What’s the best bank to open a savings account?
The Bank of the Philippine Islands or BPI savings account is surely among the Filipinos’ top choices.
If you’re reading this, you’re likely considering opening an account with BPI for saving, safekeeping, or managing your money. You may need a payroll account for receiving a salary. Or you need an account for your small business where customers can deposit their payments.
Whatever your purpose is for starting a bank account, this first-timer’s guide will help you choose the right BPI savings account and everything you need to open one.
Table of Contents
- Why Choose BPI Savings Account?
- Is BPI and BPI Family Savings Bank the Same?
- Requirements for Opening a BPI Account
- How To Open Account in BPI: 6 Easy Steps
- How To Open a BPI Savings Account Online
- Tips and Warnings
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. What are the different types of BPI savings account?
- 2. Which is the better bank to open a savings account with–BPI or BDO?
- 3. Which is better: a BPI ATM account or a passbook account?
- 4. Can students get a BPI savings account? Does BPI accept school ID?
- 5. I’m an OFW and currently based abroad. Can I have someone in the Philippines open a BPI account for me?
- 6. How can I open a joint savings account with BPI?
- 7. Can foreigners apply for a BPI savings account?
- 8. How do I make a deposit to my new BPI account?
- 9. What will happen to my account if it falls below the required maintaining balance?
- 10. What are the BPI bank code and SWIFT code?
Why Choose BPI Savings Account?
Remember that your choice of bank and savings account will affect your finances. So before you open a BPI account, carefully weigh its pros and cons first.
Benefits of Having a BPI Savings Account
a. BPI’s financial stability
Established in 1851, BPI is the oldest bank in the Philippines. For more than a century, the bank has survived World War II, the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the 2008 global recession, and several coup attempts.
BPI is also the fourth largest bank in the country based on total assets, according to the latest data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas1. It boasts of having over eight million depositors nationwide.
In addition to this, the BPI prides itself on winning awards and recognitions from international award-giving bodies. Recently, BPI was awarded the title “best sustainable bank in the Philippines”2 in the 2021 FinanceAsia Country Awards.
For this reason, BPI is among the most trusted banks in the Philippines. If you put your money in BPI, you can rest easy knowing its funds won’t get depleted and the bank won’t close down, at least in your lifetime.
BPI is among the banks with the most number of branches and ATM networks in the Philippines. It has over 900 branches—and it’s further expanding by 20 to 30 branches every year3.
Customers have access to over 3,000 ATMs and cash accept machines nationwide and over 800,000 Cirrus ATMs worldwide.
If you have a BPI savings account, you won’t have a problem finding an ATM, even in remote areas.
BPI makes banking convenient through its online and mobile banking facilities, cash accept machines and some branches that open on weekends.
The BPI Express Assist (BEA)4 Online facility lets customers reserve a timeslot via BPI Express Online to avoid lining up in a BPI branch.
d. Ease of account opening
BPI makes opening a deposit account easier on the pocket through its savings accounts with a low required initial deposit and maintaining balance. You can start an account for as low as Php 15 and won’t have to worry about getting your balance deducted due to insufficient funds.
Drawbacks of Having a BPI Savings Account
a. Poor customer service
Like other major banks in the Philippines, BPI is often plagued with complaints about its customer service. It’s hard to reach a customer support agent through its hotline.
b. Long queues at BPI branches
Unless you book an appointment online through BEA Online, you’ll be spending more than 30 minutes up to an hour lining up in a BPI branch, especially during peak hours.
c. Online banking security issues and system errors
If you aren’t careful with your online and offline transactions with BPI, you run the risk of falling victim to email phishing attacks and unauthorized ATM withdrawals.
Customers have reported receiving emails with links to a fake BPI log-in site that collects personal information, an apparent move to steal one’s identity and make unauthorized transactions.
And who can forget BPI’s system glitch in June 20176 that kept customers from getting access to their funds? Although it wasn’t a case of hacking, the glitch caused so much hassle to BPI accountholders who needed to withdraw money for urgent financial needs.
Related Article: How to Open a BDO Savings Account: An Ultimate Guide
Is BPI and BPI Family Savings Bank the Same?
Yes, after BPI recently decided to absorb BPI Family Savings Bank to better serve their customers. However, the merger between the two banks to create “One BPI” won’t be official until January 1, 2022, when the Securities and Exchange Commission will finally issue them the Certificate of Merger7.
Prior to the merge, BPI and BPI Family Savings Bank were considered separate entities, with the latter being a subsidiary of the former. For this reason, BPI customers couldn’t deposit cash, withdraw money, pay their loans, or complete other important transactions in BPI Family Savings, and vice versa.
As “One BPI”, however, the two banks will now be able to give their customers access to a wider range of products and services under one roof.
Requirements for Opening a BPI Account
The following is a list of BPI savings account requirements.
1. One valid ID (original + photocopy)
BPI requires an unexpired government-issued ID with your photo and signature.
Although the branch may have a photocopier, it’s better to have your documents photocopied before you go to the bank. This will save you time instead of waiting for the teller to photocopy all your documents.
Submit only one of the following IDs8 that BPI accepts for account opening:
1. PhilID (or the Philippine National ID); or
2. Any of the following government-issued valid IDs or identification documents:
- Philippine Passport
- LTO Driver’s License
- Postal ID
- Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) ID
- Social Security System (SSS) ID
If you are a student, you have to prepare any of the following documents (original and photocopy):
- PhilID (or the Philippine National ID)
- School ID (with a signature of your Principal or School Head)
- PSA Birth Certificate
Important Note: According to our readers who personally applied for a BPI savings account, IDs such as Philhealth ID, TIN ID, and Barangay Clearance are not accepted for the BPI Savings Account application.
2. Proof of billing
BPI needs your latest utility bill to verify your billing address and make sure your account statements are delivered to you.
You may submit a billing statement for electricity, water, phone, internet, cable, or credit card.
The proof of billing can be under a different person’s name, as long as you live in the address indicated on it.
If you’re renting a home and the utility bill isn’t under your name, submit a Barangay Certification with “bank requirements” stated as the purpose. Or submit an authorization letter from the person whose name is on the billing statement.
3. 1×1 ID picture
An ID picture is needed to prove your identity. This will be attached to a signature card along with your multiple signatures when you open a BPI savings account.
The TIN is a new requirement for opening a BPI account. You’ll indicate your TIN on your account opening forms.
Only the number will do. No need to submit a TIN ID or card if it’s lost.
You can find your TIN in the income tax return (ITR) issued to you by your employer every year.
If you’re unemployed, you may still secure a TIN as long as you submit the following requirements to the BIR revenue district office (RDO) in your area:
- Duly accomplished BIR Form 1904.
- Any official document with the applicant’s name, birth date, and address (e.g., PSA-issued birth certificate, community tax certificate/cedula, passport, driver’s license, etc.).
- Marriage certificate (for married women).
- Barangay Certification.
- Certification or endorsement from BPI that you’ll open a bank account.
5. Initial deposit
The amount you need to bring will depend on your preferred savings account type.
The required opening balance for BPI savings accounts ranges from Php 3,000 to Php 100,000. You don’t have to pay an initial deposit if you’ll open a BPI Padala Moneyger or Save-Up.
If the required initial deposit for your chosen account is lower than the required maintaining balance, you’ll have to deposit the difference within one month after opening your account. Failure to do so will lead to the deactivation of your BPI savings account.
How To Open Account in BPI: 6 Easy Steps
This first-timer’s guide will help you choose the right BPI savings account and teach you everything you need to know to open one today.
1. Choose the best BPI savings account that suits your needs
Once you’ve decided to go with BPI, choose the type of savings account you want to open.
BPI offers more than 10 savings accounts that suit different needs, purposes, and budgets.
There are savings accounts designed for kids, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families, parents securing their children’s future, and low-income earners.
You can try answering this 5-item test from BPI to give you an idea of which BPI savings account suits you best.
The bank’s subsidiaries—BPI Family Savings Bank and BPI Direct Savings Bank—also have their own savings product offerings.
BPI Family Savings is the biggest thrift bank in the Philippines, while BPI Direct is a virtual bank that operates only on the internet and over the phone.
By January 2022, however, BPI will be officially merged with BPI Family Savings to cut costs and better serve their customers. After the merger, they will be known as “One BPI”.
2. Complete all BPI Savings Account requirements
Prepare the requirements in advance to speed up your BPI account opening and avoid having to come back to complete the process.
3. Visit a BPI branch
Go to your preferred BPI branch during banking hours.
Most BPI branches are open on Mondays to Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m9. Those located in malls extend up to 6 p.m. or even 7:30 p.m., like SM Megamall and Glorietta 4 branches.
Select BPI branches also operate on Saturdays.
If you plan to open a BPI Direct savings account, you still need to do it in a BPI branch.
Don’t forget to bring the requirements—both the original copy and photocopy.
The following is an overview of what you should expect to do upon arrival at your chosen BPI branch:
- Approach the New Accounts section and inform any available teller that you’ll open a savings account. Tell the staff also which BPI account you want to get.
- Fill out an application form. The teller will hand you the account opening forms to fill out and ask for your documents. Fill out all the forms, making sure you provide complete and accurate information. Double-check the forms before returning them to the teller.
- Pay the initial deposit. Wait while the teller is processing your BPI account application. Once done, pay the required initial deposit based on your chosen savings account.
4. Wait for your account activation
Your new BPI savings account will be activated within 24 to 48 hours. Until then, you can’t transact yet using your new account.
5. Claim your ATM card or passbook
After five to seven banking days, go back to the BPI branch where you opened your account. Present your valid ID and BPI savings account number to pick up your ATM/debit card and/or passbook.
6. Change your PIN
Your new ATM card comes with a temporary PIN. For security purposes, change it within two days from the card receipt.
Here’s how to change your ATM card’s PIN:
1. Go to the nearest BPI ATM.
2. Insert your ATM/debit card into the card slot.
3. Select a language.
4. Press the button next to Change PIN.
5. Enter your new four-digit PIN and re-enter it.
6. The screen will show “Do you want a receipt?” Select “Yes” or “No.”
7. Enter the old temporary PIN. You can find it on the paper where your new ATM card was attached.
8. “Successful PIN change” will appear on the screen. If the PIN change failed, you’ll have to do it again.
9. As soon as you’ve changed your PIN, you can start using your card with your new PIN.
How To Open a BPI Savings Account Online
If you prefer to start your financial journey with BPI in the comfort of your home, you can opt to open a BPI Savings Account online through the BPI mobile app.
Take note that the type of BPI Savings Account that you will have upon opening an account online is the BPI #SaveUp digital product (as of this writing, it is the only savings account available).
Here are the steps to open BPI savings account online:
- Download the BPI mobile app from the Google Playstore or App store.
- Select Open an account now.
- Tap Create a bank account. Upon selecting this, you will see the list of valid IDs that you need to create an account (kindly refer to the “Requirements for Opening a BPI Account” section of this article for more info). Click the Continue button.
- Answer the question asking you whether you are at least 18-year-old Filipino with a permanent Filipino address or not.
- Read the privacy statement and select Confirm.
- Enter your mobile number and email address. Then, provide the answer to the given mathematical question and select Confirm and continue.
- Enter the one-time PIN (OTP) sent to you via SMS.
- Upon entering the correct OTP, you will see the relevant details about BPI #SaveUp. You can also select if you want to receive a BPI ePay Mastercard, a separate e-wallet for online purchases (optional).
- Read the BPI #SaveUp Terms and Conditions. Afterward, tick the checkbox, and select I agree.
- Enter your personal details including your name, mother’s maiden name, birthdate, country of birth, and place of birth.
- Tap Verify Identification and select the type of valid ID you will upload. Select Confirm.
- Select Let’s scan then scan your valid ID. To properly scan your ID, place it within the scanning frame. Make sure the information indicated in the ID must also be readable and clear. After scanning, select Okay to proceed.
- Take a selfie to verify your identity. Make sure that while taking a selfie, your face is in the center of the screen and you are not covering your face in any manner (eyeglasses, scarf, etc.). Aim also for good lighting while taking the selfie.
- Complete the additional details then review your application.
- Create your account’s username and password.
- Once you have your username and password, your account is created. Your deposit account number will also appear on your screen. You can also read the instructions on how to fund your account. Take note that you must fund your account within 7 days to avoid closure of the account. You can fund your account via Instapay, CAM cardless deposit, GCash, or through any BPI branch.
Tips and Warnings
1. Open an account at the BPI branch closest to your home
For your convenience, open a BPI savings account at the branch nearest to where you live.
While you can deposit cash and pay bills at any BPI branch, there are transactions you can do only at the branch where you opened your account.
For example, you can update your personal information or have your lost ATM card replaced only at your branch of account. Imagine having to travel far, for instance, to your branch of account in Pampanga if you live in Alabang just to perform these transactions.
To find nearby branches, you may use Google Maps—enter “BPI [city/town/province]” and the search engine will show BPI branches within your area.
What if a BPI branch near my workplace is more accessible? you wonder. Well, you’d better make sure to keep your job for long. If you tend to hop from job to job, it’s better to have your branch of account near your home.
If you often move house, your safest bet is a BPI branch located in an accessible mall.
2. Contact BPI through Facebook or Twitter for account opening inquiries
Interestingly, BPI responds faster to Facebook comments than to private messages on Messenger.
3. Register a BPI Online account via BPI mobile app or browser
Performing transactions using your BPI savings account is a lot easier and faster with BPI’s online and mobile banking facilities than through over-the-counter and ATMs. No need to queue for hours!
BPI Online and BPI mobile app allow banking on the go. You can check your account balance, transfer funds, pay bills, reload your cellphone, and do other transactions without leaving your home or while in transit.
You can register a BPI Online account using the BPI mobile app. Here are the steps to do so:
- Download and install BPI Mobile App from Google Playstore or App store.
- Click Register Now.
- Enter the required information for identity verification.
- Select Deposit Account.
- Enter your deposit account number.
- Create your BPI Online account username and password.
- Enter your email address, read the terms and conditions, and tick the checkbox.
- Wait for the one-time PIN (OTP) that will be sent to you via SMS. Once you have the OTP, enter it in the required field. Tap Submit to continue.
There you go! You already have a BPI Online account.
You can also create a BPI Online account directly on your web browser through the BPI website. To create an account:
- Visit the BPI Online site.
- Select Register Now.
- Select BPI Deposit Account.
- Provide your deposit account number and birthdate. Complete the captcha and click the Next button.
- Nominate a username and password for your BPI Online account
- Provide your email address and click Submit to continue. Afterward, select Yes, send me the code so you can proceed to the next step.
- You will receive a one-Time PIN via SMS. Enter the OTP.
That’s it! You have already created your BPI online account.
You can now use the username and password you have provided to log in to your BPI online account.
Frequently Asked Questions
5. I’m an OFW and currently based abroad. Can I have someone in the Philippines open a BPI account for me?
- Ranking of Universal and Commercial Banks in the Philippines as to Total Assets. (2021). Retrieved 23 November 2021, from https://www.bsp.gov.ph/Statistics/Financial%20Statements/Commercial/assets.aspx
- BPI posts 2Q2021 net income of Php 6.8 billion. (2021). Retrieved 23 November 2021, from https://www.bpi.com.ph/media/pressreleases/q2-2021-net-income
- Vidal, K. (2018). BPI looking to put up 20-30 branches annually. Retrieved 4 August 2020, from https://www.bworldonline.com/bpi-looking-to-put-up-20-30-branches-annually/
- How to set your appointments in BPI Online. Retrieved 23 November 2021, from https://www.bpi.com.ph/digital-banking/bea-online
- #SaveUp. Retrieved 23 November 2021, from https://www.bpi.com.ph/bank/savings/digital-saveup
- Ager, M. (2017). BPI says ‘human error’ caused banking glitch. Retrieved 4 August 2020, from https://business.inquirer.net/231748/bpi-says-human-error-caused-banking-glitch
- Noble, L. (2021). BPI merger with savings unit effective by 2022. Retrieved 4 March 2021, from https://www.bworldonline.com/bpi-merger-with-savings-unit-effective-by-2022/
- List of Acceptable IDs. (2021). Retrieved 23 November 2021, from https://www.bpi.com.ph/bank/savings/list-of-acceptable-ids
- Branch Advisory: List of Closed Branches as of November 23, 2021. (2021). Retrieved 23 November 2021, from https://www.bpi.com.ph/announcements/branch-schedule-2021