Updated Dec 16, 2020

In the past, No, you could not open a bank account online without going to the bank. 

You would have to be physically present at the bank to present your IDs and to accomplish and sign bank account forms.

And if your bank offered a way for you to start opening your account online, you were still required to go to your branch within a certain number of days to complete your account opening in person.

girl using phone to open bank account online


But now that the BSP has approved the operations of fully digital banks, Yes, you can now open a bank account and activate your account online without going to the bank.  Your ATM card will be delivered to you at your address after a time. 

But you can do this only with fully digital banks. With most of the banks, you still have to go to their branch to open your account. 

The first fully digital banks in the Philippines that have released their mobile apps which clients can use to open and activate their accounts online are:

ING Bank
CIMB Bank
     CIMB Bank offers a savings account called GSave account in partnership with GCash. 
      You can open GCash through your GCash verified account, or through your CIMB mobile app.

The first fully digital account offered by a non-fully-digital bank is:
KOMO, offered by EastWest Bank

Many more banks are expected to open as fully digital banks and many more fully digital accounts are expected to be offered by non-fully-digital banks. Why? Because more people are now getting comfortable handling digital accounts due in part to the pandemic and because the BSP has approved the addition of digital bank as a new bank category.

There are banks that allow you to do online a portion of your account-opening process:


There are now Philippine banks that allow you to start filling up account opening forms on their websites, but you will need to go to the bank with your IDs to sign forms and to get your atm card or passbook.

These banks are:
Union Bank
Security Bank
Landbank
Overseas Filipino Bank


There are bank branches/subsidiaries overseas that assist you in opening a Philippine-based account:

PNB bank offices in Los Angeles, California and in New York City and branches in other countries.
Metrobank office in New York City and branches in other countries
BDO offices in Hong Kong and Singapore. Probably also those in South Korea and Japan.

There are remittance companies overseas that assist Filipinos in opening Philippine-based bank accounts with their remittance partner banks in the Philippines.

There are banks that allow an OFW to open a special OFW account at the offices of selected remittance partners abroad, which are usually banks or financial companies.  These offices abroad will forward the account opening documents to the banks in the Philippines, which will then evaluate the application documents.

REMINDER!!!!!  Due to the pandemic and anti-money-laundering efforts of foreign governments and the Philippines, opening of Philippine-based accounts abroad might have changed or now have restrictions, so remember to call these banks first before going to their offices, in case there have been changes.  

References:

Part Eight of the Manual of Regulations for Banks (MORB)

Anti Money-Laundering Regulations

X806.1.e Face-to-face contact

No new accounts shall be opened and created without face-to-face contact and personal
interview between the covered institution’s duly authorized personnel and the potential customer except under Subsecs. X806.1.e.1 to e.3.
(Circular No. 706 dated 05 January 2011)

 X806.2 Customer identification

Covered institutions shall establish and record the true identity of its customers
based on valid identification document/s specified in Subsec. X806.2.c.
(Circular No. 706 dated 05 January 2011)

 X806.1.e.3 Third party reliance

Where a third party as defined under Subsec. X806.2.e.1 has already conducted
the requisite face-to-face contact on its own customer who was referred to a covered institution, the latter may rely on the representation of the third party that it has already conducted face-to-face contact: Provided, That the pertinent requirements in Subsec. X806.2.e.1 are also met.
(Circular No. 706 dated 05 January 2011)

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