Rethinking my banks

Where I talk about the banks I’m using, planning to use, letting go, and how I intend to use them. Obviously intended for people in the Philippines.

Where I’m at

I want to set aside different amounts of money to different bank accounts for various reasons. These reasons being:

  1. Savings

  2. Payments for my insurance (and possibly an HMO in the future)

  3. A fund for the higher-priced items I want (like a smart TV or a new laptop)

  4. A fund that I can use when I’m funemployed, and

  5. Payments to my yearly subscriptions

It was kinda hard for me because I didn’t have banks which allows me to make a lot of accounts for small amounts of money. An account in a traditional bank has a required average daily balance, and if you go lower that you pay a fee.

I tried out a digital bank to try accomplish my goal, but there was just something petty I didn’t like about it. In total fairness, I don’t regularly check that bank, so I don’t end up spending the money I set aside there. Transferring to a bank I regularly withdraw from costs a fee or takes time, so it lessens the chances of me spending the money for gigs and splurges.

I have accounts in a few banks which offers various kinds of products. I took some time checking all of them out, including banks I’ve never used before, comparing them to one another. Here’s my thoughts on them and my plan moving forward!

What I’m currently using

Quick Rundown: BPI, Unionbank, CIMB, GCash, Maya (both wallet and bank)

I have various accounts in 3 banks, all with small amounts of money in them (one just has PHP 14, about USD 0.36)

My personal bank account has always been BPI, even since I was a kid.

I got a Unionbank account because the company that I worked for had their payroll there. I still use it to receive my salary in other companies I’ve worked for if that’s where they also do their payroll.

I mainly opened a GSave account (under CIMB, a digital bank, via GCash) because using the various features of GCash can make me unlock GCredit — which I wanted.

Because I wanted to set aside money for various reasons in various accounts, the higher interest rates (compared to traditional banks) led me to open the other types of accounts being offered by CIMB (Fast Plus and UpSave), so I now have 3 under CIMB.

I tried out Maya’s Savings feature (which is their main difference from GCash) just because of the higher interest rate, which is paid daily and not monthly.

For eWallets, I only use GCash and Maya as my eWallets. Other than using them for daily expenses, I also use them to pay bills. I do it there instead of the apps of the banks mentioned earlier because I’m aiming to raise my credit scores for GCredit and Maya Credit (where they don’t mention what is yours), and probably to take advantage of their loan products (like GGives and GLoan).

Thinking about it now, maybe I should actually be doing it through the banks especially if I want to get a credit card from them… Oh well, I don’t really trust our current financial system that much, so why not try new forms of it? (With regards to the last part, yes, I am interested in crypto and its various use cases — one being finance.)

What I’ll be using moving forward

Quick Rundown: BPI, Unionbank, Tonik, Maya Bank. The eWallets will always be present.

I’ll always have a BPI account. I plan to just let it be where I receive my salary and also where my personal monthly allowance for daily expenses (mainly food and commuting) will stay.

I’ve thought about closing my Unionbank account because I use it less than how I use BPI when both are kind of the same for me. I ended up thinking that I should keep it as a back up account to receive my salary.

I’m letting go of my CIMB accounts, and switching to Tonik, another digital bank. As mentioned earlier, I want to have various accounts for various reasons. While my CIMB accounts serve that purpose, I don’t like how each has its own interest rate. GSave is 2.6%, UpSave is 2.5%, and Fast Plus is 0.75%. While they have different amounts deposited in them and that interest earned will really differ from each account, I want them all to have the same interest. It’s just less information for me to have in mind.

Tonik allows me to make up to 5 Stashes (equivalent to CIMB’s UpSave — which you can make up to 10 accounts — and somehow like Maya Bank’s Goals), which I’m planning to use for the various reasons mentioned earlier.

One of the reasons I’m switching is interest rates. Tonik and CIMB have lowered their interest rates already. The high 6% and 4% respectively were pretty much just for promotion when they were just starting, so I’m not surprised they lowered them, and don’t really expect it to go lower soon. Tonik is now giving 4%, while CIMB’s highest is 2.6%.

While there are other digital banks giving higher interest rates, I still chose Tonik because I expect the other digital banks to lower interest rates too, and because the higher interests are really for time deposit accounts. This means that you can add more to the account, but you’ll pay a fee if ever you want to close it earlier than your specified date. This is also the case for Maya Bank’s Goals. I don’t want that, and this is the main reason I chose Tonik.

Maya Bank will serve as my actual savings account because their interest rate is 4% compared to CIMB’s 2.6% for GSave, and Tonik’s 1% for the main savings account.

Before I start, I just want to say that this is about crypto. So if you don’t care about learning something new, you may stop reading already. Personally, I think this is interesting because I kind of have not seen something exactly like it in any bank.

In crypto, there’s this thing called “smart contracts” which anyone can program to do anything the ecosystem can do. One example are Split smart contracts. What it does is instantly split the crypto sent to the smart contract to various accounts. It can by percentage or by specified amounts. You can make one here without learning how to code.

Here’s some samples:

BTW, don’t mind the “ENS not found”. Basically you should put a valid crypto wallet address, haha.

The classic "50-30-20" rule.
The classic "50-30-20" rule.
Another kind of Split where you specify how much will be placed in each crypto wallet.
Another kind of Split where you specify how much will be placed in each crypto wallet.

If I’m being paid in crypto, this is actually a convenient way of doing what I want to accomplish. Banks and eWallets have an Auto-Transfer feature which kinda allows you to do the same, but you have to switch through various apps in order to set them up, copy and pasting or entering account details.

Not to mention, there are fees with transferring to different banks. BPI charges PHP 50, while GCash, Maya, and Unionbank charges PHP 10-15, and the free-to-use PESONet has a cut-off time and will send the money later. A Split just costs a one-time fee to deploy.

Some fun facts about it:

  • You can put a Split as a recipient for another Split.

  • An interesting use case for Splits is paying collaborators for something you sold

Anyways, that’s about it for this post. If you think this was interesting, consider collecting this post so that I can fill up those financial goals faster, hahaha.

Or if you want to just get the latest blog posts from me, consider subscribing! You’ll get an email every time I put out a new post (and I rarely do so, so it’s not spammy, lol).

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