Digital banks are on the rise in the Philippines market. Although the country has a slower adoption rate compared to its Asian neighbors, there’s been a surge in customer enrollments since 2020.
The entry of these new players in the banking sector is critical in the growth and development of digital payment services and e-commerce in the Philippines. Currently, the country has a handful of digital-only banks. However, some traditional banks have also launched their own digital banks to keep up with the shift. Let’s take a look at the available options.
- Interest rate of 2.5% p.a. on a daily balance of PHP 20M or lower.
- ING Pay Account
- ING Save Account
- Transfer up to PHP 1 million daily via InstaPay or PESONet
- No minimum maintenance balance
- Maximum deposit insurance for P500,000
ING was the first digital bank to get covered by the PDIC. This Dutch international bank operated in more than 40 countries across Europe, America, and Asia. It started operations in the Philippines in 1990 as a wholesale lender.
With ING Pay, customers can pay bills online at no fee and transfer cash instantly. You can send money to e-wallets and other banks via InstaPay or PESONet.
With InstaPay, customers can transfer up to PHP 1 million daily via InstaPay. Once you sign up for this account, you get a free virtual and debit card for paying bills at the store or online.
Customers can also open a savings account at no fee and no minimum balance. ING Save lets you earn a high interest rate of 2.5% p.a. for a daily balance of PHP 20M or lower. Additionally, you can earn a 1% gross p.a. for an available daily balance above PHP 20M.
To open these accounts, you should be above 18 years, be a Filipino citizen or Philippines resident, have a valid passport, ID, or driver’s license. You should also have valid proof of residence, email address, and phone number.
The bank also offers occasional promos to their clients. These can be higher interest rates, cashbacks, or welcome bonuses for new customers.
To contact the ING team for assistance, you can either talk to them via the ING Mobile App Live Chat or the ING Bank Facebook Messenger. They are available 24/7. The ING mobile apps are also available for download on App Store and Google Play.
CIMB Bank PH
- UpSave Account
- GSave Account
- Fast Plus Account
- Personal Loans
- 17,000+ partner outlets
CIMB (Commerce International Merchant Bankers) is headquartered in Malaysia. The Philippines branch, CIMB Bank PH, is the newest member of the CIMB Group, one of the leading banks in the ASEAN region, and is present in over 16 global markets. The bank was established in 2018 and has since onboarded over 4 million customers.
CIMB Bank PH has the best-in-market interest rates for its customers. The products and features require no initial deposit, no transaction fees, and no maintaining balance.
Once you open an account via the app, you can cash in online, transfer money to other banks at no fee, and pay your bills including internet, or cable TV. With the app, you also have complete control over your debit card. Manage your settings directly, enabling contactless payment, enabling or disabling ATM withdrawals, and in-store purchases.
CIMB also has 17,000+ partner outlets nationwide for customers to deposit money over-the-counter.
This bank is a good alternative for customers who want to grow their savings. They offer a range of savings accounts with tons of benefits. Customers can select between the UpSave, GSave, or Fast Plus accounts.
While the UpSave account can earn you a 2.5% p.a. interest rate, the GSave one makes you a high yearly base interest rate of 2.6% p.a. In addition, they both come with free life insurance coverage of up to PHP 250,000 if the customer maintains an average daily balance of PHP 5,000. This benefit comes at zero monthly premium, and no medical check-up is required.
CIMP has the GCredit mobile credit line on the GCash app. Customers can get up to PHP 10,000 credit line at a 1% interest rate per month. You can pay for goods and services at selected e-commerce merchants or GCash QR-accepting merchants using the credit line. GCash has over 17,500 QR merchants available nationwide.
This bank also offers personal loans if you meet the qualifications. The minimum amount is P30,000, and the maximum is P1,000,000.
- Tonik current account
- Time deposit
- Virtual debit cards
Tonik is officially the first neobank in the Philippines to get a digital bank license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). All the customer deposits are insured by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC).
With a primary Tonik account, customers can open five stash accounts and 5 Time deposit accounts. All these features are available via the app.
Tonik Stash accounts are either Solo or Group accounts. If you opt for a Solo Stash account, the interest rate is 4% per annum.
For the Group stash alternative, you can add friends and family members and save together at an interest rate of 4.5% per annum. Customers can get the most out of this feature by opening a maximum of 5 accounts.
Time Deposit accounts earn an interest rate of 6% per annum. To open a Time Deposit account, you’ll need to select the amount of cash to invest and the period. This account will draw funds from the customer’s main primary account.
Tonik has both physical debit cards and virtual cards. Once you order a card, Tonik will charge you PHP 300 for the production fee and delivery. ATM withdrawals are also free, except for some banks, which might charge a third-party cost. Virtual cards come in handy when shopping online and paying bills.
The Tonik app is available for both Android and iOS users. It has essential security features such as Face ID to restrict access and a lock card feature to prevent unauthorized use.
- Checking account
- Savings account
- Transfers via InstaPay
- Time Deposits
- Home and Auto Loans
- Trust and Investments
UnionBank Online is one of the most popular digital banks in the Philippines. Although it’s not branchless like the other full-digital banks, it’s a prime example of a seamless transition from traditional to digital banking.
This financial services provider offers its customers all the available banking services via the mobile app and website, with an option of visiting a branch. They have checking accounts, savings accounts, and time deposits to help grow customer savings.
For both regular and personal savings account, the interest rate is 0.10% per annum. Apart from the accounts, UnionBank also offers auto loans, home loans, and quick loans, depending on the customer’s needs.
Their mobile apps are well streamlined to transfer funds, pay bills, and pay for online transactions. This has earned the bank the award for the Best Digital Bank three years in a row.
Komo By EastWest
- Current Account
- Savings account at 2.5% interest per annum
- No minimum deposit or maintenance fees
- Free EastWest ATM withdrawals
- Troo Flex Insurance Plan
- Deposits are insured by PDIC up to P500,000
Komo by EastWest is an exclusively digital banking service in the Philippines. Managed and operated by the traditional bank, EastWest, it provides customers with banking services to grow, manage and save their money. EastWest is a universal bank in the Philipines and has been in operations for 25 years.
Komo can be downloaded from the App Store, Google Play, or the App Gallery. Since the bank has no branches, all the banking services are provided through the app.
The savings account by Komo allows customers to grow their savings by up to 2.5% interest rate per annum. Using the app, clients can track their daily earnings. In addition, the account doesn’t require any maintaining balance or minimum deposit.
In 2021, the bank launched an insurance product, Troo Flex. Customize can customize their own insurance packages and pay an insurance premium for as low as PHP 300 every year.
iSave By Maybank
- No initial deposit and zero maintaining balance
- Free ATM withdrawals
- Interest earnings up to 2.5% per annum
- Maximum deposit amount of PHP100,000
- Free withdrawals at Maybank ATMs in Malaysia, Singapore, and Cambodia
iSave is a fully digital bank account operated and managed by Maybank. All transactions and banking services are provided via the Maybank2U PH App.
To open an account, customers need to provide their valid ID and proof of billing and fill in additional personal details on the application form. All these processes can be done via the app.
To fund your iSave account, you can either deposit cash over the counter via Maybank, process an interbank transfer from another bank, or use them in more than 8,000 deposit outlets. The savings can earn an interest rate of up to 2.5% per annum.
The Maybank2U PH App is available for download on both Google Play and the App Store.
Overseas Filipino Bank (OFB)
- Deposit Account
- Treasury Bond Investments
Overseas Filipino Bank was officially launched in 2018. As the government’s first digital bank in the Philippines, OFB is a subsidiary of Landbank.
The bank received its digital banking license from the BSP in Mar 2021. It was created to support overseas Filipino workers by providing products and services tailored to their financial requirements.
Once you open an account, you can deposit savings, transfer cash, pay bills and apply for loans. The bank also provides a chance for the customers to invest in government treasury bonds.
It operates like other digital banks with a mobile app on both Google Play and App Store. However, both apps have very low customer ratings due to their functionality.
How to Choose a Digital Bank in The Philippines
If you want to switch to a digital bank, here are some of the factors you should look out for before settling on an option.
- Mobile Apps
Digital banks operate primarily via the website and mobile apps. Before you choose a bank, consider whether their mobile apps are functioning well.
A seamless app allows you to make all your transactions and payments on the go and directly from your smartphone. You can read customer reviews to determine the app’s performance.
It’s advisable to go for a bank with good security features. Check whether the bank has protection policies in place in case you lose your debit card or when your card is used for unauthorized online transactions. In addition, you should confirm whether all the bank deposits are insured by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC).
The advantage of using digital banks is that they charge low or no fees for most of their accounts and transactions. Before choosing a bank, consider the fees charged and whether this suits your financial needs.
- Products and Features
Each digital bank has its own unique set of financial products. Choose a bank that has features that can benefit you. Pay attention to features such as interest rate, promos, additional products, loans, and investment options.
Digital banks are now becoming popular in the Philippines. As customers look for better baning alternatives with fewer charges, these challenger banks have become a go-to alternative. The number of fully digital banks is still growing, with traditional banks also going into this route.
The digital banks we have discussed have different unique features and products. Before settling on an alternative, compare the services offered to determine which option will help you manage and grow your savings.