Opening a Bank Account in the Philippines

Find out how to go about opening a Philippines bank account: the documents needed and the process to expect...

There are two types of accounts: Savings Account; and Checking Account.

A Savings Account is an interest bearing account where deposit and withdrawal transactions may be done over the counter. There is usually a minimum balance required.

A Checking Account is a non-interest bearing account where transactions can be done over the counter or through Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).

To open an account, it is mandatory to visit the bank in person with the following:

  • Alien Certificate of Registration Identity Card (ACR I-Card). This is a microchip-based identification card, the same size as a credit card
  • Additional form of photographic identification with proof of address (for example, current utility bill or rental contract)
  • Minimum deposit. The amount varies from bank to bank

In some cases, the bank may require a bank reference from the country of citizenship or permanent address. The bank may directly communicate with the depositor’s bank of reference, or may ask for a written certification. Application may be put on hold until the reference process is completed.

It is important to note that different banks have different requirements.

It is always safer to open an account in one of the major banks in the Philippines; rural banks are not as stable as the major banks. The amount of PHP 500,000 (approximately USD 10,000) is the maximum deposit insurance coverage in the Philippines.