Money Matters – Your Banking Needs

Your Banking Needs while here in the Philippines is one of the more important issues related to making the big moveto the Philippines. For us, we still use our US stateside bank, meaning my social security and pension go there then we draw it out at ATM machines here in the Philippines. The ideal situation would be to get an account at a bank that is in the US and also in the Philippines. There are several you can choose from. Citibank is one of these banks, they have offices in several locations around Cebu. If you already have an account in the US, you can get a dollar account here in the Philippines. BDO Banco De Oro also has US offices, and Banco de Oro ATM cards are accepted worldwide. Get yourself an ATM card from whichever bank you choose it should have ATAR or PULSE on the back of the card so you can use them in BDO and other ATM Machines for cash here. Be advised that some machines only allow up to P5000 per transaction and some allow up to P10,000 and even 20,000 per transaction.  My Credit union only cahrges me $1.00 per transaction. You can also open up an American account at an institution such at E*Trade. They have no fees to transfer money and no ATM fees. Very handy.


If you are going to have your Social Security Pension (including SSDI) deposited into a Philippine bank you will need a dollar account at an institution that is on the list of approved banks. Each bank has it’s own fees and charges so you will have to contact the bank itself to find out what they require.

You will find that The Social Security List of banks and fees are very seldom what the bank claims them to be. Most all banks want you to provide the SF1199 form from SSA for “Direct Deposit”…There is no since arguing with them that SSA said “The Banks have the SF1199 (Forms)”…just get on line and connect with this link we have given and print the forms out yourself and have them with you at the bank.


* No More mail delays. U.S. Treasury Department sends benefits via electronic fund transfer to your bank account and credit is done on the same day of release.

* No more paper check to be misrouted, lost or stolen while in transit.

* You can open either a dollar or a peso account.

* You do not have to make separate trips to the post office or money changer to cash checks.


* The account must be only in the name of the person receiving the Social Security Benefits.

* Only the person receiving the benefits (name on the account) can withdraw the benefits.

* Benefits can only be withdrawn from the branch where the account is located.

* Cannot have monies automatically transferred to another account (Money must be physically withdrawn)


1. Allied Bank

2. Banco De Oro (BDO)

3. Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)

4. Bank Of Commerce (BOC)

5. China Bank

6. China Bank Savings

7. Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP)

8. Land Bank

9. May Bank

10. Metro Bank

11. Philippine National Bank (PNB)

12. Philippine Veterans Bank

13. Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC)

14. Security Bank

15. United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB)

16. United Overseas Bank

V. Existing Beneficiaries:

1. Choose a bank accredited by SSA.

2. Get form SF1199 (Direct Deposit Sign-up Form) from SSA office, Bank branch you will use or print from this link.

3. Open a direct deposit account under the name of the beneficiary, you will need to present proper ID to the bank representative.

4. Make sure the bank signs the SF1199 form and keep a copy for yourself.

5. You must either:

A: submit one copy of the form to our office and show the bank passbook: or

B: let the bank submit one copy to  SSA office, or

C: mail one copy to SSA together with a photocopy of your bank passbook, or

D: If the SF-1199 has been accomplished with the help of an officer from an accredited bank you may send copy to SSA Manila by facsimile, SSA VARO Manila’s Fax number: 02-522-1514.

6. Wait for 1-2 months for your benefits to go to the new account…..after that period if your benefits are not being received at the new account, contact the SSA office in Manila

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Here is a partial lists of banks in the Philippines that provide regular banking services.

Source for some of the information came from:

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