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Finding the Right Expat Bank Account as an Overseas Filipino in Germany

16 Feb 2024

Understanding the financial landscape of your host country, whose major pillar is the banking system, is essential for your financial success. A report by Pilot Guides said that the Filipino diaspora is one of the largest worldwide, with over 10 million migrants. They constitute about 10% of the country’s total population. A major chunk of the Filipino diaspora is earning a livelihood in Germany, so expats can make a secure money transfer from Germany to Phillipines to offer better financial support to their family.

One of the most common financial features most developed countries share is the use of bank accounts. Germany is no exception.

The rising trend of using digital currency or any virtual form of currency necessitates using bank accounts in Germany for both natives and expatriates working there.

Therefore, this blog will walk you through the bank accounts in Germany, the requirements to open one and which is the best account type for you as a Filipino migrant.

Common Types of Bank Accounts in Germany

Some of Germany's most common account types remain the same as elsewhere, with the same account titles and almost similar services. The difference, however, is in the requirements to open your desired account, fees, and rate of profit.

Savings Account

The first account type you open in German banks is the ‘Savings Account.’ It allows you to save money for a fixed time and earn a profit on top of the principal amount. The longevity of your deposit and profit rates depends on you and your bank’s mutual understanding.

Checking Account

Like in any other country, a checking account is one of Germany's most common bank account types. It comes with a debit card and a checkbook, enabling you to manage your funds for daily use and transactions more efficiently.

Certificate of Deposit (CD)

A Certificate of Deposit (CD) is an account type, which allows you to save money for a long time to earn a profit. These accounts typically do not offer a debit card or a checkbook because they aim to keep your funds away from your access for a long period.

Money Market Account

Many people confuse a savings account with a money market account because both of them serve the same purpose. In money market accounts, however, the interest earned as a profit is higher than offered in a typical savings account.

You can open any of these bank accounts in Germany without any issues. But remember that online money transfer from Germany to Philippines is meant for your family’s financial support back home through any bank is not the ideal choice.

How do you open a bank account in Germany?

Opening a bank account in Germany is a simple process with the following few documents as a basic requirement. But remember that, in Germany, the bank opening requirements differ for the following categories of people with different residential statuses.

For German Residents

For the German natives, the required documents are:

  • Valid passport or German identity
  • Proof of your address
  • Proof of your income

For Non-Residents

For the non-residents in Germany, the required documents are:

  • Valid passport with a valid visa or residence permit
  • Proof of address
  • Financial statements or proof of income

For Foreigners

For the foreigners or newcomers, the documents required are:

  • Valid passport with a valid visa or a residence permit
  • Proof of address
  • Financial statements or proof of income

These are some of the main documents required to open a bank account in Germany. However, different banks may ask you to furnish other documents if needed.

Friendly Banks for Expatriates in Germany

The financial landscape of Germany is so rich and diverse that you will find several banks in Germany whose services benefit you as a Filipino expatriate. While the financial services of the listed banks below are beneficial for you as an expatriate, you might want to look for alternatives to send money online to Philippines from Germany for your family’s financial support back home.

  • Bunq
  • Commerzbank
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Monese
  • N26
  • Wise

Why are Banks Unfit for International Money Transfers?

Although banks worldwide command the trust and respect of their customers running into billions, these financial institutions are not fit for your online money transfers. There are many reasons, but the following few are worth considering.   

High Service Charges     

Banks still charge a high fee for sending funds across borders. Imagine you are working in Germany as a Filipino to earn money, and you have to pay a high fee each time you have to send funds back home. Remember that it is a recurring process that incurs costs. Right?

Uncompetitive Currency Exchange Rates         

Of the two main currency exchange rate types, static and flexible, almost every bank offers static rates, unlike flexible rates offered by some credible and reputable companies like ACE Money Transfer. Their rates are directly linked with the ever-evolving international currency exchange rates.   

Long Time to Deliver Funds  

Dazzling technology notwithstanding, most banks worldwide still take a few days to deliver funds across borders. The normal time to deliver funds is from 3 to 5 working days, which can extend further depending on several factors.       

These and a few other risks and challenges banks face in their financial operations compel you to find alternatives.   

Alternative to Banks for Money Transfers to the Philippines from Germany   

The advent of one of the world’s most credible online remittance transfer service providers ACE Money Transfer, has relegated banks to less relevance in the context of online money transfers. They holed their integrity with their overall utility and importance, still standing tall.      

Some of the reasons for this are explained briefly below.  

Speed and Efficiency  

Companies like ACE Money Transfer offer you swift money transfers with a delivery time of only a few hours. This time is less than the 24 hours most service providers offer you for international money transfers.        

Live and Market-Competitive Currency Exchange Rates

Unlike banks, ACE Money Transfer offers live and market-competitive currency exchange rates that are currently prevalent in the global market. It lets you initiate a transfer immediately if the rates are high or wait until rates spike.  

Low Service Charges

Not only does the firm charge you a low fee for your money transfers to the Philippines from Germany, but it also applies fees only when the amount reaches a certain threshold. Below this threshold, you can enjoy fee-free transfers.    

Safety and Convenience

You can access the service of the firm 24/7 from the middle of your comfort zone in over 100 countries worldwide. The safety of your transactions also augments this convenience, as your funds are kept away from hackers and scammers' reach.  

ACE Money Transfer For Seamless International Money Transfers 

While having a bank account in Germany as a Filipino has multiple advantages, any bank account type is unfit to send money to Philippines from Germany because of the aforementioned reasons.      

However, choosing ACE Money Transfer for sending money to the Philippines from Germany benefits you in multiple ways and offers financial benefits. These financial benefits align with your core objective of expatriation: to financially support your family back home.

So, the need to pay a low fee, get competitive currency exchange rates, and enjoy safety, speed, and convenience in your online money transfers takes precedence over all else. Wouldn't you agree?   


What are the common bank account types in Germany?

Some of Germany's most common bank account types are the same as in other countries worldwide. These are checking or current accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CD), and money market accounts.

How to open a bank account in Germany?

The requirements for opening a bank account in Germany differ for different people, such as natives, non-residents, and foreigners. But the most common documents required are a valid passport, proof of address, income proof, and proof of residence.

What are the expatriate-friendly banks in Germany?

Some of the most expatriate-friendly banks in Germany are Bunq, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Monese, Wise, and N26. These banks offer beneficial services for expatriates, but using these banks for online money transfers is still not recommended.

Why are banks unfit for global money transfers?

Almost every bank is unfit for a global money transfer because banks charge a high fee, take several days to deliver funds, and offer uncompetitive currency exchange rates. Banks also involve commuting hazards and immense paperwork.

What is the alternative to banks for online money transfers?

The best alternative to banks for online money transfers to the Philippines from Germany is ACE Money Transfer, which offers you live and market-competitive exchange rates, charges a low fee and delivers funds within a few hours with optimal safety and convenience.

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