Open a Philippine Bank Account While Abroad

By Nora
Updated April 11,  2014 

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

PNB Japan

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: rate@pnbtokyo.co.jp 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
Fax:  213-401-1803
Email: losangeles@pnb.com.ph

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

BPI Europe
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
Email: bpinoy@bpieuropeplc.com
BPI Europe, London (Threadneedle)
4th Floor, 28/29 Threadneedle St.
Phone: (+44) 207-6389100
Fax: (+44) 207-6386838
Metrobank Japan
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: mbtokyo@metrobank.co.jp 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: mbosaka@metrobank.co.jp

Metrobank New York, USA
10 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
Email: customerservice@metrobankny.com

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 account or 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
New York
Saudi Arabia
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:
  • Bahrain
  • HongKong
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • United Arab Emirates 
  • United States 
Every BPI Direct deposit account owner is insured by the PDIC up to a maximum of 500,000 pesos.

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
For OFWs, the BPInoy Savings account is recommended, as this account was designed for Pinoys abroad.

  • 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
Open a Philippine bank account while abroad 

List of Philippine Banks Overseas

Direct Deposit Account for US Pensioners

BPI Cash Deposit Machines in Makati
BPI Cash Deposit Machines in Quezon City
BPI Cash Deposit Machines in Muntinlupa and Las Pinas
BPI Cash Deposit Machines in Pasig, Taguig, Mandaluyong, Caloocan


alma bejasa said...

i want to open account here in philippines,, my id is only pasport and nbi,, for two card i want to open also bpinoy.for abroad..they accept that id....

Nora said...

Hi alma, passport is among the most preferred IDs by banks, so you might be able to open an account even with only that ID. Usually banks require 2 valid IDs plus 1 ID photo, but your passport could be enough. Just bring your NBI.

Antic Ramos said...

i'm in the us and want to open bank account in the philippines for use of my girlfriend in the philippines

Nora Tamba said...

Hi Antic, if you're near a BDO remittance partner, or a branch of PNB there in the US, you can open a Philippine-based account. But in order for your girlfriend to be able to withdraw from your account, you must send her the atm card through a courier, and she must activate it and enter her own PIN.
Unless there's a reason for opening your own account for your girlfriend, I think the better option is for your girlfriend to open her own bank account here, and for you to send money to her account. You can ask her to enroll her account in online banking and to give your her login details so you can check it online too.

gracemary said...

which is better to open US dollar account? BPI or BDO. Thanks

Nora Tamba said...

Hi gracemary, BPI or BDO are both strong banks and both have lots of branches. Any of the two is a good choice. You can consider your location and access to the bank.

Anonymous said...

Hello, ano po bah requirements kng mag.open ng account dito sa philippines pero yung mag.dedeposit ay nasa Saudi Arabia. Ano po bah dapat kong e.open nah account?thank poh

Nora Tamba said...

About opening a bank account in the Philippines for receiving remittance from Saudi Arabia:
You can open a savings account at a bank near your home or workplace. Can be BDO, BPI, BPI Family, Metrobank, ChinaBank, PNB, RCBC, etc.) Bring 2 valid IDs and 1 ID picture. If you have a receipt of remittance from abroad, bring it so you can open an account for OFWs. Usually OFW accounts do not require a maintaining balance as long as there's foreign remittance at least once a year. But you can open a regular atm savings account that has a lower maintaining balance (500 or 1000 pesos). Savings accounts

Anonymous said...

How to open account in the Philippines if you are abroad right now?

Nora Tamba said...

About opening a Philippine-based bank account abroad: Look for a BDO remittance partner, and then ask if you can open a BDO Kabayan account through them.
Write again and tell us where you are so we can give you a list of BDO remittance partners.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ms. Nora,

Pwede na po ba ngayon sa saudi arabia yugn BPIdirect saving?


Nora Tamba said...

About opening a BPI Direct account in Saudia Arabia:
Hi Ms. Nora, can we now open in saudi arabia a BPI direct saving? Thanks
Sorry, not yet. You can open while there but you should be in the Philippines within a month after opening so you can get your ATM card at your designated branch.
If you like, you can open a BDO Kabayan through a BDO remittance partner in Saudi Arabia. Your account will be activated so you can remit to the account, but your atm card can be activated only in the Philippines.

Sandy said...

If I open a BDO kabayan account dto sa NY johnny air cargo, can I withdraw here? Can I use bdo banking online to pay bills sa pinas? Is this the same bdo bank in pinas, meaning whatever amount I deposit in NY, its the same amount sa pinas?

Nora Tamba said...

Hi Sandy, sorry you cannot withdraw there because you first need to activate your atm card here at a BDO atm in the Phils before you can use it.
If you'll be able to successfully activate your online banking registration (you will send through postal mail a printout of your registration acknowledgment page), you can remit/deposit to your account, and then pay your Philippine bills online. Some billers need to be pre-enrolled; others need not be pre-enrolled.
Aside from the remittance fee you'll pay there in NY, BDO also imposes its own remittance fee, so the amount posted in your account will be reduced by the charge.
By the way, the updated BDO remittance list does not include Johnny Air. It lists New York Bay Phil. 61 Broadway Suite 1417 New York and Lucky Money/LMI Delivery Express.

Hanna Camille Manipol said...

HELLO PO. ASK Q PO if pwede sa U.S ung metrobank atm card, sa alabama po aq? for international po b ung metrobank?

Nora Tamba said...

Hi Hanna Camille, if you have activated your atm card in the Phils and if your atm card has a Mastercard or Visa logo, then you can try making a balance inquiry at an atm with Mastercard or Visa logo. Balance inquiry fee could be $1

Ichewsyee Dee said...

Hi po Ms Nora dito po ako sa vancouver canada gusto ko po magopen ng bdo account kasi may investment ako sa philippines para po don na lang nila papasok yung pay and collection ko pwede po ba yun sa kabayan bdo saving account and san po ako pwedeng mag open kung sakali? Thank you po

Nora Tamba said...

QUESTION from Ichewsyee Dee Mar 14 2015
Hi po Ms Nora, am here in vancouver canada. Like to open a bdo account because I have an investment in the philippines so it's to this account that they'll deposit my pay and collection. Is that okay with kabayan bdo saving account and where should I open? Thank you po
Hi Ichewsyee, yes, a BDO Kabayan account accepts local deposits. You can ask these BDO partners there in Vancouver if they're offering Kabayan account opening:
BDO Remittance Partners in Vancouver
Note that you can activate your Kabayan atm card only in the Philippines, but your account becomes active upon issuance by BDO, meaning your account can accept deposits.

Anonymous said...

hi madam nora
pwde po ba ako ng mag apply ng pnb credit card here in riyadh saudi arabia?

pinoy said...

i'm here at sanfrancisco,
if i open a bdo kabayan account here, can i deposit my cash dollars here on this account?
If i go back to the Philippines Can i withdraw or use the money on the bdo kabayan account that i deposited here in the USA?
Thank you!

Nora Tamba said...

QUESTION about applying for a PNB credit card in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia:
Philippine banks now list income tax return as their main requirement, as required by the BSP, and since OFWs are exempted from paying income tax, they don't have ITR. Besides, many banks now deny applications from OFWs, saying that OFW contracts are not stable.
The remedy for OFWs is to apply for a secured credit card. They put money in a time deposit and use this as their collateral for their secured credit card. I know RCBC and BPI Family offer secured credit cards if you ask them.

Nora Tamba said...

Hello pinoy, yes, open a dollar Kabayan account, so you can send/remit dollars into it. If you like, you can remit through XOOM or Wells Fargo or other BDO remittance partners there.
Yes, you can withdraw your dollars from your branch in the Philippines later on. Ask the BDO remittance partner there if you can specify your Philippine branch.
The bank branch that holds Kabayan accounts opened abroad is the BDO branch at the corner of Buendia and Paseo de Roxas in Makati. You also can activate your atm card only in the Philippines, at your branch.

Edmundo Badua said...

Good day! Where can I open a philippine savings account here in Dammam Saudi Arabia?

Nora Tamba said...

Hi Edmundo, Al Rajhi Banking is a BDO remittance partner, so ask them if they're offering assistance in opening a BDO Kabayan account.

xyla aquino said...

Hello. I applied for Metrobank ofw savings account here in riyadh, saudi arabia. When can i have my own atm because what they gave me dont have my name printed on it. Is this valid? I just opened a month ago here at Telemoney.

Nora Tamba said...

Hi xyla, your atm card is valid, but not yet active. You cannot yet use that there in KSA. You need to activate your atm card when you take your vacation in the Phils. at your designated Metrobank branch. You can request to replace your generic card with a customized card at a Metrobank branch here. But your account is already active; you can send money to your account for your savings.

Anonymous said...

hello. .how can I open a savings account to Philippines here in kuwait?

Nora Tamba said...

About opening a BDO Kabayan account in Kuwait: Ask a BDO desk office in Kuwait if they're offering assistance in opening a BDO Kabayan account -- BDO remittance partners. Remember to remit from abroad at least once within 12 months to maintain the account. Otherwise, maintain at least 10k pesos in your Kabayan account.

nino panganiban advincula said...

Hi Good day!

My sister opened an a metrobank savings account in Tokyo about 2 weeks ago. She sent me the ATM card via EMS here in Manila and I've been trying to check the balance but it says that "ATM cannot access your account please visit your depositing bank". My sister told me that the account is already available but still I get thesame result. Who should I call here in the Metrobank Philippines? Thanks.

Nora Tamba said...

About Metrobank account opened abroad: Hi Nino Advincula: Your sister's account is already active, but her atm card is not yet active. The atm card needs first to be linked to the account over the counter, for security purposes. I don't know if Metrobank allows relatives to link the atm card. Ask your sister if she designated a certain branch as her branch. If none, call Metrobank 8700-700 and ask about how to activate the atm card of an OFW account opened in Tokyo, and if the family of the account owner can activate the card.
What I know is that those who open accounts abroad can apply for a World Cash Card for delivery to or for pickup by their family members.

Nora Tamba said...

Question from dhel aloir May 29 2015
hello! I will work in korea. I want to deposit my money at a bank in Korea and then withdraw it when I come back to the Philippines. Is there a bank like that? Which bank is good?
Hi dhel, Metrobank has one branc in Seoul and another in Pusan, so it might be good if you open an OFW account at a Metrobank while you're here in the Philippines. You can deposit to your Philippine Metrobank account through Metrobank in Korea -- there will be a remittance fee.

Anonymous said...

hello poh itatanong q lng poh paanu poh mkaopen ng saving account sa bdo dito kwait salamat po...

Nora Tamba said...

QUESTION about where to open a BDO account in Kuwait:
Here's a list of BDO Remittance Partners in Kuwait. You can ask Oman or Etemadco Exchange or the other partners if they're offering BDO account opening assistance. Bring your IDs. After BDO approval, your account will become active, meaning you can send money to the account, but your ATM card will need to be activated when you take your vacation in the Phils.

Bic said...

Hi po ask lg ko ako f pwd po b ako mgdeposit thru al rajhi bnk goin to my bpi acct. Im an express teller card holder of bpi and i activatd d expresonline wyl m havn vacati0n dz past 2m0nthz..wil dr c deducti0nz f i wil n0t touch d m0ney i dpositd last tym?tnx po

Bic said...

Hi po ask lg ko ako f pwd po b ako mgdeposit thru al rajhi bnk goin to my bpi acct. Im an express teller card holder of bpi and i activatd d expresonline wyl m havn vacati0n dz past 2m0nthz..wil dr c deducti0nz f i wil n0t touch d m0ney i dpositd last tym?tnx po

Nora Tamba said...

Question from Bic about BPI account and remittance
Hi po. Can I deposit thru al rajhi bank going to my bpi account? Im an express teller card holder of bpi and i activated the expresonline while I'm having vacation this past 2 m0nths. will there be deductions if i wil not touch the money i deposited last time? tnx po
Hi Bic, yes, you can remit through Al Rajhi Bank. Other BPI's remittance partners in Saudi are Al Bilad (Enjaz) and Samba Speedcash. About your deposit, all banks are happier if you don't touch your money with them, as long as you make at least 1 deposit or withdrawal within 2 years to avoid a dormancy penalty.

charisse lorraine Quiba said...

Good day
Im here in saudi arabia right now. Ask ko lng po kung pwedeng magpamopne ng bank account sa isang branch ng ENJAZ DITO SA SAKAKA SAUDI ARABIA.

Anonymous said...

i'm here in Jubail KSA i want to open BDO ATM account where could i open here in Jubail . thank you very much

Benju D said...

i have a bdo kabayan account, got a passbook and atm card with my pin number, i am here in riyadh for almost a year and afraid that my kabayan account will turn to a regular account soon. so the question here are, am i allowed to use the atm here in riyadh? if ever, where and what bank? pls. send ur reply at this email addr.: benju1974.bd@gmail.com

Nora Tamba said...

Question from charisse lorraine Quiba July 28
Good day. Im here in saudi arabia right now. Can I open a bank account at a branch of ENJAZ here in SAUDI ARABIA. THANK YOU SO MUCH
Hi charisse lorraine, yes, you can apply at Enjaz at Bank Al Bilad for a BDO Kabayan account.

Nora Tamba said...

Question about where to open a BDO Kabayan account in Jubail July 28
I'm here in Jubail KSA i want to open BDO ATM account where could i open here in Jubail. thank you very much
You can apply for a BDO Kabayan at Al Rajhi Bank in Jubail

Nora Tamba said...

Hi Benju, does your atm card has a Mastercard logo? If yes, you can try making a balance inquiry (charge is at least one US dollar) at an atm machine there that has a Mastercard logo.
If your card has no Mastercard logo, sad to say, your atm card is for use only in the Philippines.

Stephanie Marcena said...

hello miss nora..may i know what the bdo remit center here in salalh oman needs for me to apply a bdo kabayan savings?do they need too much requirements?thank you..

Stephanie Marcena said...

hello miss nora..what requirement do they need her in salalah,oman to open a bdo kabayan savings account?thankyou..

Nora Tamba said...

About where to open a BDO Kabayan account in Oman
Hi Stephanie, look at this list of BDO remittance partners in Oman and see which is nearest your place, and then ask if they're accepting BDO Kabayan account applications. Bring your Oman ID or passport, other IDs and ID pictures. If you have your job contract, bring it just in case they require.