How to save on BDO’s interbank fees

How to save on BDO’s interbank fees

Last Update: February 19, 2020

Because I have been living here in Korea for almost seven years now, I find it annoying knowing that banks here in Korea charge up to KRW 800 (around PHP 35) in facilitating interbank transfers and that BDO Unibank charges PHP 50 (or around KRW 1,200) when you send money to other banks.

What’s even more annoying with using BDO is that you are only limited in sending up to PHP 50,000 per banking day.

In this article, the Simple Convincer will teach you how to:

  • Send money to other banks almost for FREE* using BDO
  • Send money more than the allowable PHP 50,000** daily limit interbank transfers

Let’s get started.

Getting Started

In order to send money for FREE using BDO, you should have the following:

  1. BDO Checking account
  2. BDO Check notes
  3. ING Philippines bank account or UnionBank of the Philippines Bank Account

Sad to say, in order to send money to other banks for free using BDO, you should have #1 and #2 with you. It’s the only way. Opening an account with ING Philippines or UnionBank of the Philippines is easy and you literally need PHP 0 maintaining balance.

Step 1: Open a BDO Checking account

You can skip this step if you already have one. Having a checking account is somehow important because this is your only way of accessing the Philippine Clearing House Corporation interbank netting facilities that banks use in the Philippines.

Think of it as the manual way of doing PESONet transactions…but for FREE. With a checking account, you can write any amount that you like. Like what they say, sky is the limit.

For more information about BDO Checking Accounts, you can know more about BDO’s checking account.

Step 2: Open an ING Philippines or UnionBank bank account

ING is a Dutch multinational banking and financial services corporation headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. ING opened it’s Philippine subsidiary back in the 1990s and recently in 2018 provided retail services to clients that offer higher interest rates compared to the mere less than 1% savings rates offered by brick and mortar banks in the Philippines. You can check out ING Philippines at the App Store or at the Google Play Store.

On the other hand, UnionBank of the Philippines is a Filipino bank. Recently, this Philippiine bank has pledged to adopt to digitalization, like what most banks in first-world countries have done.

Step 3: Deposit a Check to your ING or UBP Account using your smartphone

If you already have a BDO checking account and an ING Philippines internet savings account, you can go directly to this step.

Using a good black or blue pen, a smartphone and a dark (preferably black) background for check photoshoot, write a check to yourself for deposit to your ING or UnionBank bank account.

When taking a photo of your check, make sure that the background of the check is black. Your check deposit might get rejected if the background is not black.

Take note that starting May 2, 2019, you should write the following at the back of your check:

  • Bank name
  • Account number on the provided field
  • Check deposit date

Make sure you deposit your checks before 3:30 PM Philippine Standard Time. Your checks will clear on the next banking day.

Step 4: Send money to other banks

Because ING Philippines and UnionBank is also part of PESONet, you can send to other banks literally for FREE.

Just fill out the required fields on the Transfer page on the ING Philippines app. Also make sure that the account number is correct. If the account number is incorrect, you might have some trouble getting your money back.

If you have UnionBank, you can send money to other banks instantly for as low as PHP 10 only! That’s like one jeepney fare.

Happy inter-bank transferring

You have just learned how to send money from a BDO account to any bank in the Philippines. Take note that all in all, if you wish to save on PHP 50 but are willing to wait, you can do this method. This method is not recommended for people who need their money sent to other banks on the same day.

Depending on the bank that you are using, the entire bank transfer process can take at most two banking days. That is, one day alloted for waiting for your check to clear, and then end of day for the clearing of PESONet. It can be less than 2 days, but one day minimum if you have a UBP account.

If you have another bank that charges insane fees (more than PHP 50) for using InstaPay or PESONet interbank transfer facilities, you can use this same method. That is, you should have a checking account and an ING or UBP bank account.


* Almost for FREE: The only costs with sending using check payments is the checkbook that can cost PHP 500 for every checkbook that contains around 100 check notes. Thus, costs comes down to PHP 5 per send vs PHP 100 per send using BDO’s interbank fund transfers using InstaPay.

** More than PHP 50,000: BDO Retail Customers are currently limited in sending up to PHP 50,000 daily even though the InstaPay network allows unlimited number of transactions with up to PHP 50,000 per transaction. ING and UBP only allows check deposits up to PHP 500,000 per check only. This is in compliance to Anti-Money Laundering thresholds. If you wish to deposit more than PHP 500,000, you may need to visit a UBP branch and be ready to explain how you got the amount more than PHP 500,000.

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