3 of the Best Digital Banks in the Philippines to Consider In 2021

The tried and tested top contenders in online banking



The past year has done a lot to reshape the way we see banking and even the mere act of saving money. Of the many things it put into perspective, the need to physically go to the bank is probably the most obvious. 


Of course, online banking has been around a long while. But it was in the shift to quarantine mode where we truly got to see its advantages and, when compared with traditional banking, several superior capabilities. Paying monthly bills, applying for personal loans and meeting money goals have never been easier. 


Whether you want to access already existing accounts and treat its online version as an extension or set up a new account entirely, why not go digital? For your consideration, we even narrowed down the contenders for the best digital banks in the Philippines to just the three ahead.


UnionBank Online

UnionBank Online is a prime example of traditional banking succeeding in going digital. While physical branches are ready to serve customers, what’s great about signing on with UnionBank is that you can accomplish everything online—bank trips are not a prerequisite. 


Simply sign up via the app, provide the necessary documents and fill out the form. All this can be accomplished in minutes. Then wait for your application to be processed. Once you’re set, you can access your current or savings accounts anytime and anywhere, transfer funds, pay bills, buy prepaid load and even apply for an ATM, debit or credit card.


Additionally, what’s great about UnionBank Online is that it has a feature dedicated to money goals. You’re free to choose from the goals listed (such as Emergency Funds, Travel, Investments, Gadgets) or create your own. Top up these goals whenever you are able or schedule a transfer from your account weekly, monthly or quarterly. 



Download the app on Google Play for Android or the App Store for Apple.


CIMB Bank Philippines

Chances are that users of CIMB got their start via GCash. Looking into this e-wallet for a moment, it’s evident that one of its star features is “Save Money,” AKA GSave, which allows users to deposit money from their main wallet into a savings account. (The 2.6% annual interest rate is notable, too.) This in itself is a legitimate bank account—maintained through the GCash app and managed by CIMB Bank Philippines.


The GSave feature alone is pretty impressive. But a closer look at CIMB itself gives you plenty of other options for banking and saving. Also available on the app are two other types of savings accounts: UpSave and Fast/FastPlus. The former is designed for growing your savings and provides a high interest rate of 2.5% along with life insurance coverage. The latter, meanwhile, is “Fast” simply because it takes only 10 minutes to set up (with no need for an initial deposit or maintaining balance to keep it). It also gives you a free debit card.



Download the app on Google Play for Android or the App Store for Apple.


ING Philippines

Awarded the Most Innovative Mobile Savings App Philippines this year, ING is the completely digital bank that has earned an edge over the years. For starters, it sets new users up nicely since it operates online through and through. There’s no paperwork, no fees, and you can open an account in a few short minutes. Leaning into the digital way of things, ING also provides 24/7 customer service, with agents available all year round. Best of all, it grants users a 2.5% interest rate.


This no-fuss savings bank streamlines the overall banking experience, too. Allowing you to organize your savings into “Pay” and “Save,” you can set up two accounts using a single profile so you can divide up your money between expenses and savings. 



Download the app on Google Play for Android or the App Store for Apple.


You’ve got the accounts. Now what? Explore the different types of savings accounts you can look into this year; alternatively, get a refresher on the things to do when sweldo day comes.



Art Matthew Ian Fetalver

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