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Digital Banking in the Philippines for Foreigners: Maya, GCash, and Alternatives

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The digital banking landscape in the Philippines is evolving rapidly, with Maya and GCash leading the way in offering convenient financial services. Both platforms cater to a broad user base, including foreigners, non-citizens, and non-residents. This comprehensive guide aims to provide detailed insights into Maya and GCash cards, their features, eligibility for foreigners, and alternatives available in the Philippines.

Maya Card for Foreigners


Maya, formerly known as PayMaya, is a prominent digital bank in the Philippines. It provides a range of financial services including online payments, money transfers, bill payments, and virtual prepaid cards. The Maya card is a versatile tool allowing for ATM withdrawals, online shopping, and in-store purchases.

Eligibility and Registration

Foreign nationals can register for a Maya account, but the process involves certain requirements. To register:

  • Download the Maya app and provide personal details.
  • Upgrade the account by submitting a valid ID and a video selfie.
  • A Philippine roaming SIM number and a local address are necessary for account registration.

Features and Benefits

  • Maya accounts offer various limits for transactions.
  • Upgraded accounts enjoy enhanced features like higher transaction limits, the ability to open savings accounts, and access to loan facilities.

GCash Card for Foreigners


GCash is another popular digital wallet in the Philippines. It offers services like bill payments, online shopping, and a Mastercard for cashless transactions.

Eligibility and Verification

  • Foreigners over 18 with a Philippine SIM can use GCash and get fully verified.
  • Verification requires submission of an Alien Certificate of Registration and possibly additional documents like a DOLE Alien Employment or School Registration Form.

Features and Benefits

  • Basic GCash accounts offer limited services like cash-in, bill payments, and buying load.
  • Fully verified accounts can access additional features, including international remittance, investment options, and a higher wallet limit of PHP 500,000.

Maya vs GCash

When comparing Maya and GCash:

  • Both offer similar basic services like bill payments and online shopping.
  • Maya provides additional features like savings accounts and investment opportunities.
  • GCash has a higher wallet limit for verified users.

Alternatives for Non-Residents

In addition to Maya and GCash, the Philippines offers other digital banking options. These alternatives might have different features or requirements, so it's important to research and choose one that best fits your needs.

  1. RCBC Diskartech: Offers an interest rate of 6.5% per annum. It is the multilingual financial inclusion mobile app of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) and includes features like Telekonsulta and Telemedicine.

  2. Netbank: Provides an interest rate of 4% per annum for Basic Deposit Accounts and has free InstaPay and PESOnet transaction fees.

  3. GOtyme: Features a 5% per annum interest rate. It's a digital banking platform that provides various online banking services.

  4. Tonik: Provides an interest rate of 4% per annum for solo stash and 4.5% per annum for group stash.

  5. SeaBank: Offers a 4.5% per annum interest rate and includes free transfer fees to SeaBank accounts, as well as free transfers via InstaPay and PESONet.

  6. UNObank: A Singapore-based digital bank offering an interest rate of 4.25% per annum in the UNOReady Account and up to 6.5% per annum in the UNOBoost and UNOEarn Time Deposit Accounts.

  7. UnionDigital: Provides 3% per annum interest for accounts with ₱5 million and below savings, and 4% per annum for accounts with ₱5 million and above savings.

  8. CIMB: Features a 5% per annum interest rate on its GSave account and other promotional rates.

  9. Komo by Eastwest: Offers an interest rate of 2.5% per annum, with no withdrawal fees at any EastWest Bank ATMs and four free monthly withdrawal fees for BancNet ATMs.

  10. Overseas Filipino Bank: Provides interest rates ranging from 1% to 4% per annum, depending on the account balance.

  11. BPI’s BanKo: Offers 0.0625% per annum on PondoKo Savings Accounts and 5% per annum for TODO Savings Accounts.

  12. OwnBank: A mobile banking service of OwnBank, a rural bank in Cavite City, offering 6% per annum on Savings Accounts and up to 8% per annum for Time Deposit Accounts.

Wrapping up

For foreigners, non-citizens, and non-residents in the Philippines, both Maya and GCash provide accessible digital banking solutions. Understanding their features, eligibility criteria, and the process of account verification can help you make an informed decision. Always ensure to comply with local regulations and requirements when using these services.

This guide has been created with the latest information available as of early 2024. For more detailed instructions on registration, verification, and usage, please visit the official websites of Maya and GCash.

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