Metro Manila · Money & Finance
The name of the country's currency is Philippine Pesos. 100 Centavos equal 1 Peso. Most services and products and paid for by cash, followed by credit and debit cards issued by local banks, followed by international credit cards. Cheques are mostly used for salaries and rent.
You can find ATMs of the different local (and some international) banks everywhere across the city. Most ATMs are situated inside malls, banks and on the outside walls of banks. The latter are accessible 24/7. Outside the Megacity, there are still ATMs in every town. If you plan to go to the deepest countryside or smaller village, though, you might not be able to find an ATM for a while.
To cheque or not to cheque, that is the question. Cheques are very common in the Philippines. They are used to issue wages or to hand over as security when renting an apartment. Will you be needing an account for cheque payments during your stay in the Philippines?
International Credit Cards are good to withdraw money and to use in upper-class hotels and restaurants. For everything else, you should carry cash.
Planning to open a Philippine bank account while you are in the country? Take a look at bank requirements here.
Opening a bank account at a Philippine bank will get you a national debit/credit card that you can use for most of your transactions in the Megacity. Local debit or credit cards makes cashless shopping available and enables you to withdraw from any ATM anywhere in the country.
Banks are regularly open from 9 am to at least 3 pm. Some, like the Bank of the Philippine Islands, operate until 6 pm. Banks outside the Megacity may close earlier. All banks are closed on national and on many special holidays.
Cash is the single most important way of paying your bills and carrying money around. Centavos come in 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 coins and Pesos come in 1, 5, 10 coins and 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 bills. It is not that uncommon to pay even large sums in cash. Due to the comparatively low value of the highest bill (1000 Pesos are roughly 20 Euros or 22.50 US Dollar), you might easily end up carrying around a large bundle of bills.
Over-the-counter (OTC) payment collection services are often located in shopping malls, grocery stores, and sometimes the nearest street corner. You can settle most of your monthly bills and many other payments by dropping by these shops.