Banking in the Philippines

OK, I have set up a new home for Podcasts on the site, and all future Live in the Philippines podcasts will be found here in this area of the site! Since I published my first podcast in my regular column, I will leave it there, but will also add a duplicate copy here, so that for future reference, all podcasts can be found here.

Remember, this is just my first attempt at Podcasting, so it is not perfect by any means. But, it is not too bad, and future Podcasts will improve!

Flowers from WowPhilippines

For today, our topic on the Podcast is banking in the Philippines, and I am joined in the discussion by my friend, Dave Starr.

To listen, just click on the gray button below.

Post Author: MindanaoBob (1354 Posts)

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.

Learn a Philippine Language


  1. jonnijon says

    Hi Bob, H.S.B.C bank for me, very good branch in Davao. Online banking and transfer funds from abroad. If you want to transfer money from abroad you just send them a secure message through their website and a few hours later its there.

    John. J.

  2. sugar says

    Hey Bob, i listened to the podcast. Well, BPI owned by Ayala, BDO by Sy… and Dave is probably right BDO will probably become the largest bank just like SMDC taking over Metro Manila. I prefer BPI though. Here’s a question, what’s a better bank for Credit Card? and why?

  3. ScottF says

    This is my first time listening to the podcast. This is pretty cool. I like being able to type my thoughts, as I am doing now, while listening to the podcast.

    The bank courtesy issue is something that happens here in the states too. With my own bank, I have one in particular that I use, and they know me by name. However, the manager there is a stickler and goes by the book on EVERYTHING. I understand their reasoning, but it’s nice to cut through some of the red tape sometimes. I’ve been referred to a different bank, of the same name, to fix the issue instead of waiting. And, it’s true. They did what I asked without ANY trouble. Why wouldn’t I switch? Because it is further away from my home. :)

    I’m VERY interested in this now, because I’m trying to gather information on what may be the best way to handle the money situation.

    I’m really wanting to get an account setup BEFORE we leave the U.S. I think there is a BPI in Chicago. It’s about a 4 hour drive, but I have a friend living there and will take a road trip to bring it all together. I’m always ready for a GOOD roadtrip.

    Thanks Bob!

  4. Larry Saum says

    I’m curious about the date of the creation of this podcast. It is a timely discussion as ususal. When my wife and I were in Isabela last year we set up accounts at the BDO bank in Ilagan, Isabela. I also set them up with on-line banking access. I just happened to try out XOOM to send some money to the Peso account this weekend. It worked fine, but cost $4.99 for the XOOM fee. The money appeared in the on-line BDO account when I checked it a couple of hours after sending it, and it was charged against my US Chase bank checking account.
    I’ve previously used XOOM and Western Union wires to send money to my wife’s brother’s BDO account in the PI. XOOM is by far the cheaper way I’ve used at this time.

  5. bret says

    I am in Chicago but cant find any info or location of BPI. If Scott could provide info and addresss it would be appreciated. Any search just comes up all the remittance centers. I agree that XOOM is fantastic and I would just XOOM myself money when there because of ATM issues.

  6. Joe P says

    FYI when visiting the Philippines you can also XOOM money to yourself and go pick it up. I normally go pick it up at SM Marilao or one of the Local Cebuana Pawnshops with no hassles ever. In fact once I do the transaction online on my iPad its ready in minutes.

    I do this and bypass ATM hassles, restrictions, fees and that pesky 3% plus five dollars plus 200 Peso fee. If I lived there I would probably do it a bit different, but XOOM is the way till the next big thing hits the islands.

    During my days of Living there I used PNB, but from what I can tell, they have went downhill fast since the 80’s as far as service goes.

  7. Kristine says

    Hi Bob. Nice informative site you’ve got here. Regarding banking in the Philippines — have you guys tried Unionbank EON? I’ve been working from home since 2008 and most of my clients are US-based. What I did was I set up an EON account with Unionbank and connected it to my Paypal. Money withdrawals from Paypal to my Philippine EON account usually takes 36 hours, longer when there are bank holidays.

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