There are at least three ways for OFWs and other foreign-based Filipinos to open a Philippine bank account while abroad:
1. Open an account at the foreign branches or subsidiaries of Philippine banks with branches or subsidiaries abroad such as:
Philippine National Bank
Bank of Philippine Islands
You can apply for a Philippine-based peso savings account at PNB Tokyo or Nagoya. Bring your passport, residence card and two 1x1 ID photo. Deposit in yen. Minimum initial deposit is the equivalent of 10,000 pesos in yen.
PNB Tokyo Branch 1st Floor Mita43MT Building 3-13-16 Mita Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0073 Japan Phone: (813) 6858-5910 Free Dial: 0120-86-6382 Fax (24 hrs): (03) 6858-5920 Auto Email Reply for Rates Info: email@example.com Phone for Rates Info: (03) 6858-5940 / (03) 6858-5950 PNB Nagoya Sub-Branch 7th Floor Nishiki 324 Building 3-24-24 Nishiki, Naka-Ku Nagoya-shi, Aichi-ken 460-0003 Japan Phone: (8152) 968-1800
PNB Los Angeles, California
You can open a Philippine-based peso or dollar savings account, peso checking account, peso or dollar time deposit. Minimum initial deposit for a peso savings account is the dollar equivalent of 10,000 pesos.
For those in the U.S. who cannot go to the PNB Los Angeles branch in person, read this info:
Open a Philippine Bank Account in the U.S.
PNB Los Angeles Branch
316 W. 2nd Street, Ste. 700
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(Between Broadway & Hill Streets)
Phone: 213-401-1800 ext 201, 202 or 206
PNB Canada and PNB Europe
You can ask these branches if they're already offering assistance in opening Philippine-based PNB accounts.
PNB Global Filipino Card
At most PNB locations abroad, you can apply for a Global Filipino Card (GFC) or Global Filipino Money Card (GFMC) for your beneficiary. This is a prepaid atm card that your beneficiary can use to withdraw your remittance from PNB and Bancnet atms. Your beneficiary can pick up the card at the nearest PNB branch. Valid IDs are needed to claim the card. You can apply for more than 1 card.
A GFC can only be funded abroad; it cannot accept a deposit over-the-counter in the Philippines.
List of PNB Bank Branches and Subsidiary Banks Abroad
Go to the branch in person and ask for assistance in opening a Philippine-based peso or foreign-currency account. The documents they require for UK-based accounts might be the same documents they require for Philippine-based accounts:
- Passport or UK photocard driving license
- Proof of address, such as billing statements
- 1 ID picture
- Initial deposit of 50 pounds
BPI Europe PLC in London:
BPI Europe, London (Earl's Court)
26A & 27A Earl's Court Gardens
Phone: (+44) 207-8350088
Fax: (+44) 207-3731848
BPI Europe, London (Threadneedle)
4th Floor, 28/29 Threadneedle St.
Phone: (+44) 207-6389100
Fax: (+44) 207-6386838
Ask the Tokyo and Osaka branches if they're still offering Philippine-based savings accounts and World Cash Cards for your beneficiaries.
Metrobank Japan - Tokyo Branch Kandabashi Park Building 1-19-1 Kanda Nishiki-Cho Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo 101-0054 Japan Phone: 81 (3) 5281-7281 / 81 (3) 5281-7210 Fax: 81 (3) 5281-7282 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Metrobank Japan - Osaka Sub-Branch 1st Floor, Honmachi Central Bldg 4-2-5, Honmachi, Chuo-ku Osaka, 541-0053 Japan Phone: 81 (6) 6252-1333 Fax: 81 (6) 6252-2226 Email: email@example.com
Metrobank New York, USA10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 832-0855
Toll-free for US only: (800) 863-8762
Fax: (212) 832-0993 / (212) 223-0916
Other Metrobank branches abroad are in:
China, Korea, Taiwan and the Bahamas.
There are Metrobank remittance companies in:
Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada and the UK
Foreign-Based Accounts -- Foreign Branches of Philippines Banks
At any of these foreign branches, you can open a foreign-currency account which is based in the country where you opened the account. It will not be covered by the PDIC, and it may or may not be covered by insurance in that foreign country.
If you have an online bank account and you transfer money from your foreign account to your account in the Philippines, the transfer will pass through a remittance system, so there will be a remittance charge.
The advantages of opening an account with a foreign branch or subsidiary of a Philippine bank are the lower cost and the faster processing due to the relationship between the Philippine bank and its foreign branch or subsidiary.
Most ATM cards issued abroad (with Mastercard, Visa, China Union Pay logos) can be used to withdraw from ATMs in the Philippines. The charge per ATM withdrawal is 200 pesos, more or less.
2. Open a Philippine-based BDO Kabayan Savings accountor a BDO Remit cash card account in countries where there are BDO Remit offices. There are also many BDO remittance partners that offer these accounts.Here are some lists of BDO remittance partners:
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Switzerland, Norway, Netherlands
This BDO Kabayan account is a passbook-and-atm savings account. It does not require a maintaining balance, as long as it receives at least one foreign remittance within a 12-month period.
Warning: If this account does not receive a foreign remittance in 12 months, it will be automatically converted into a regular passbook account, and it will require a 5,000-peso maintaining balance. This will become 10,000 pesos starting May 1, 2014. On the last day of the 2nd consecutive month that the account is below maintaining balance, 300 pesos will be deducted as penalty, and another 300 pesos on the last day of the 3rd month, and so on, if the account remains below the maintaining balance requirement.
When you open your account at a remittance office, only a few are able to give you immediately your passbook and atm card; most others ask you to return on a certain date because they need to get your passbook and atm card from BDO Philippines. After getting your passbook and atm card, you can start sending money to your account, but you cannot use yet your atm card. You will need to activate your atm card in the Philippines.
A BDO Remit cash card is a reloadable atm card that your beneficiary can use to withdraw your remittance from an ATM in the Philippines. It is not a savings account and it does not require a maintaining balance.
It can contain a maximum of 100,000 pesos at any one time. Regular BDO cash cards can contain only 10,000 pesos (generic) and 25,000 pesos (with embossed name).
The Remit cash card can also be used as a debit card to pay purchases at SM supermarkets, stores and affiliates.
3. Open a deposit account online with BPI Direct Savings Bank
BPI Direct Savings Bank is the online bank of the Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI). It is an Internet bank. As of today, as far as I know, it's the only Internet bank in the Philippines. Wala itong branches na pisikal na makikita at pupuntahan ng mga depositors, pero BPI Direct customers can use BPI ATM machines and cash deposit machines to make deposits, withdrawals and other transactions.
For over-the-counter transactions, you will choose and designate your BPI branch during enrollment.
You will also enroll in BPI Internet banking (bpiexpressonline.com) to do online banking.
To open a BPI Direct Savings account while abroad, go to bpidirect.com. You will fill up a form online and you will be given instructions via email on how to complete your account opening.
As of now, opening a BPI Direct account while abroad is open to OFWs and other Filipinos in:
- United Arab Emirates
- United States
What types of BPI Direct Savings accounts are available?
- Express Teller Savings
- BPInoy Savings
- Save-Up Automatic Savings + Insurance
- Maxi-Saver Savings
- Maxi-One Checking
- Time Deposits
- No initial deposit required
- No maintaining balance, but you must make at least one remittance every 6 months
- You can enroll it in Internet banking
- You earn interest if you maintain a daily balance of at least 500 pesos
- Annual interest rate of 1% is higher than many other regular deposit accounts