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OnMyWay

Bank Fees For Direct Deposit of SS In Philippines

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Yesterday we applied for SS benefits for my kids and I.  I will have my SS direct deposited to my U.S. bank account and continue to use check writing to transfer money.

For the kids, my wife is the custodian and we will direct deposit the dollars to a PH bank dollar account.  SS gave us a list of banks and the fees they charge.  See picture.

I know several of you have your SS direct deposited to your PH bank account.  Am I correctly understanding that each month, the bank will charge the "service charge" for the direct deposit?

I hope I am mis-understanding this.  In the U.S., direct deposit is encouraged as it saves the bank money and makes them money when they get your money every month.

Direct Deposit Fees.jpg

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BDO charges me $5 to deposit a paper check from Bank of America into my US$ savings account just like all the other Philippine banks. I'm not surprised they charge a similar amount for a SS deposit. 

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1 minute ago, Happyhorn52 said:

BDO charges me $5 to deposit a paper check from Bank of America into my US$ savings account just like all the other Philippine banks. I'm not surprised they charge a similar amount for a SS deposit. 

Yes, same at BPI now.

I found the corresponding fee on the BPI website, as a SWIFT charge, like for wire transfers.  I guess the SS uses the SWIFT system for the international direct deposit.

https://www.bpiexpressonline.com/p/1/695/inward-remittance

This kind of sucks because I will have separate accounts for the kids, so we have to pay this X2 every month.  All of our accounts are at BPI now and she wants to open the new accounts for the kids at another bank, to save a few dollars.  I will probably agree so that we have some bank diversification.  BDO service charge is $4.50 as opposed to $6.50 at BPI.  I had thought about opening an account at BDO anyway.

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I bank at the BDO at SM Mall in Angeles City. I like it because there is plenty of parking and I like the safety of banking inside the Mall and US$ are always readily available unlike some other banks in the Philippines. Biggest downside to banking at BDO is that each of the branches is a stand alone bank which makes it difficult to get money from a location other than your chosen branch. 

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3 minutes ago, Happyhorn52 said:

 Biggest downside to banking at BDO is that each of the branches is a stand alone bank which makes it difficult to get money from a location other than your chosen branch. 

Yes, funny you said that as I was reading that list, and it says Interbranch Withdrawal, "No".  Is that true for dollars only, or also peso accounts?

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It's my understanding that BDO makes it difficult to withdraw your money from any branch other than your home branch. I believe you have to get written approval from your home branch and pay a fee. 

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i beat around this bank bush for a couple of years from one remitter to another from the US and finally found TransferWise and im sticking with them. 

at Land BANK we 1st had a dollar account, but it got wearisome going into the city and just trying to park and go in the bank. the bank was great and even let me do my biz ahead of everyone there and id be on my way. A VERY NICE PERK.

we always had a dollar account at BPI , but SS wouldnt send to them. when i left Land Bank my wife opened a peso account at BPI for p100 min. bal. and TransferWise sends all my funds there for a fee which has been better than any other service ive used and it arrives within 24 hours almost every time. usually 12.    they also have no limit on how much you can transfer... 

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1 hour ago, Happyhorn52 said:

It's my understanding that BDO makes it difficult to withdraw your money from any branch other than your home branch. I believe you have to get written approval from your home branch and pay a fee. 

I'll have to ask about that.  I don't mind much for the dollars, but if I have a peso account there I would like to withdraw at any BDO ATM without a fee.

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The end result was ........

Both Metrobank and BDO refused to accept the official letter that SSA gave us to open the accounts.  They both insisted that an "award notice" is required before they will open an account.  SSA says those will not be available for months.  There seems to be a disconnect between SSA and some of their partner banks.

I took the letter to my manager at BPI yesterday and she said no problem.  We went back today to open the accounts.  After about 15 minutes waiting, it took the CS agent about 2 hours to finish!  Lots of papers as my wife is the representative for the kids so it is a bit more complicated than usual.

Unfortunately we have to eat a $6.50 per kid service charge each month.  About $156 per year.  However, it will be easier to have the accounts at our main bank with our other accounts.

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Although my research is several years old, my understanding is the Federal Bank of New York had negotiated direct foreign deposit of Social Security benefits with partner banks all over the world. The only two countries where they can't be sent is North Korea and Cuba. There are no service fees on the US side such as wire transfer. There are no fees by the overseas bank provided the amount is converted to local currency (Philippine pesos bank account) because this is how the local bank makes money. They can and will charge fees if you have a US Dollar account. 

Anything else like pensions is fair game. The local banks can charge whatever they feel like.

By the way, I had sent earlier this year a substantial amount wire transfer to the Philippines. Usually the transfer is immediately cleared, but the recipient needed nearly two weeks to get all the clearances. The local bank was required to make sure the fund source was "legitimate" (me) as part of an anti-corruption campaign.  

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