Before going to abroad, an OFW or his/her relatives must open a bank account for remittance purposes. Sometimes it’s hard to decide where to open a bank account since there are many banks you can deal with. Actually, there are really many banks in the Philippines but I listed some of the most trusted, customer-oriented and best banks that an OFW can use to remit their money to the Philippines.
BDO tops the list for Philippine banks that OFW choose. According to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, BDO is the No.1 bank for OFW remittances for 2009. Aside from different awards, BDO has many services that caters for OFW such as the Kabayan Savings account which an OFW can open without maintaining balance as long as the OFW will remit his/her money continuously to BDO. It also offers Internet, mobile or phone banking which I think very useful for OFW.
Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) was named by Finance Asia the best cash management bank in the Philippines for 2009. I personally used BPI for my remittances to the Philippines. I think BPI is one of the best in terms of customer care and speed in responding to client’s problems.
Metrobank is one of the most established banks in the Philippines. It is also listed in Philippine Stock Exchange as a public company. Similar to BDO and BPI, Metrobank offers also Internet, mobile and telephone banking. It has also different branches abroad just like in US, Middle East, Korea and other countries. Many OFW choose Metrobank because it has many branches around the country.
China Bank is Philippines’ fourth largest universal bank by market capitalization. China Bank provides a wide range of banking services through 248 branches and 388 ATMs nationwide. It is also a member of BancNet, a popular bank network in the Philippines. One advantage of China Bank is that you can transfer money to other BancNet banks through Internet with a small transfer fee. I also have a bank account in China Bank but I wasn’t able to get my Internet banking password before I leave the Philippines last January.
Union Bank of the Philippines or more commonly known as Union Bank is one of the largest banks in the Philippines, ranking seventh in terms of assets after its successful merger with smaller competitor International Exchange Bank. It is one of the most stable Philippine banks and is a public company listed in PSE. OFW can remit money to the Philippines through Union Bank by three different ways: (1) bank to bank, (2) through remittance partners and (3) via PayPal.
Choosing a bank for remittance purposes depends on your needs. Almost all banks offer same services but you need to determine those which are customer-oriented and responds to client’s problems quickly.