
(p. 10 #8) You will see a confirmation screen with a big red scary looking box on it. I did not check the box (which I think has something to with remembering the computer or not), and just clicked the register button (登録する). Awesome!!
(p. 10 #9) Now, you will see a page with your picture, and three questions and answers. I took a screen shot so I wouldn't forget. It's up to you. Click 次へ.
(p. 11 #10) Now, you need to type in your e-mail address two times and click register (登録する). You are almost done!!
(p. 11 #11) Click メインメニューへ (To the main menu). You will probably receive a confirmation e-mail from them.
From the main menu, if I remember correctly, you go ahead and log in again. You will of course use the お客さま番号 on your CARD, and then click 次へ.
(p. 8 #3.2) One of two things will happen: You will then see your little picture and type in your NEW password, and get to log in. AND/OR...
(p. 11 #5) You will see a screen with one of the questions you selected during the security setup. You will need to answer it correctly, click 次へ.
(p. 11 #6) Then answer a second question. Now, I did not select the red box (I really should figure out exactly what it is for) on the second question screen, and then clicked my last 次へ.
(p. 11 #7) Oh, you get to type in your password! Awesome! Upon logging in, you will see a screen with all of your account information on the left, yay!! You shouldn't have to answer the security questions again unless your forget your password or something.
Congrats! You did it!
My hand is about to fall off. Until next time!