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Internet Banking for OFW Families in the Philippines

Updated on December 16, 2010

More and more OFW families in the Philippines are discovering the benefits of using Internet banking to send money from wherever outside the Philippines they’re working and to track the deposits, fees and withdrawals on their accounts.

The number one benefit of using Internet banking is certainly its accessibility from almost anywhere in the world where OFWs are working. It’s also free. The only cost would be the cost of depositing money into the OFW account from abroad. What’s more, one can access one’s online account anytime and as many times as one wants.

***OFWs means Overseas Filipino Workers. This was coined from the generic term Overseas Contract Workers. This term doesn't include Filipinos who are already residents or legal immigrants of other countries.

OFWs leaving
OFWs leaving | Source

Ways to Use Internet Banking

There are a number of ways by which an OFW can use Internet banking to continuously support his or her family:

1. Open two or more accounts in the same bank in the Philippines, enroll them all in the bank’s Internet banking system, and comply with the minimum maintaining balance requirements.

Connect the accounts with each other, so funds can be transferred from one to another. The OFW can also opt to assign only his/her account as the source of funds. Also, he can have the passwords of all the accounts, so he can track all of them while abroad.

2. Open two accounts in the same bank in the foreign country where the OFW is working, depending of course on the banking laws covering foreign workers.
The advantage of this is scheme is free deposit. The only cost would be the ATM withdrawal fee in the Philippines.

3. Open an account in a bank in the Philippines and another account in the bank’s branch in the country where one is working. This would ideally be the cheapest way, as both deposit and withdrawal would be free. But again, bank policies could differ.

This can be carried out through foreign banks operating in the Philippines, or Philippine banks with branches abroad, like Metrobank.

Manila Centennial Airport
Manila Centennial Airport | Source

What is OFW?

OFW means Overseas Filipino Worker. This was coined from the generic term Overseas Contract Worker. This term isn't used to refer to a Filipino who's already a resident or legal immigrant of another country.

It's common knowledge among many of us that the OFW phenomenon is probably unique to us, as we can be found anywhere there's work. There's even a joke that we will soon rule the world because we take care of the children of the world. The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Is The Hand That Rules The World (from an 1865 poem by William Ross Wallace).

Global data, however, shows that we're not alone.

The Philippines is behind three other countries in inward remittances in 2010:

  1. India
  2. China
  3. Mexico
  4. Philippines
  5. France

The top remittance sending countries in 2009 were:

  1. United States
  2. Saudi Arabia
  3. Switzerland
  4. Russia
  5. Germany

***Source of remittance ranking information: worldbank.org

From an OFW in China

Here's an OFW in China who shared how she's sending money to her account in the Philippines:

You can open an ATM account here in China at Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) or Bank of China (BOC). You can open 4 bank accounts, and then send one or two ATM cards to your family in the Philippines. Your family can use the China-issued ATM cards to withdraw money at the ATMs of Allied Bank or PNB. The charge is 150 pesos per withdrawal.

Enroll one account in Internet banking so you can transfer funds and send money to the Philippines anytime. Transfer charge is only 5.50 RMB or yuan, which is 36.47 in Philippine pesos with the rate of 1 yuan = 6.63 pesos.

Maintaining balance for accounts here are either zero or just one yuan.

If we total this banking-savvy OFW's cost of sending money, the total is only 186.47 pesos -- very cheap if compared to the nearly 2,000 pesos spent by others through other means.

OFW Remittances from January to October 2010

(click column header to sort results)
Origin of Remittance  
U.S. Dollars $  
% Change from 2009  
 
 
 
United States (USA)
6,496,642,000
7.85
Canada
1,623,170,000
5.97
Saudi Arabia (KSA)
1,290,232,000
4.32
Japan
749,011,000
15.06
Great Britain (UK)
739,970,000
1.93
United Arab Emirates (UAE)
639,802,000
22.18
Singapore
621,824,000
12.67
Italy
438,591,000
-0.04
Germany
376,415,000
1.51
Norway
303,554,000
1.05
Bahrain
128,308,000
-7.55
Netherlands
117,103,000
-2.30
Hongkong
279,557,000
6.95
Qatar
199,482,000
33.05
Greece
182,177,000
11.46
Australia
164,261,000
13.39
Taiwan
95,846,000
29.33
South Korea
90,325,000
15.41
China (Mainland)
18,401,000
76.15
Source: Data submitted by banks, offshore banking units and forex firms to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Note: Data for U.S. and Canada may include remittances from countries using correspondent banks located in the U.S. and Canada.

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    • Nera Woods profile imageAUTHOR

      Nora Tamba 

      3 years ago

      Question from Novi 11 hours ago

      My mat1 was processed by my previous employer with sss naga. I gave birth last april 14,2012. In may 17 I filed my mat2 here at sss mandaluyong, together with mat1. I was asked to wait for 1 month. june 17 no mail arrived. june 19 my bf made follow up with sss. He was told my claim was denied on may22. june 22 i followed up. I was told at sss manda that they sent my mat2 to SSS naga. Do I need to wait for 1 more month for my benefit?

      ANSWER:

      I'm puzzled a bit that this article on Internet banking is attracting questions related to SSS. For further questions, you can write them on sssphilippinesnotes.blogspot.com.

      But anyway, I'll answer your question. SSS told your bf that your claim was denied and that SSS Mandaluyong told you they forwarded your papers to SSS Naga.

      What address did you write in your MAT2 form? Your denied MAT2 form should be returned to the address you wrote in your MAT2 form.

      Your returned documents should say why your claim was denied and usually, they include instruction on how to re-file.

      Know why your claim was denied, make the correction and then re-file again.

      There are many reasons why SSS maternity benefit claims are denied. You can read about them here: sssphilippinesnotes.blogspot.com/2013/07/reasons-sss-maternity-benefit-denied.html

    • profile image

      Novi 

      3 years ago

      ang mat1 ko po ay naprocess ng dati kong eoemlypr sa sss naga. tas nanganak po ako last april14,2012.. nung may 17 nagfile na po ako ng mat2 ko dito sa sss mandaluyong, syempre kasama dun ang mat1 pinaghintay po ako ng 1 month. june 17 po ika 1month pero wala pong dumating na mail, june 19 po ipina-follow up ko po sa bf ko ang ss ko, ang sabi nadenay dw po ang maternity ko nung may22 pa.. june 22 po ako nmn ang nagfollow-up ulit ng ss ko. ang sabi po s ss manda ipinasa dw nila ang mat ko s SSS naga ulit ask ko po 1 month po ba ulit ang hihintayin ko bago mareceive ang benipisyo?

    • Nera Woods profile imageAUTHOR

      Nora Tamba 

      3 years ago

      Hi Jagbir, you can still notify SSS of your pregnancy. As long as you notify SSS BEFORE your delivery, your notification will be valid. In fact, you can do it online, so you don't need to submit your ultrasound report. That 60-day rule means you can notify the SSS anytime between your 60th day of pregnancy and your date of delivery.

      But if you don't have yet an online SSS account, you must first register online at sss.gov.ph. During registration, you will be asked to enter 6 digits from one of your recent contribution payment receipts. Choose 6 digits from the transaction no. For example, your transaction no. is SB4500706889AF, you can choose 450768 or 706889 or 457688.

      Since the SSS website is busy during the day, try registering at nighttime here in the Philippines. Or maybe the SSS website is less busy these days as it's the holidays.

    • profile image

      Jagbir 

      3 years ago

      Hello po..i just want to ask if pwede pa akong magclaim ng mritanety benefits. OFW po ako sa canada and 4 months pregnant..updated po ang pagbabayad ko ng SSS..they said, they must be notify 60 days from the date of conception. My consideration po ba para sa mga OFW na hindi agad makakuha ng ultrasound as a proof?

    • profile image

      Chris 

      3 years ago

      JudeenSeptember 28, 2012 Just wait for Animax DTV which will be launched soon:Signal is clear, no mnhotly fee, and will carry all the Free-to-Air TV and Radio channels, plus five International channels and will keep adding channels as more people install the receiving units.

    • kerlynb profile image

      kerlynb 

      7 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      Very useful hub here Nera Woods!

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