Banking,  Guides,  PERSONAL FINANCE

CIMB vs. ING – Which Digital Bank Is Better?

If you’re from the Philippines, you must have heard about CIMB and ING already. But now, you’re having a hard time figuring out which digital bank is best to use. Perhaps the most popular question to digital bank newbies right now is “CIMB vs. ING, which is better?”

I made this comprehensive review of two of the best digital banks in the Philippines to help you decide which one to pick depending on your needs.

But first, let’s have an overview of what a digital bank is.


What are Digital banks?

A lot of us are already tired of the low-interest rates given by banks to our savings accounts. Add as well the paper works needed to open an account, and the long queue inside the branches to do our banking transactions. All of these didn’t change much in the last decades until digital banks came.

Digital banks allow customers to open an account by just using a smartphone. Sending of requirements and all banking transactions are being done online through their mobile app. It doesn’t have physical branches or bank tellers you can talk to face to face as well. With these, they have lower operating costs that’s why they can give higher interest rates.


As of today, there are already two fully-digital banks in the Philippines. These are CIMB Bank and ING. Both are international banks who brought their technology to the country to cater to tech-savvy millennials who want more convenience and higher interest rates.



CIMB Bank Philippines Overview

CIMB Bank Philippines Overview: CIMB vs. ING



Established in December 2018, this digital bank is a member of CIMB Group, a Malaysian universal bank that is present over 16 global markets. CIMB stands for Commerce International Merchant Bankers. According to its website, they already onboarded over 2.3 million customers since its establishment in the Philippines 2 years ago.


All of their savings account products don’t require an initial deposit, maintaining balance, minimum balance to earn interest, and no lock-up period, meaning you can withdraw your funds anytime you want.


CIMB products overview

CIMB products overview: CIMB VS. ING

1. UpSave Account

A high-interest rate savings account that you can open through the CIMB Bank mobile app.

  • Interest Rate (Per Annum): 3.00% (for account holders who maintain a balance of Php 100,000, 4.00% interest will be applied until September 30, 2020)

  • Free Life Insurance: For depositors who maintain P100,000 Average Daily Balance for one month (coverage is renewed on a monthly basis) Coverage is 1x of the ADB  up to a maximum coverage limit of PHP 1 million.


2. Fast & Fast Plus Account

A savings account that comes with a free VISA debit card once you reach a minimum cumulative deposit of Php 5,000 into the account. You can use the debit card for ATM withdrawals, Point-of-Sale (POS) transactions, and online transactions. 

Fast Account has an expiry of 12 months and has a cumulative deposit cap of PHP100,000. So after that 12 months and you want to continue using the account, you need to upgrade to Fast Plus Account (with no change in account number).

Fast Plus Account has all the benefits of Fast Account including the free VISA debit card but it is not subject to an expiry period and cumulative deposit limit.

Interest Rate (Per Annum) for Fast Account: 0.50%
Interest Rate (Per Annum) for Fast Plus Account: 0.75%

3. GSave Account

This savings account is tied with GCash. You should have a fully or semi-verified GCash account for you to be eligible for account opening. You can open and maintain an account straight from your GCash app.

  • Interest Rate (Per Annum): 3.10% (for depositors who maintain a balance of Php 100,000, 4.00% interest will be applied until September 30, 2020)

  • Free Life Insurance: For depositors who maintain P100,000 Average Daily Balance for one month (coverage is renewed on a monthly basis) Coverage is 1x of the ADB  up to a maximum coverage limit of PHP 1 million


Who are eligible to open a CIMB account?

  • Individuals aged 18 and above
  • Filipino citizen
  • Applicants must have a Philippine mailing address and an active Philippine mobile number
  • Applicant must have at least one (1) valid primary ID


How to open a CIMB account?

  1. Download the “CIMB Bank PH” App 
  2. Select “Create an account” and “I need a bank account”
  3. You need to choose the account you want to open:
    Fast account or UpSave account
  4. You will be asked for the following information: (Please ensure that the information you will provide matches your Valid ID, including your address)
    1. Personal details
    2. Active mobile number
    3. Email address
    4. Username you want to use
  5. Key in the OTP (One-Time-Password) which will be sent to your active mobile number
  6. Create your password
  7. Fill in further personal details
  8. Upload the front and back side of your valid ID (Fast Account)
  9. Sign a digital signature or upload a photo of your signature (UpSave account)
  10. Continue by confirming your email address by clicking on the link sent to your registered email address (Fast account)
  11. Perform the Virtual Verification (UpSave account)
  12. Upon successful verification, your account will be created

I personally have the GSave and UpSave account. Aside from high-interest rates, I find these accounts very convenient in depositing money. Just an FYI, if you want to have these both accounts as well, you need to create GSave first. You will not be able to set up GSave if you already have an existing account with CIMB. 

How to deposit money to your CIMB account


There are several ways on how to deposit money into your UpSave, Fast or Fast Plus account using the CIMB Bank App.

  1. Tap on Payments > Cash-in > Over-the-counter Cash-in > 7-Eleven. 
  2. Select the account you want to deposit to and input the amount. 
  3. A barcode and reference number will be generated. Make sure to take note of these. 
  4. Visit any 7-Eleven branch and present the barcode and reference number together with your money for cash-in. 
  5. The cashier will provide you with a receipt after the transaction.
  1. Tap on Payments > Cash-in > Over-the-counter Cash-in > Other payment centers > Payment center of choice.
  2. Select the account you want to deposit to, and input the amount.
  3. Instructions will be sent to your registered email address.
  1. Tap on Payments > Cash-in > Over-the-counter Banks > Bank of choice 
  2. Select the account you want to deposit to and input the amount. 
  3. Instructions will be sent to your registered email address.
  1. Tap on Payments > Cash-in > Online Cash-in > Bank account you wish to transfer from.
  2. Select the account you want to deposit to and input the amount. 
  3. Instructions will be sent to your registered email address.


For GSave, you need to have funds on your GCash wallet because this is where the funds will come from.

  1. Open Gcash App
  2. Click Save Money
  3. Tap DEPOSIT
  4. Enter Amount
  5. Then Click Confirm

The money will be instantly deposited into your GSave account.

Aside from savings account products, CIMB also offers loan products and you can apply directly from their mobile app.

CIMB Loan Products

CIMB Loan Products: CIMB vs. ING

1. Personal loan

Interest: 1.12% to 1.95% per month (subject to credit score rating)

Loan tenure: 12 to 60 months

Loan amount: Php30,000 to Php1,000,000

Processing fee: None


2. Fixed-term loan

Interest: 0%

Loan tenure: 12 months

Loan amount: Php30,000 to Php50,000

Processing fee: 5% on the approved loan amount


Who are eligible to apply for a CIMB loan?

Applicants must be:

  • Aged 21 and above
  • No older than 65 upon loan maturity
  • Philippine citizen and a non-US person
  • Must have a Philippine mailing address and an active Philippine mobile number
  • Have a minimum gross monthly income of ₱15,000
  • If employed, must be tenured for at least 6 months, or 1 year of continuous employment, unless employed in the top 15,000 corporations
  • If self-employed, must be operating for at least 1 year

How can I get CIMB loan?

  1. Login to the CIMB Bank PH mobile app 
  2. Tap PRODUCT on the Homepage 
  3. Tap APPLY FOR A PRODUCT and Select Loan
  4. Choose either Personal Loan or Fixed-term Loan
  5. Fill in the preliminary details 
  6. Select your desired loan amount and tenure
  7. If you are approved for the terms and wish to accept, tap ‘Next’. You may also choose to cancel the loan application by selecting ‘Leave Application’. 
  8. After you tap ‘Next’, you will be required to fill more personal details such as employment information and emergency contact. 
  9. Sign your digital signature if you agree to the Terms of the Loan. 
  10. Select your disbursement method 
  11. Upload your income document
  12. Proceed with Virtual Verification 
  13. Once approved, an email with the loan contract and details will be sent to you



ING Philippines Overview 

ING Philippines Overview: CIMB vs. ING

Established in the 1990s in the country as a wholesale bank, ING Philippines launched its all-digital bank via mobile app in early 2019. ING is a global bank that operates in more than 40 countries across Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

Currently, ING only offers one (1) product. It’s a savings account that doesn’t require an initial deposit, maintaining balance, minimum balance to earn interest, and no lock-up period, just like CIMB. 

ING Philippines Overview


Interest rate per annum: (these rates will only apply until August 31, 2020)
4.00% for accounts that have a balance below or equal to Php 10,000,000 (2.50% thereafter)
1.00% for the balance above Php 10,000,000 (will remain 1.00% thereafter)


Who are eligible to open an ING account?

  • Individuals aged 18 and above
  • Filipino citizen or be a resident of the Philippines
  • Have at least one (1) of the following valid IDs:
    Philippine passport
    Philippine driver’s license
    Unified multipurpose ID
  • Have a valid mobile number and email address
  • Have a valid proof of address

How to open an ING account?

1. Download the “ING Philippines” App
2. Prepare the following documents:

  • One (1) Government Issued ID
  • One (1) Proof of Address: It must show your name and the same address as your current or permanent address provided during account opening.

3. Open the app and tap “Open an Account”
You will be asked for the following information:

  • Legal name (First Name, Middle Name, and Last Name)
  • Email address
  • Mobile number
  • Verification code sent to your mobile number
  • Set a 5 digit passcode

4. Verify your identity

  • Allow the ING app to access your camera. Use the front camera for face verification
  • Take a photo of your ID.
  • Complete your ID and Birth Information
  • Enter your Residential/Mailing Address

5. Enter additional information

  • Work Information (Employment Type, Company Name, Industry, and Source of Income)
  • Tax Information (Countries where you pay your tax)
  • FATCA Information (Applicable only if you have any records in the U.S.A.)

6. Take a photo of your signature


How to deposit money into your ING account?

  1. From your other bank’s mobile app, look for the transfer to another bank or send money option.
  2. From the drop-down menu, choose “ING Bank N.V.” as the destination bank.
  3. Fill in the sender details as requested. The information may include but are not limited to the following:
  • Source account
  • Amount to be transferred

4. Fill in the recipient details as requested. The information may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Recipient’s account name
  • Recipient’s account number

5. Review details and click the transfer button

  1. Open the app and tap “Bank transfer” or “Send to a Bank Account”
  2. On the list of Banks, look for “ING Bank N.V.”
  3. Enter the amount, account name, account number
  4. Review the details and then tap send money

You can deposit checks into your ING account by taking a picture of it using the ING mobile app.
Before you deposit a check make sure it has the correct details:


Front of the check

  • The check must be issued in your name.
  • The amount on the check should be below PHP 500,000.00.
  • The date on the check should not be 180 days old or more.


Back of the check

  • Your ING account number
  • Date of deposit
  • Your signature
  • The bank name: “ING Bank”


How to deposit a check?

1. Open the ING App and tap “Deposit”
2. Lay the check flat against a dark and high contrast background
3. Take a photo of the front and back side of the check
4. Input the account number, account name, and the amount on the check
5. Select the correct issuing bank of the check
6. Check your ING app regularly to know the status of your deposit. Status is shown in the app dashboard and in the in-app messages

Please take note of the following:

  • Check deposit is available from 1:00 AM to 3:30 PM* on banking days.
  • Check deposits are usually cleared within 1-2 business days.
  • We recommend that you keep the actual check for at least 180 days after depositing.
  • Only checks issued by local banks or foreign bank branches in Philippine Peso (Php) are accepted.


Now given all the information you’ve read, I know you already have a choice in mind. But for us to really decide which of these two digital banks is better, we also need to look at their unique features. 



CIMB Features

These are the features of CIMB that ING currently doesn’t have.
 
Range of Products – CIMB currently offers five (5) products. With this, you can choose which savings account or loan product will best suit your needs.

Bills Payment – You can pay your bills such as electricity, internet, cable tv, credit card through the CIMB Bank app. This will provide you convenience especially if you just want to use your CIMB account for all your financial needs.
 
Mobile load – You can buy mobile load for all major networks from as low as P10 to a maximum of P1000.

VISA Debit card – There will still be a lot of times when you need cash for your transaction. With this debit card, you can withdraw at any BancNet ATMs in the country for free. You can also use this for Online transactions and Point of Sale transactions.

You can manage the card through the CIMB Bank App.

  • Enabling or disabling ATM withdrawals, in-store and online purchases
  • Block and unblock your debit card real-time
  • Change the card purchase and withdrawal limits 

Cash-out options – CIMB provides several cash-out options such as:

  • Cash-out on participating Bayad Centers in Metro Manila, Davao, and Cebu.
  • Using the VISA Debit card for ATM withdrawals.
  • Transfer funds to your other bank that has a debit card for free.
  • Transfer funds to your GCash wallet if you have the GSave.

ING has only one cash-out option, which is to transfer your funds to your other bank accounts for free.

Scheduled transfer – You can set scheduled transfer from your own CIMB account to your other CIMB account and from your CIMB account to another CIMB account holder.



ING Features 

These are the features of ING that CIMB currently doesn’t have.

Mobile check deposit – This is one of the unique features of ING. If you’re a businessman or a freelancer who usually gets paid through checks, then this will be very convenient for you since you just need your smartphone to deposit your checks.

Total Interest Earned – In the ING App, you will be able to see the total amount of interest you already earned. It’s not a mindblowing feature, but I find it very useful to actually see how much interest your money already earned from the bank.

E-statements – You can generate a statement of your account which includes all your transactions including interest earned for the selected time period through the ING App. This is free and the e-statement will be generated immediately as a PDF file.

Bank certificate – Just like the e-statement, you can generate a bank certificate through the ING App. Bank certificates are usually used for Visa application, business requirement, and loan application This is very convenient since traditional banks require you to go to the branch where you opened your account if you need one.



Which digital bank is better?


With their unique features, it’s really hard to decide which of these two digital banks is better. Both have features that are not present to the other. It really depends on the reason why you will open a digital bank.


I have both accounts on these two digital banks and for me, CIMB is better since most of the features I need are already on their App. There are also people who want ING more than CIMB because they are regularly get paid by checks and the mobile check deposit feature is really helpful to them. So it really boils down to the features you need in a digital bank in deciding which is better.


But remember that these two consistently upgrade their app and its features. We may see features of CIMB in ING in the future and vice versa. So whatever you choose will surely be a winner. 


Another thing that people usually ask regarding these two digital banks is their trustworthiness. Both banks are PDIC insured up to Php 500,000 per depositor and supervised by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. So this should not be an issue as both banks are well regulated just like all the top banks in the country.


Final thoughts

Aside from CIMB and ING, there will be several new digital banks that will be available in our country in the coming months. With DiskarTech App by RCBC that was launched this July, three others are expected to join the digital banking space. These are Komo by EastWest Bank, Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank) by Landbank, and TONIK Digital bank.


With these financial innovations, we are indeed moving towards a digital and cashless society. You should take this opportunity to try using these digital banks not just because of higher interest rates, but also for you to experience the latest technology and all benefits that come with it.

Rainier is a freelance writer who specializes in topics about personal finance. He's also trading the local stock market and has a full-time job in a Non-life insurance company.

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