11 Best Digital Banks in the Philippines (2023)

Written By Shayan Shamim

Maya Bank and Tonik are some of the most popular digital banks in the Philippines. Several prominent banks, such as UnionBank and CIMB Bank, also provide online account opening and maintenance services to their customers.

Banking in the Philippines has evolved rapidly in the past few years. However, a huge chunk of the population remains unbanked in the country.

Digital banks were formally adopted as an official category of banks in The Philippines by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in 2020.

Several prominent digital banks have emerged in the Asian economy, providing seamless online banking solutions to their customers.

This article explores the state of digital banking in The Philippines and lists the top 11 best digital banks in the country.

Digital Banking in The Philippines

Digital banking rose to prominence in the Philippines due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to a rise in online banking. The central bank of The Philippines approved the establishment of several digital banks in 2020.

Digital banking is steadily growing globally, and The Philippines is no exception. The Asian country recently started approving licenses for digital banks, stressing the need for online transactions and accessibility.

Several well-known conventional banks in the country have also started offering online account opening services to their customers. This marks a shift towards a cashless society; however, many of the population still prefers cash transfers.

In 2021, the country’s central bank stopped approving more digital banks to facilitate healthy competition and allow the industry to grow.

Best Digital Banks in The Philippines

UnionBank Online and CIMB Philippines are well-known commercial banks offering digital banking services to their users. DiskarTech is another emerging player that aims to provide a one-stop solution to all basic banking needs.

Digital banking is still new in The Philippines. Several banks and mobile wallets are being introduced in the country to cater to the needs of the large unbanked population.

Here are the 11 best digital banks in The Philippines.

1. UnionDigital Bank

UnionDigital Bank is a fully digital bank and a subsidiary of UnionBank of the Philippines. The bank aims to bridge the gap between innovation and opportunity to provide retail banking solutions to its customers.

Users can create a UnionDigital Bank account by downloading their app and registering. However, currently, users have to join the “Whitelist” of the bank to receive their invite code. Users have to wait for their invite code to register their account with the neo bank.

Once you’ve received your code, open your app and fill out the details on the form. Your personal and employment details will be required to verify your identity. Users must scan ID documents with the app and take selfies. It takes one day for the bank to approve your account.

UnionDigital Bank users can send or receive payments via PesoNET and InstaPay. Users have a daily transaction limit of ₱500,000, with no individual transaction allowed above ₱50,000.

2. Tonik

Tonik is a neo-bank launched in 2021 and approved by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

It is the first all-digital bank in the Philippines. Tonik bank also provides some of the country’s highest interest rates on deposits, making it one of the most popular digital banks.

The Solo Stashing plan provides a 4% interest per year, while the Group Stashing plan provides an interest rate of 4.5%. All deposits are insured up to ₱500,000 per individual, and term deposits also offer a lucrative rate of 6% to the users.

Tonik users can also order a virtual Mastercard debit card for online transactions. The card can be created via the Tonik app to make international payments to merchants where Mastercard is accepted.

Users can also order a physical debit card to perform ATM transactions. They can also lock/unlock their debit card online, manage transaction limits, and make bank transfers to any bank in the country.

3. UnionBank Online

UnionBank is the ninth largest commercial bank in the Philippines, with total assets of ₱ 949,639.29 million in 2022. The digital banking service of the bank was launched to facilitate online account opening and maintenance services for users.

With UnionBank Online, users can set their spending goals, make money transactions, split bills, and request payments. Users can also order their Visa credit cards via the mobile app and set spending limits online.

With the app, users can easily deposit their checks straight to their bank account by clicking a picture from their phone. These features help provide a fully digital bank account facility they can avail of from their homes.

UnionBank users can also withdraw their earnings from PayPal directly to their bank account, providing a key advantage to freelancers in the country.

4. CIMB The Philippines

CIMB The Philippines is a subsidiary of the CIMB bank of Malaysia. The bank provides an all-inclusive digital banking solution to its customers. Users can easily create an online account via the CIMB Bank PH mobile app within a few minutes.

The bank also allows users to transfer money free of charge via InstaPay. The CIMB virtual Visa credit card can be ordered via the app without any annual fees or charges.

Users can open three types of bank accounts with the bank:

  • UpSave Account Provides a 2.5% interest rate annually on deposits. Users also get free life insurance coverage of ₱250,000 by maintaining an average balance of ₱5,000 daily.
  • Fast Plus Account: Can be opened quickly without any initial deposit. There are no charges for opening a Fast Plus account, and users can order a physical Visa ATM debit card via the app for ₱300. The account has a maximum balance limit of ₱100,000.
  • GSave Account: The account can be opened via the GCash or CIMB PH apps. Users get a high-interest rate of 2.6% per annum on their deposits.

5. Komo

Komo is a digital payments app launched by the EastWest Bank of The Philippines. The bank has no physical branch; users can create an account by downloading the bank’s app and registering.

Users also get an interest rate of 2.5% per annum on their deposits. Some of the features of the Komo app are:

  • Insurance plans
  • Mobile loads
  • Funds transfer
  • Unlimited free ATM withdrawals from EastWest Bank ATMs
  • 4 free ATM withdrawals from other bank ATMs
  • Transfers via InstaPay and PesoNet

6. Overseas Filipino Bank

The Overseas Filipino Bank is a state-owned digital bank and a subsidiary of the Land Bank of the Philippines. The bank obtained its digital license in 2021 from the central bank and continues to serve the financial needs of overseas Filipinos.

Users can create an account with the bank by downloading its app and filling out their information. The bank enables users to remit money to their families in the Philippines from across the globe.

Bill payments, funds transfers, loan applications, and funds deposits are other services the bank provides.

7. GoTyme

GoTyme Bank is an emerging digital bank allowing users to open their digital accounts via its mobile app or kiosks. Some of the features of GoTyme bank accounts are:

  • Free bank transfers three times per week to any bank account
  • 3% interest rate on deposits
  • Free Visa ATM debit card
  • PDIC-insured
  • Reward points

8. Maya Bank

Maya Bank is one of the most popular digital banking apps in the Philippines. Users can create their online account via the Maya Bank app available on the Play Store and App Store.

The three-step account opening process is as follows:

  • Submit your ID document online
  • Record your face via your phone camera
  • Fill out your personal information

Maya Bank provides their depositors with 6% savings per annum via the Maya Savings plan. Users can also apply for an ATM debit card powered by either Visa or Mastercard.

Crypto investments, bill payments, mobile loads, and bank transfers are some of the features of the Maya Bank mobile app.

Apart from the Maya Bank mobile account, the bank also offers Maya Bank and Maya Center services to its users, depending on their needs.

9. iSave by Maybank

Maybank is one of the largest banks based in Malaysia.

The Maybank2U Philippines subsidiary offers iSave digital bank account service to its vast customer base. The service allows users to open their accounts digitally via their mobile app.

There are no initial deposit requirements for opening an iSave account. Users can get as much as 3% interest per annum on deposits of ₱10,000,000.

Users also get a free ATM Visa debit card after a minimum deposit of ₱1,000 in their account.

10. DiskarTech

DiskarTech is a mobile-only financial app launched by Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC).

Users can create a basic banking account via the mobile app and earn up to 3.5% interest on their deposits. The digital bank also lets users freely send money to any bank account.

The bank does not offer debit cards to its users. However, users can withdraw their money via the RCBC ATMs by entering their pin.

11. SeaBank

SeaBank is a digital bank owned by Sea ltd headquartered in Singapore.

Users can register their bank account via the SeaBank mobile app available at Play Store and App Store. The bank allows users to manage their finances seamlessly and make transactions to SeaBank accounts and other bank account free of charge.

The SeaBank savings account provides 5% interest per annum accumulated daily, which is an attractive return compared to other banks listed here.

Users can also use the QR payments feature of the app to make payments at various retailers in the Philippines.

How Safe Are Digital Banks in the Philippines?

Digital banks undergo strict compliance checks and regulatory monitoring in almost every country.

Banks in The Philippines are regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the country’s central bank.

According to the law, almost all deposits are insured by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC). This provides another level of security to the user in case of unsolicited transactions from their accounts.

However, even with all the safety regulations, users should also take certain steps to avoid fraud.

  • Never share your online banking username and password with anyone.
  • Keep your debit or credit cards locked and only unlock them when used.
  • Avoid doing banking transactions over unprotected public networks.
  • In case of fraud, inform your bank immediately and lock your cards.

The Bottom Line

With major banks launching their online services and the emergence of several key players, the digital banking industry in the Philippines is expected to grow steadily over the next few years.

Maya Bank and Tonik are actively grabbing market share in the digital banking sector. Maybank and UnionBank have successfully shifted online, and users can access basic banking services without visiting bank branches.

Though digital banking is booming in the Philippines, there is still a long way to go for the country to become a truly cashless economy. 

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About the Author

Analyst, Digital Banking in Asia at TopMobileBanks

Shayan Shamim is a finance graduate with expertise in financial modeling and investment banking. He is a fintech enthusiast and is constantly on the lookout for innovations in finance.

He is an avid reader and loves exploring the world. Whenever he is not writing or creating dashboards, he is trying out something stupid in the kitchen.

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