Updated July 2020
There are at least four ways for OFWs and other foreign-based Filipinos to open a Philippine bank account while abroad:
1. Open a Philippine bank account while abroad with the help of a foreign branch, subsidiary bank, remittance company, or remittance partner of Philippine National Bank (PNB) or Metrobank.
PNB branches in Japan: Tokyo and Nagoya
You can apply for a Philippine-based peso or US dollar savings account, checking account or time deposit at PNB Tokyo or Nagoya. Bring your Residence card and My Number (if resident), passport or any government-issued ID and two 30x24mm photos. Deposit in yen.
Accounts you can open:
Peso OFW Savings Account – Initial deposit: JPY25,000
Peso Regular Savings Account – Initial deposit: equivalent of PHP10,000
USD OFW Savings Account – Initial deposit: JPY70,000
USD Savings Account – Initial deposit: JPY70,000
Peso Regular Checking – Initial deposit: equivalent of PHP10,000
Peso Budget Checking – Initial deposit: JPY25,000
Peso Time deposit – Initial deposit of JPY1000,000
US Dollar Time Deposit – Initial deposit of JPY200,000
PNB Tokyo Branch
1st Floor 3-13-16
Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0073
Phone: (03) 6858-5910
Free Dial: 0120-86-6382
Fax (24 hours): (03) 6858-5920
Softbank Mobile: 080-3724-4544
PNB Nagoya Sub-Branch
7th Floor Nishiki 324 Building 3-24-24
Nishiki, Naka-ku, Nagoya-shi
Phone: (052) 968-1800
Free Dial: 0120-143-633
Fax (24 hours): (052) 968-1900
Softbank Mobile: 080-3601-6240
PNB Los Angeles, California
You can open a Philippine-based peso or US 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
PNB New York Branches
If you’ve decided to retire in the Philippines, you can ask help in opening your Philippine-based Direct Deposit account so you can receive your US pension in the Philippines.
PNB New York Branch – Manhattan
561 7th Ave. 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10018
Tel : (212) 790-9600
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
PNB New York – Queens Extension Office
69-18 Roosevelt Avenue, Woodside, NY 11377
Tel : (718) 898-6113
Email : email@example.com
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.
You can open a single-account Metrobank OFW Peso ATM savings account:
– For Filipinos only
– Valid Philippine passport and Japan Residence Card
– Minimum initial deposit: JPY10,000
– Remaining Japan visa must have at least 6 months validity
– Provide one of these: TIN, SSS no., GSIS no., UMID no., Philhealth no. or Pag-ibig no.
– Schedule a reservation at metrobank.co.jp
Metrobank Tokyo Branch
1st Floor Kandabashi Park Bldg.
1-19-1 Kanda Nishiki-cho,
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0054
Metrobank Osaka Branch
3F Osaka Kokusai Building
Chuo-ku, Osaka 541-0052
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
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
Metro Remittance UK (MetroRemit)
1st Floor 12 Kensington Church Street
London London W8 4EP
Phone: 02073 684 490
Alternate No.: 02079 382 571
TextLine: 07781 480 144
Fax: 02079 376 140
MetroRemit is a subsidiary of Metrobank Philippines.
You can request MetroRemit to help your beneficiary in the Philippines open a Metrobank OFW Savings Account at any Metrobank branch close to where your beneficiary lives or works. Just advise your beneficiary to bring valid IDs. This account is a no-maintaining-balance account.
What about BPI Europe PLC?
BPI Europe PLC might no longer be offering assistance in the opening of Philippine-based accounts. It has stopped offering remittance services at its Earl’s Court branch.
It has changed its goals. It’s now focused on corporate and wholesale banking, securities and foreign exchange trading and loan syndication.
BPI Europe, London (Earl’s Court)
26A & 27A Earl’s Court Gardens
Phone: (+44) 207-8350088
Fax: (+44) 207-3731848
BPI Europe, London (Threadneedle)
4th Floor, 28/29 Threadneedle St.
Phone: (+44) 207-6389100
Fax: (+44) 207-6386838
You can also open a bank account based in the country where the Philippine bank operates:
At any of these foreign branches, you can open a foreign-currency account which is based in the country where the Philippine bank operates. 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 an Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank) account.
You can open an OFBank account abroad using your mobile phone with a roaming number. You must be able to receive an OTP from the Philippines.
If yours is not a roaming number, you can ask a trusted family member in the Philippines to assist you with OTP. Your family member can send you the OTP through Messenger. The downside to this is that you’re going to input your family member’s phone number into your OFBank account.
You also need a valid ID that you will upload through the app later on.
Download the OFBank app from Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
And follow the instructions. It will involve filling up personal data, taking a selfie and capturing an image of your ID.
OFBank is a subsidiary of Landbank, so you will perform transfers and bill payments using Landbank. Probably later on, OFBank will develop its own systems.
Visit the Facebook page of OFBank. You can get info from some comments there.
3. Apply for a Landbank OFW ATM Savings Account
The Landbank officer will give you a generic ATM card upon application.
Jose Aryiel G. Castor
Overseas Representative Officer in KSA
c/o Tahweel al Rajhi
Manila Plaza Bldg.
Al Batha, Riyadh
4. 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 BDO remittance partners that offer these accounts.
Because the covid-19 pandemic has disrupted business, this BDO service might not be available at this time.
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 24-month period.
Warning: If this account does not receive a foreign remittance within 24 months, it will be automatically converted into a regular ATM account, and it will require a 2,000-peso maintaining balance. On the last business 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, they will ask you to return on a certain date because they need to send your documents to BDO Philippines and then wait for your passbook and atm card to be sent. 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.
Open a Philippine bank account while abroad
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