According to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) International Migration report, the Philippines has the ninth-largest diaspora in the world at 5.4 million.
The United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, and Japan are the top five destination countries for Filipino immigrants. Together they host 70 per cent of the total Filipino immigrant population.
In 2018, the Philippines received $34 billion in remittances, a third of which came from the 2 million Filipinos living in the United States. In terms of rankings, the Philippines was the 4th largest recipient of remittance inflows in 2018 after India ($79 billion), China ($67 billion), and Mexico ($36 billion).
Whether you are in the United States or Bhutan in Southern Asia, you can send money to your loved ones in the Philippines.
This guide will help you get the best deals in transfer services. You will learn about the different ways of sending money to the Philippines, what is required when sending, how your loved ones will access the money sent and so much more!
Sending money to Philippines is simple and easy. Follow these steps to get started.
There are multiple ways to easily send and receive money in the Philippines but these will largely depend on the provider you decide to use. Below you will find everything you need to know about sending and receiving money.
An as overseas Filipino you have several options to send money to your family. You can use bank-to-bank transfers, money transfer service providers, mobile wallets and other methods.
According to data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Philippines financial system comprises 43 universal and commercial banks, 492 rural banks, and 57 thrift banks.
Sending money to the Philippines through the banking system can be cheaper and quicker if the beneficiary bank has branches overseas. For instance, the Bank of America has several branches in the Philippines. In such a case, it becomes easier to transfer money to the Philippines as you only incur one-way charges.
The top five banks in asset size include Banco de Oro (BDO Unibank, Inc.), Metrobank, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Landbank of the Philippines, and Security Bank Corporation.
Metrobank allows you to open a Foreign Currency account that enables you to receive any amount into your account. The cost per inward transfers is $5.00. When you transfer money from non-partner banks, the transaction fee is a little higher. Also, it takes longer for your loved ones to receive the money.
Providers such as TransferWise, XendPay, Western Union, MoneyGram, WorldRemit and Xoom, offer money transfer services as an alternative to the traditional sending methods.
Sending through these money transfer operators (MTOs) is faster, cheaper, and more reliable. All you need is to sign up for an account online; through the website or mobile app. You can then pay for your transfer online or at a store and send.
There are three options for paying for your transfer online. You can use a credit card, debit card, or bank debit. Credit card is the most expensive because of provider fees, but it ensures that your transfer gets to your recipient in minutes.
There are three different ways you can send money through MTOs: bank transfers, cash pickup, door-to-door delivery, and mobile money.
This method of money transfer is similar to the interbank transfer only that the MTO comes in between to allow you to move the money faster and cheaper to the recipient’s bank.
Most MTOs have partnered with banks in the Phillippines to offer this service. For example, WorldRemit allows you to send to banks such as BDO Private Bank, Metrobank, Philippine National Bank, Land Bank of the Philippines, and Bank of the Philippine Islands.
Xoom has nine banks on its payout network. It also partners with stores such as Palawan Pawnshop and the SM Store.
MTOs transfer the money the same day or may take up to the following day. Whichever the case, MTOs to Bank Transfers are faster and cheaper than interbank wire transfers.
When you send money using this method, your loved ones can pick it up at the nearest location. Xoom, MoneyGram, and Western Union have 10,000+ cash pickup locations across the Philippines. Most of these locations operate 24/7.
Cash pickups are almost instant, especially when you pay for the transfer using a debit or credit card.
Providers like MoneyGram and WorldRemit have partnered with GCash, a leading e-wallet company in the Philippines with a customer base of more than 20 million users and 63,000 partner merchants.
Sending money to the Philippines using this method is faster and cheaper, about 50 per cent lower than the cash pickup method.
Door to Door Delivery
Xoom offers door-to-door cash delivery services at no additional fee. If you send the money before 3 pm, delivery takes less than 6 hours to Metro Manila. For the rest of the 80 provinces including Tawi-Tawi in the south and Batanes in the far north, it takes 1 to 2 days.
The Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPOST), offers this service to overseas Filipinos in the United States, HongKong, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Singapore, Korea, Qatar, and Malaysia.
The central post office gives guidance on the exchange rates to be used by all the 1,383 postal branches across the country.
Cryptocurrency traders have also joined in for a share of the lucrative remittance business. In the Philippines, virtual currencies such as bitcoins have become popular on the transfer corridors.
In 2015, more than $2 million per month was sent to the Philippines using digital assets. In the first half of 2017, an average of $8.8 million every month entered the Philippines through the blockchain network.
In 2017, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas licenced two virtual currency exchanges. There are 12 more cryptocurrency exchange applications in line.
Sending money to the Philippines is a simple process, especially is you use the money transfer services. The following is what you need to send money to the Philippines.
You may need to provide additional information depending on the size of the amount or the location to which you are sending. These measures are part of the global anti-money laundering (AML) and financial crime protection.
If your loved one abroad sends you money, there are several ways you can receive it. If you have an account, they can deposit directly. You can also receive through cash pickups, mobile wallet, or door delivery.
This method is safer, especially for large amounts of money. However, according to the 2017 Financial Inclusion Survey (FIS), by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, 77 per cent of Filipino adults are unbanked.
Without access to mainstream financial services and bank accounts, bank transfers can be challenging. For this reason, most people prefer receiving money through cash collections and mobile wallets.
This channel is the lifeline in most remittance corridors. Filipinos in rural areas with no access to formal banking services can leverage cash collections from agents in the different payout networks.
MTOs have partnered with supermarkets, grocery stores, fuel stations, and independent agents to extend their services to people in far-flung areas. When picking up cash, you should tag a friend or family member along for security reasons. Always choose a payout location that is closer to where you are and in a safer place.
Mobile money has simplified the process of receiving remittances in the Philippines. Most MTOs have partnered with the GCash network to deepen their reach in the country. However, you need to have a GCash mobile account set up on your phone to receive money.
To enjoy the full benefits such as a monthly transaction limit of up to 100,000 Philippine Pesos (PHP) and international remittances, you’ve got to verify your account. You can withdraw mobile money from any of the 63,000+ merchants on the GCash network.
The provider delivers money right at your doorstep. If you are in Metro Manila cash deliveries can be done the same day. With that said, people in other provinces may have to wait a little longer.
Despite the safety concerns, especially in rural areas, this method is among the most convenient. Ensure that the sender gets your physical address right for prompt deliveries.
Once the money gets to the Philippines, you will get an SMS or email notification that you’ve got some money. For bank and mobile money deposits, you don’t need to provide any information unless requested by the authorities. You can start transacting right away.
For cash collections, you’ll need to provide the following information to complete the transfer.
MoneyGram may require you to fill out a form providing more information. Whatever the case, the cash collection process should be simpler and faster.
There are many reasons why overseas Filipinos send money home to their families, friends and relatives. Below are the most common reasons.
Inflows from diaspora supplement household income and helps to buy basic commodities. Most families in the Philippines use remittances for food, clothes, and utilities.
Households receiving remittances use part of them to pay for school tuition, transport for school children, books and uniforms. As a result, children stay in school and completion rates rise.
Recipients of diaspora remittances in the Philippines tend to enjoy better healthcare and nutrition. Crucial parameters such as high birth weight, lower infant mortality, and increase in health knowledge are some of the evident benefits of remittances on health.
Households in the Philippines consider remittances to be transitory. Therefore, they save a large proportion of what they receive and invest in physical assets such as land, housing, and machinery. Some of them invest in entrepreneurial activities and financial assets.
Overseas Filipinos send money home for social activities such as festivals, weddings, funerals, and community development projects.
The rise in internet penetration and mobile phone usage in the Philippines has contributed to the increase in money transfer services. The following are some of the benefits you’ll get when you use money transfer services.
Most MTOs target areas with large populations when setting up their agent locations so as bring services closer to many people.
When sending money to the Philippines, you need to bring on board a lot of considerations. However, the top must-think-about factors are exchange rates and taxes.
Therefore, sending money to the Philippines is dependent on your preferences, how much you know about providers, the different ways of sending money and the factors to consider. The information you’ve just gone through is critical.
Sending money anywhere else in the world is as easy as sending money to the Philippines. If you’re looking to send money to another country, here is the list of the most popular destinations.
Jonathan is the founder and editor of MoneyTransfers.com. Jonathan is highly experienced in the currency transfer market, having previously worked in the FX trading industry, alongside being an avid traveller. Using his knowledge he identified a need for transparency and further education to help people save money on their money transfers, leading to the creation of MoneyTransfers.com