Updated June 22, 2011
If you’re a parent whose high-school or college-age kid is living in a dorm or studying in another city or an OFW who likes to control your child’s weekly allowance, take advantage of free Internet banking services offered by local banks.
Most large banks now in the Philippines offer free Internet banking, and they offer lots of services that prompts you to say Wow.
However, in this article, I would describe only two, BPI Express Online and My BDO Internet Banking, because they’re the ones I use.
1. If you already have accounts with BPI and/or BDO, then you’ve
done the first step. Your savings account or checking account
would become the wallet from which you would get money to give
to your child weekly.
2. Next is to get an ATM card for your child, or ATM cards if you have more than one child to support.
If you get a regular ATM card, you are required to maintain a balance — 2,000 for a BDO account; 1,000 for a BPI Family account or 3,000 for a BPI account.
For most children, this maintaining balance is a temptation — a cake on the table ready to be consumed.
So the best option is to get a BPI Express Cash Card or a BDO Cash Card. Both of these ATM cards do not require a maintaining balance.
You can get a BDO Cash Card for only 120 pesos or a BPI Express Card for only 120 pesos also. (Update for BPI Express Card: There’s now a 15-pesos fee for ATM withdrawal and a withdrawal amount minimum of 500 pesos.)
If you like to know other cash cards, go to this post: Best Savings Accounts for Students in the Philippines.
For OFWs, a better account is available — BDO Kabayan Savings. It only has a 100-peso maintaining balance, and it has other benefits too. Info on BDO Kabayan savings account.
OFWs can also get a BDO Remit Cash Card.
Other banks also offer accounts for OFW remittances.
3. Then enroll your BPI savings or checking account with BPI Express Online or your BDO account with MyBDO Internet Banking. You enroll online and then print the filled-out form for submission to your BDO or BPI bank branch.
Just prepare your user name and password and be ready with your account number and your BDO or BPI cash card numbers.
4. After your Internet banking account is activated, you can plan and schedule when and how much money to put into your child’s cash card.
If your child needs 200 a day, you can reload your child’s cash card 1,200 or 1,500 every week. Just adjust the amounts when your child needs to pay the dorm or buy something.
Just tell your children that the minimum withdrawal for BPI Express Cash is 500 pesos and for BDO Cash Card, it is 200, (changed to 100 pesos as of March 2011). Tell them to withdraw, if possible, only from these banks’ ATMs to avoid other banks’ ATM fees (about 10 to 12 pesos for each withdrawal).
5. For OFWs, Internet banking can save you remittance costs and at the same time prevent your children from having access to large amounts of money, which can be tempting. One-day millionaires among OFW children are common.
You don’t have to send money every month or every week, so you’ll save on remittance fees. Just remit an adequate amount to your own savings account and then transfer controlled amounts to your kids’ accounts through your Internet banking account as often as you like, as there’s no transfer fee.
OFWs Can Send Money to the Philippines Thru BDO Remit
List of Banks in the Philippines — Universal Banks, Commercial Banks
Cheapest Checking Account in the Philippines
BDO Kabayan Savings, BDO Remit Cash Card for OFWs
BPI, BDO, or Metrobank Fees — Why Keep Paying Them?
Savings Accounts in the Philippines with the Lowest Maintaining Balances