So you had to move out of your home and live in a dorm close to your school. How do you get by? And if your parents are especially keen on sending you a weekly allowance from home, you’ll probably have to open up a bank account.
Sure, the process of learning how to open a bank account seems intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be that way so long as you know the basics:
Types of Bank Accounts
There are two types of bank accounts: a savings account and a checking account.
How Do You Apply For a Savings Account?
Before you can visit the nearest bank to open a savings account, ensure that you have these requirements at hand:
- Two (2) 1×1 photos;
- At least one valid ID, though you might need to bring two to be on the safe side since some banks still ask for two before proceeding;
- One photocopy of said valid ID, though check with the bank if you need this, since some banks opt to photocopy your ID for you;
- minimum amount you intend to deposit – make sure to check with the bank what their minimum bank deposit amount is!
Once you’ve acquired these documents, choose a branch to open an account with and proceed to that bank. Any bank that you choose will be your “branch of account.”
From there, give any of the following valid IDs and its matching photocopied form. Although most banks are mandated by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to ask for one ID, some banks still ask for two, so best to bring two (2) valid IDs and a photocopy of both IDs.
Afterwards, the bank teller will hand out forms for you to accomplish. There are two available types of forms: the Account Information form, which is given to applicants that are either applying for a solo account or a joint account, and the Business Information form, which corporate accounts usually fill up for their business accounts.
Part of the application also involves providing specimen signatures on a Signature Card. Banks tend to use your signatures in your Signature Card to compare them with the signatures you’ll be using to check the validity of your transactions in the future, so always make sure to keep in mind what your signatures look like. At best, take note of your specimen signatures on a separate piece of paper so you wouldn’t forget them.
Once you’re done filling out the forms, give the initial amount you intend to deposit. Keep in mind that you should only entrust your cash to an official bank teller! Basic savings accounts are usually between P1000 and P5000 depending on the bank.
Upon approval, you will either be given your very own ATM card or be asked to return after a certain number of days to claim it.
Once you’ve claimed your ATM card, you will also be given a randomly-generated PIN number, that you should change. Some ATM cards will require activation in an ATM before you can use it, though, so head to the nearest ATM to do so.
What About Checking Accounts?
Before you can open up a checking account in the Philippines, you’ll need to retain a savings account with the bank that you’ve chosen for at least six (6) months. It’s a requirement that most of the big banks in the Philippines follow and they won’t allow you to open a checking account until you’ve accomplished this.
Checking accounts require that your account needs to have a higher balance in your present savings account before you can open one, so make sure you’re aware of that amount before proceeding. But once you’ve reached the required balance and the number of months with your savings account, you can inquire for a checking account with your bank of account’s “New Accounts” employees and open one from there.
Opening a bank account can ensure a more secure future for you, and doing so at an early age can greatly help you stay financially secure in the long run.