The Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI) is recognized as one of the biggest banks in the country with an estimated 8 million individual and business clients under its name. If you’re a Filipino freelancer or a virtual assistant, you’re likely looking for a stable bank name to help you manage your finances with ease. You may even need a payroll account for receiving a salary from local or international transfers or accepting payment if you’re operating a small business.
Why Choose BPI?
Established in 1851, Bank of the Philippine Islands is the pioneer banking institution in the Southeast Asian region. BPI is now a universal bank offering a broad range of financial products to retail and corporate clients, including asset management, investment banking, consumer banking, loan products, payment channels, and secure distribution.
BPI manages a huge network of over 800 branches and 3,000 ATMs and cash-accept machines in the Philippines, Hong Kong, and selected European countries, further extending its blue-ribbon financing services wherever you are. The bank may provide essential banking services through its secure online and mobile banking platforms. You may also use the BPI Express assist via BPI Express Online to reserve an appointment, thus helping you avoid queuing up when you visit a branch.
Opening a regular deposit account with BPI is affordable as you only need to deposit an initial amount of Php 200 as maintaining balance. Note that other savings accounts and investment products, particularly those with better interest rates, will require a higher initial deposit.
BPI also offers a diverse range of banking services for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), including the following:
- Padala Moneyger (remittance service and finance management)
- Pamana savings account plus insurance coverage
- Pamana Padala account with insurance coverage for income sustainability
On the disadvantage side, you should anticipate these common banking issues when you open a BPI savings account:
- Limited banking operations during weekends (only applicable in selected branches)
- Poor customer service, slow email response and long waiting time when you contact their toll-free hotline
- Limited payment channels as you can only settle bills through BPI Express Online or nearest BPI branch
- Random system errors and banking security issues
- Long queuing time at the bank branch
How to Open a BPI Account?
Before you open a BPI savings account, consider selecting the most appropriate type of BPI savings account that suits your banking preferences and financial goals. BPI is now offering over 10 savings account types designed for every specific need and initial budget. BPI Family Savings Bank and BPI Direct Savings Bank are two popular BPI bank subsidiaries, both offering competitive interest rates and low required maintaining balance, but differ in interest-earning capacity. Here are the easy-to-follow steps when opening a BPI account:
1. Prepare the following document requirements in advance to expedite the application process:
A. Valid IDs
BPI will require one primary ID or two secondary IDs bearing your picture and signature before allowing you to open an account. Be sure to bring the original IDs plus photocopies of each valid ID. Primary IDs include:
- Valid passport
- LTO Driver’s license
- PRC license
- IBP ID
- SSS UMID
- GSIS E-Card
- PAG-IBIG or HDMF
- OFW or OWWA ID (if applicable)
- Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR)
- Seaman’s Book (if applicable)
B. Proof of billing or billing statement
BPI may request you to submit your latest utility or credit card bills to validate your billing address and to ensure that you will receive your account statements on a regular basis. If the utility bills aren’t under your account, if you’re renting a house, for instance, you should submit a signed authorization letter from the owner to support your application.
C. Two copies of 1X1 ID pictures
D. Initial deposit amount (depending on account type)
2. Visit any BPI or BPI Family Savings branch
Go to the nearest BPI or BPI Family Savings branch during banking hours from 9AM to 4:30PM workdays. If you plan to open a BPI Direct savings account or use the BPI Express Online, you still need to visit a bank branch to submit your application.
Fill out an application form, sign the signature card, and then submit the completed forms along with your documents. Double-check the information before submitting the form to the new accounts staff.
Wait while the bank officer is processing your application. Once approved, pay the initial deposit and get your acknowledgment receipt.
3. Wait for your account activation
Your new BPI savings account will become activated within 24 to 48 hours upon approval. You won’t be able to make any transactions until your account has been fully activated.
You may also claim your ATM and savings passbook after five banking days. Just visit the BPI branch where you submitted your documents and present any valid ID. Upon receiving your new card, there’s a temporary PIN code assigned to it, which you need to change within 48 hours for security reasons.
What Other Documents you may Show to BPI?
Aside from the primary identification cards you may present above, you may also submit the following IDs listed below:
- Tax identification number (TIN)
- Philippine Postal Office ID
- Voter’s registration card
- Barangay certificate
- Updated NBI clearance
- Updated Police clearance
- National Council on Disability Affairs-issued or PWD ID
- MARINA license (if applicable)
- DSWD certificate (if applicable)
- Marriage certificate (if applicable)
Note that one primary ID is enough or at least two secondary IDs are required for a new account. One more thing, be sure to submit original IDs bearing the same personal details and signature to avoid being questioned.
How to Link Your BPI Account to Your PayPal Account?
Previously, Unionbank EON Cyber was the only card you could link to your PayPal account. But more alternative banks have become integrated with PayPal, and BPI ePay Mastercard is one of them. Here’s how you can link your BPI account to PayPal:
1. Log in to your existing and verified PayPal account.
2. Upon reaching the home page, click the Profile menu, which forms part of the “My Account” section. When a drop-down menu appears, look for “Add a Bank or Credit Card” and then click “Link a Bank Account.”
3. Fill out the required bank information, including:
- Bank name
- Bank code (9 digits): 010040018
- BPI Account Number
Make sure to link an active account number. Your account name has to match your PayPal account to link the card successfully. Otherwise, you will be charged a Php250.00 return fee if the registered name doesn’t match the account number.
Receiving your hard-earned salary should no longer be a problem as more and more local banks are being incorporated into PayPal. Just be cautious of all the details you put in from the BPI account application to PayPal integration to avoid the inconvenience.
Aldrich Tan is a duly registered Filipino architect and is currently working as a freelance writer focusing on content writing and blogging purposes.