PayPal Bank Transfers Catch UnionBank Off-Guard

PayPal Philippine Bank Transfers

“It’s all about thriving in markets that are smarter and faster than you are. It’s all about being utterly fucked if you don’t know what I’m talking about.” — Hugh MacLeod.

First, the good news: PayPal now transfers money to Philippine banks. It’s free for transfers above PhP7000.00, with a transaction fee of PhP50.00 (~$1.23) for transfers below that. Previously, only credit cards and UnionBank EON cards could receive PayPal funds in the Philippines, with a fixed $5.00 transaction fee.

Now, the bad news: UnionBank, with whom I opened an account for the express purpose of receiving PayPal funds through a UnionBank EON card, thinks their bank code is some sort of fucking top secret shit. I just got into a fight with one of their customer service agents over it. He questioned the need for a bank code on PayPal; I dared him to log on to his PayPal account and see for himself.

I do not appreciate being called a liar, especially by people who cannot see the obvious. Unless UnionBank gives me the information I need right now, they will lose some of my business. Interesting how they’ve turned from one of the smartest banks in the Philippines to one of the stupidest, all within the course of one Sunday. That’s what happens when your market is faster and smarter than you.

To be fair, UnionBank EON is the only Philippine debit card I would use right now to make payments online. As for receiving payments online, however, I’m afraid I’ll have to look elsewhere. Here’s a list of banks who aren’t so insanely secretive about their bank codes, courtesy of Pinoy Money Talk. Note that bank codes are different from SWIFT codes.

(Update, January 29: New list available. Click here.)

As is too often the case in opaque Philippine business, even this very basic information had to be gleaned from original customer research. Use at your own risk: PayPal charges a PhP250 return fee for incorrect details.

Smart Philippine banks will publicly post their bank codes ASAP to attract fast-moving PayPal users. If you want cheap, easy access to PayPal funds newly flowing into the Philippines, open an account with any of these banks. Don’t go with banks that are too slow or stupid to give their customers the basic information they need.

Sign up for PayPal and start accepting credit card payments instantly.

PayPal for the Philippines: Use EON, But Not Fresh

First, the bad news: seems cards need a transaction history before working with PayPal. That means fresh cards won’t work.

Now, the good news: seems after building that transaction history, UnionBank EON Visa Electron debit cards can receive money from PayPal. Since the Philippines is still a cash-based economy, debit cards are often more useful here than credit cards.

I’m getting my EON card soon, but it looks like I’ll have to buy some stuff before withdrawing my PayPal funds to it. One shopping spree is a small price to pay for access to revenue streams that pay exclusively through PayPal. If other banks don’t act fast, UnionBank might quickly secure a monopoly on PayPal funds newly flowing into the Philippines.

Sign up for PayPal and start accepting credit card payments instantly.