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Digital banks are getting popular nowadays and a lot of people seem to be getting aware of their advantages over traditional bank accounts.

Digital banks are similar to traditional banks in terms of functions and services offered, however, the former does not have a physical store to do the transactions in and is heavily reliant on the use of smartphones, dedicated mobile app, and internet connection while the latter has hardcopy backup documenting your profile (and transactions?) and in-person client support.

Despite the differences, one may see the benefit of getting both. 

If ever you are interested in having a digital bank account and are well-aware of the advantages and disadvantages of having one, I listed some of the popular ones that I have tried and can recommend. Opening an account in these digital banks is generally easy and would only require maybe 10-15 minutes of your time to complete.

Just to give you a heads up, identification requirements will always be required when you open a digital bank account; only that you don't need to have it machine-copied, instead you will be required to take a picture of your IDs and submit it straight to the app. Make sure to prepare for your best selfie too as most of these digital banks require a "liveness" test or facial recognition recording.


ING 



I am aware of this bank since 2019 and had tried it before forgetting all about it. 😂😂 . A Dutch-based global bank with a client base in Europe and Asia, ING offers retail and wholesale banking solutions to its clients all while advocating a low-carbon society.

The Good

  • does not require maintaining balance
  • no annual fees
  • interest rate is at 2.5% per annum.
  • comes with a debit card
  • supports Instapay and PesoNet bank transfers
  • the app is very simple and minimalist in UI design
  • reliable customer support (I have tried asking for assistance through Facebook chat)

The Bad

  • faulty facial recognition (this is required during registration. somehow had a hard time back then.)


Tonik



A Philippines-based digital bank that promotes banking-for-all advocacy that offers safe and secure savings and deposits, loans, and payments all in one app.

The Good

  • does not require maintaining balance
  • no annual fees
  • earning interest rate per annum is from 1% for savings less than Php5,000 and 6% for time deposits
  • offers a virtual debit card but a physical one may be offered soon
  • supports over-the-counter cash-ins (7-eleven, Cebuana, M Lhillier, SM Business Center) and online cash-in options for Visa and Mastercard-powered cards and bank transfers from Gcash, BPI and Unionbank. 
  • funds are withdrawable anytime
  • funds can be allocated in stashes or pockets, maximizing the earning potential between 4.5% and 6%

The Bad

  • app is a bit faulty when it comes to bank transfers (I tried to transfer to my ING account. Fund floated and was just credited back to my Tonik account after customer support call)



Komo



A digital bank arm under Eastwest Bank that aims to empower the Filipino people by offering financial services that are in the client's full management and control.

The Good

  • does not require maintaining balance
  • no annual fees
  • interest rate is at 2.5% per annum.
  • comes with a debit card
  • supports Instapay and PesoNet bank transfers
  • easy registration and application process
  • simple and intuitive app
  • real-time record of transactions

The Bad

  • Except for the log-in biometrics that is kinda slow, I can't list anything else that is critical that requires improvement or poses inconvenience at the moment. So far among my digital bank accounts, this one is my most-often used.


CIMB Bank



Probably the most popular due to its partnership with Gcash for its GSave feature, CIMB offers savings and loans services to its client through its app. You can easily apply for a CIMB account when you already have a Gcash account (this is the better way to bank with them to take advantage of the easy link to GCash as well, making bank transfers easy and allows for a wider option for transfers.)

The Good

  • does not require maintaining balance
  • no annual fees
  • interest rate is at 2.6% per annum paid out per month
  • comes with a debit card (when you reached an accumulated Php100,000 in transactions)
  • supports Instapay and PesoNet bank transfers
  • easy registration and application process
  • simple and intuitive app
  • real-time record of transactions
  • offers loans through CIMB app or through a Php10,000 credit line via GCredit.
  • customer support is great (call and email)

The Bad

  • If you registered through the CIMB app, you can only cash in through a select number of partner banks (over-the-counter cash in is allowed but mobile banking is more convenient for me) and cashing out is only through Bayad Center (unless you have the debit card)
  • Opening a GSave account through your GCash is a highly suggested way to get a CIMB account. Not doing so (meaning, you registered straight via the CIMB app) will limit your cash-in, cash-out, and bank transfer options. There's no way of reversing this (it happened to me). 🙋🙋


iSave 



A promising digital savings account from Maybank. It is not my favorite digital bank account to use because of its limitations that I still believe could be addressed and improved but it is still worth noting for the convenience of some of its services.

The Good

  • no initial deposit required
  • no maintaining balance required
  • allows you to withdraw from any ATM in the Philippines for FREE
  • comes with a debit card (to be delivered together with a PIN mailer once you deposit Php1000 to your account)

The Bad

  • the app needs improvement. received funds don't reflect immediately.
  • limited and often not readily available FAQs and how-tos about the account (through the app)
  • Transfer fee of Php25.00
  • customer support is not centralized (called the hotline but was advised to call my store of account instead)
All digital banks mentioned above are regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and are members of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC), thus your money is safe, secure, and are insured up to Php500,000 per depositor.

All these digital bank apps are available for both Android and iOS users. 

Do you have other suggestions that are not included in this list? Share your thought in the comments section below. 

Thanks for reading!


*Please note that the digital banks featured in this blog are banks that I register myself on. I have opened accounts in all and am sharing the basic know-how about each that I collected from each entity's website and the opinions stated are based on my personal experience using each. For discrepancies and incorrect information that you believe I may have posted, please let me know.


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