Filipinos are the most active users of social media in the world, spending the most time on their smartphones. Ironically, the same can’t be said about online banking in the Philippines, with its slower adoption rate than its Asian neighbors.
However, there is potential in the country for online banking to flourish.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. predicts considerable demand from consumers and small-and-medium enterprises for banking innovation. The digitally sophisticated young population is also projected to promote the expansion of online and mobile banking in the Philippines.
According to the latest BSP financial inclusion survey, 88.5 percent of Filipino individuals lack bank accounts. Among the main reasons for not having an account are long lineups in bank branches and inaccessibility of branches and ATMs.
These findings are supported by a Unisys APAC Banking Insights survey, which found that long bank lines irritate 53 percent of Filipino respondents. Pinoys are willing to embrace technology advancements for more convenient banking, according to the study.
By making financial services more comfortable and accessible to Filipinos, online banking and related technological improvements solve such pain areas.
What is Online Banking?
Online banking (sometimes called internet banking, electronic banking, or e-banking) is any financial transaction completed via the internet using a bank’s website on a desktop computer or laptop.
To start using an online banking service, clients need to register for an online account with their bank. This includes using an ATM/debit card or bank account number and creating a username and password to access the e-banking feature.
Customers can execute bank transactions such as cash transfers and bill payments without needing to visit a physical branch once they have registered.
What is mobile banking?
Mobile Banking allows customers to perform banking transactions just like online banking.
The two services differ in the type of device used to access them. Online banking is done on a desktop device, while mobile banking is available through the bank’s mobile website or mobile application using a smartphone or tablet.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Online and Digital Banking
Consumers in the Philippines should be aware of the benefits and drawbacks of online and digital banking.
Advantages of Online and Digital Banking
Convenience and Accessibility
Except for system maintenance or upgrades, online and digital banking services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You may access them at your convenience, whether you’re at home, in the office, or on the go.
This is in sharp contrast to physical bank branches. The majority of them are only open on weekdays and at specific times of the day. Automatic bill payment is a prominent feature of various internet banking channels, including for government services such as:
- Clearance from the National Bureau of Investigation
- Passport Application
You can use this tool to plan payments for things like utilities, credit card bills, and insurance premiums, among other things. Your account gets automatically charged every month, and you won’t have to miss due dates.
Quick and Efficient Service
Transactions can be done over the internet in approximately 5 to 10 minutes. This saves you a lot of time compared to over-the-counter transactions.
Especially at peak hours, consumers in a bank branch have to wait in line for at least an hour. As long as you have an online account with your bank and an internet connection, you won’t have to worry about it.
Account Management Capability
Keeping track of your bank accounts is simply a few clicks or smartphone touches away.
Online banking channels allow users to check their transaction history anytime from several months up to the current day. This function enables for the early detection of any suspicious or unlawful behavior, allowing the bank to be notified quickly.
The need for clumsy paper statements is eliminated with online banking. Alternatively, you can view your statements electronically. It’s eco-friendly, too. While you still have access to all of your transactions’ records, opting for electronic statements helps with paper conservation and zero-waste efforts.
Online and Digital Banking Disadvantages
Threats to Cybersecurity
Filipinos who are apprehensive about online banking are most concerned about this.
Despite investments in technology to improve website security, banks’ online banking channels remain vulnerable to hacking, identity theft, and other fraudulent activities that result in unauthorized transactions.
It doesn’t help that banks normally take a long time to investigate and address customer complaints on security breaches. Consumers must also be properly educated on how to protect their bank accounts from online security threats.
Problems with the Internet
A solid internet connection is required for a smooth and hassle-free online banking transaction.
With the infamously terrible internet speeds in the Philippines, online banking capabilities are sometimes inaccessible, especially when customers need them the most. Adding to this dilemma are the monthly system maintenance activities—sometimes taking longer than expected—that lead to downtimes and disgruntled consumers.
Based on one or more of these criteria, below are the finest banking services in the country:
- Innovative and beneficial features
- On the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, average ratings, installs, and active users are available.
- Awards received in the banking industry
- ING Philippines
- UnionBank Online
- BPI Online and BPI Mobile
- BDO Online Banking and BDO Personal Banking App
- LANDBANK Mobile Banking Application
- Metrobank Mobile Banking
- Security Bank Online
- OCTO by CIMB Bank
- GCash Save Money (GSave)
- MayBank ISave (accessible via MayBank2U app)
Mobile banking and internet banking is designed to benefit you in all kinds of ways – some of which are fundamentally changing what a bank is and what it offers.
“For a long time, banks have been a mattress replacement,” says Bruhnke. “You put money in a bank because you didn’t want to stick it beneath a mattress. Now, it’s becoming more of a utility.”