Bank account is important if you are abroad and normally, you want to get your money quickly and efficient.

As a foreigner it can be simple or complicated to open a bank account at the Philippines – this depends on the choice of bank, the local branch or of the type of bank account you are applying to. Recommendations are often applied.

For the first time I always recommend the DKB-Cash Card from the Deutsche Bank Berlin. This allows you to withdraw money for free at any ATM machine in the Philippines.

Note: In this country, some bank charges usually various fees which are deducted directly from your account (e.g., the large bank BDO or BPI).

A better way is to look for a bank which demands no fee charges. The account at the DKB Bank is free, if you use the DKB VISA card in order to withdraw your money.

Bank holders can only possible to withdraw 2 times of 10.000 PESO = € 186 at any ATM machines in the Philippines. Therefore, before going to a province, you should obtain enough hard cash, because it is very difficult to find an ATM machine in this kind of place.

Incompare to the Philippines, the banking system has a different structure as in Europe.

For example, money transferring can only be carried within a bank. While in the Philippines, you can transfer from one account with another bank. Bigger banks like the BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands) are also offering online banking.  This is to be able to inquire your account balance and to execute transfers within the bank. Again, unfortunately, the transfer to other banks does not work yet.

Opening a bank account at the Philippines:

  • It has to be opened in your own name
  • A photograph is needed ( 1 “x 1”)
  •   The bank account must have an amount of at least 3000 pesos. Otherwise a monthly fee of 300 pesos must be paid (attention: the amount of the fee is depending of the bank).
  • Currency account can be opened for a certain sum by foreigners

One of these papers are required :

  • Copy of the passport,
  • driver’s license or
  • the Copy of the ACR (can be find on the visa extension of immigration )
  • A “Proof of Billing “, i.e. an official statement of the home address (for example: necessary for the electricity bill, the telephone bill or water bill )

Important note in opening a bank account:

If you would withdraw regularly in the Philippines, I recommended to open an account at the DKB bank in Germany. The advantages are free checking of the bank account in Germany, as well as a VISA card for free. In addition, a VISA card allows a free money pick up at the cash points at the Philippines.