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Opening A Joint Bank Account In The Philippines Simplified

Updated on Dec 17, 2021
Young, happy couple

Joint accounts are bank accounts shared between two or more individuals. Contrary to the common assumption, joint accounts are not meant for just couples. You can share a bank account with a family member, teenage children, aging parents, business partner, or any individual that you trust. 

The rules of joint account holding differ from country to country and banks to banks pertaining to conditions such as the death of an account holder. This article will discuss the rules of joint account ownership from an international money transfer perspective.

Can I Withdraw Money From The Joint Account In The Philippines?

Joint accounts work like regular bank accounts. You can use all the banking services, including withdrawal and deposits. There are two types of joint accounts: those using "or" and those using "and."

The main differences between an  "AND" joint account and an "OR" joint account are the requirement of signature/s at the time of withdrawal and issuance of ATM cards. 

  •  "AND" Joint Account holders need the signature of both account holders as a way of authorization,
  • whereas an "OR" Joint Account allows co-holders to withdraw anytime independent of the fellow joint account holder's authorization.
  • "AND" Joint Account holders will be given passbooks and NO ATM card,
  • Whereas "OR" Joint Account holders will be given an ATM card

Almost all traditional banks have online banking facilities in the Philippines. However, you still need to visit a physical branch to open an account first. There are only a few online banks that process account opening and banking transactions completely online such as the ING bank.

According to Statista, it is projected that about 77.1 percent of the entire population of the Philippines would be using smartphones by 2025. It is precedented that lawmakers and central banks catch up to the new wave of online banking.



The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has recently been looking to relax rules on online banking, including allowing electronic signatures and the national ID as the sole proof of identity for account opening.

Key Changes In Joint Account Rules In The Philippines From The Recent Circular Of BSP:

  • Joint account holders are allowed to deposit money without the consent of their fellow account owners, regardless of the joint account type. 
  • Banks should allow account holders to submit their national IDs as official and sufficient proof of identity without the need to present other forms of identification for account opening.
  • Banks may define and conduct due diligence for joint depositors to ensure Money Laundering (ML) and Terrorist Financing (TF) risks are effectively managed.

Here Are The Documents Required For A Joint Account Opening In The Philippines:

  • Valid IDs (original and photocopy) 
  • TIN (Tax Identification Number)
  • Phone number 
  • Proof of address such as utility bills*
  • Initial deposit amount set by the bank 
  • Passport photos 

*If your proof of address should not match the address on your valid ID,  you might need to get a barangay clearance

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Can A Foreigner Open A Joint Bank Account In The Philippines?

A Foreigner can open most types of bank accounts that are available to Filipinos in the Philippines if you have lived in the country for more than 180 days because you will be classified as a resident alien. 

The standard conditions for foreigners to open a bank account in the Philippines are: 

  • You are a foreign national holding a valid Philippine visa 
  • You have been in the Philippines for more than 59 days 
  • You have an ACR I-Card ( Alien Certificate of Registration Identity Card)

The rules around joint account opening for foreigners are still vague, and requirements vary depending on the bank and the bank manager you will be dealing with.  For instance, some banks may also ask for a bank reference from your country of residence or citizenship.

How To Send Money To A Bank Account In The Philippines?

A bank deposit is a quick and straightforward way to send money to the Philippines using your debit card, credit card, and in some instances, your PayPal balance. If you are an OFW sending money to your friends and families in the Philippines, you can simply transfer money online or from your branch in the U.S.

The best way to send money to the Philippines is the one that suits you and your recipients' needs. 

The two entities that complete the cycle of money transfers are the payer and the receiver. The moving of money is facilitated by a money transfer service provider that can be banks, pawnshops, post offices, blockchain, credit unions, etc.

How you pay and how your recipient receives the money also impact the cost of sending money. For instance, if you use a credit card to send money to the Philippines, you will likely be charged more in fees than a debit card.

Similarly, it is more expensive to receive money through an agent or if you get the cash home-delivered compared to receiving the money online in your bank account. 

Should I Send Money In U.S. Dollars Or Philippine Pesos?

Most of the money transferred from the U.S. to a Philippine bank account will be deposited in PHP. However, select money transfer specialists offer USD deposits for certain bank account holders. For example, WorldRemit offers U.S. dollar deposits for BDO US Dollar account holders

While sending money in local currencies is possible through a wire transfer, it is rare for currencies such as the Philippine peso that are not in the G10 - a group of ten most heavily traded currencies globally.

If you would like your recipient to get an exact amount of pesos, check with your bank or enter the exact pesos by selecting "receive amount" on CompareRemit. 

A step-by-step guide to sending money to a bank account in the Philippines: 

  • Go to CompareRemit.com
  • Select "Receive Amount" and enter the exact pesos you want to send to the Philippines
  • Compare top money transfer companies for their fees, exchange rate, and speed shown upfront
  • Select the money transfer company that meets your needs
  • Click on "Send Money Now" to complete the transfer
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What Is A Dollar Bank Account?

A dollar account is a foreign currency account that allows you to deposit and withdraw dollars in the Philippines.

Dollar accounts are recommended to diversify your financial portfolio since some banks also allow you to earn interest in dollars. It might be a good option if you often transact in US dollars since you can offset USD to PHP currency exchange rate fluctuations.

Dollar accounts are an excellent option for OFWs in the U.S. and their families who want an easy and secure way to remit and receive money from abroad through bank deposits. Or anyone who sends and receives money in foreign currencies, for that matter. 

Can I Transfer Money To A Joint Bank Account In The Philippines?

Yes! Almost all banks and money transfer companies offer the service of transferring money to a bank in the Philippines. 

You can make a transfer from your bank account in the U.S. to another bank account in the Philippines in a few simple steps, especially if your recipient has an account with popular banks like Banco de Oro (BDO), Metrobank, PNB, Landbank, BPI, Citibank, and HSBC. 

In the case of foreign currency withdrawals, it is subject to the availability of the currency notes. 

In addition to the bad exchange rate, banks typically charge a high service fee for foreign currency cash withdrawals. We recommend using a money transfer company to send money to the Philippines from abroad. 

Read: Best savings banks for OFWs 

How To Transfer Money To A Joint Bank Account In The Philippines?

Here is our step-by-step guide to transferring money online to a bank in the Philippines:

  1. Compare the top money transfer companies' USD to PHP exchange rates and transfer fees on CompareRemit.com
  2. Select the money transfer company that meet your needs*
  3. Click on "Send Money Now"
  4. Enter the amount you wish to send 
  5. Enter your details and select your payment option 
  6. Select "Bank Deposit" as a receiving option 
  7. Enter the bank details of the recipient in the Philippines 
  8. Click "Send," and your money is on its way to the Philippines

*CompareRemit is a leading money transfer comparison tool. When you select a money transfer company, you will be redirected to their mobile app or their website.

Why Use An Online Money Transfer Company?

When you are deciding on a money transfer company, keep in mind that the exchange rate, transfer fee, and speed of transfer vary. 

Bank transfers typically take 1 to 2 business days to complete your transaction and are expensive. While you can opt for a faster transfer, it comes at a premium. 

If you are not sending money for an emergency, we recommend using a regular transfer option that gives you the most competitive exchange rates and the lowest fees. 

Should I Use A Bank-To-Bank Transfer To Send Money To The Philippines?

Bank to bank transfers is one of the conventional ways of sending money and is often a default choice for many people. 

However, Banks charge exorbitant fees to facilitate international money transfers and offer bad exchange rates compared to online money transfer companies such as Xoom, Wise, and Pangea.

Our recommendation is to compare the cheapest money transfer options and save on every transfer. 

In conclusion, joint accounts are an excellent way to maintain and monitor finances. The rules differ depending on the bank and the status of the joint account holders in the Philippines.

Traditionally, people merge their money along with their lives after marriage. Now, more couples are choosing to keep their finances separately. There are benefits to both options.

Having a joint account with someone gives your co-holder equal control over your finances. So if you do not have a legally binding agreement such as a marriage or a business agreement with the fellow joint account holder, the risk is higher from a financial standpoint.

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