The award-winning drive: CIMB Bank Philippines’ journey to being the most awarded all-digital bank in the Philippines

In the Philippines, financial inclusion is only for people who can afford the opening fees for banks. Nielsen’s 2019 Inclusive Digital Finance Report showed concerning numbers, wherein according to their research, 77% of the country’s population do not have a bank account; 44% of unbanked Filipinos cited not having sufficient money to open a bank account; 34% mentioned that the maintaining balance is too much and can be used for day-to-day expenses instead; 29% don’t have the documents required to open a bank account; and 17% see other bank related charges detrimental to their marginal income. Fortunately, 60% of unbanked Filipino families have mobile phones, 59% of which regularly use the internet through their mobile phones. This is where CIMB Bank Philippines saw the opportunity to increase financial inclusion in the country.


By making banking accessible and providing real value through an all-digital platform banking model, CIMB Bank Philippines envisions to disrupt the country’s banking industry by offering a differentiated digital banking model. 

Best-in-market products

The Bank first introduced its savings accounts, UpSave and GSave, where customers can experience the convenience of banking 24/7 and get interest rates as high as 4% per annum, over 1600% higher than the country’s leading banks. Moreover, the Bank offers free life insurance coverage for customers who have a minimum average daily balance (ADB) of PHP 5,000. The coverage is equivalent to the customer’s ADB capped at PHP 250,000. Furthermore, the Bank’s Fast Plus savings account enables a select segment of customers to get a free VISA payWave debit card, which can be used in over 21,000 ATMs nationwide.


CIMB Bank Philippines also partnered with over 17,000 partner locations where customers can conveniently process their transactions such as cash-in, cash-out, and loan repayment in 7-Eleven stores and Bayad Center branches, the country’s leader in outsourced payment collection.

A seamless all-digital banking experience

All of the Bank’s savings accounts can be opened digitally through the CIMB Bank PH app by just using one valid ID. The entire process takes only less than 10 minutes, with no account opening fee, no minimum deposit required, and no minimum maintaining balance. Loan customers may also get access to funds of up to PHP 1 million using only one ID and one pay slip to apply for a Personal Loan and get approved on the same day.


Along with the ease in account opening and loan application, customers can manage their accounts 24 hours a day and seven days a week through the CIMB Bank PH app. Account users don’t need to worry about any fees on their account as they can enjoy zero fees on bills payment, free cash-out transactions, and free cash-in transactions online or in over 17,000 partner locations nationwide. Additionally, debit card holders get up to two free withdrawals each month on non-CIMB Bank ATMs. 

Strategic partnerships

CIMB Bank Philippines’ partnership with GCash, the leading mobile payment solution in the country, allowed a non-bank entity to offer interest rates as high as 4% per annum to its customers. To further build on this digital platform banking strategy, the Bank also partnered with Bayad Center, the leading payment provider and bills payment collection in the country, by empowering them to have a seamless savings account opening process and loan application all through the Bayad Center app, which is powered by CIMB Bank’s digital financial solutions. These partnerships allowed CIMB Bank Philippines to bring banking to more Filipinos as it celebrated its two-year anniversary last December 2020 with over three million deposit customers. 

Award winning leadership

As the Bank continues to promote financial inclusion in the Philippines, CIMB Bank’s CEO, Vijay Manoharan, prioritizes delivering real value to customers with the purpose of helping improve their lives through banking. His efforts continue to pay off and have led him to be recognized as the 2021 Banking CEO of the Year by three different award giving bodies; Global Banking & Finance Review, World Business Outlook, and Global Business Review Magazine.


Manoharan’s passion to change the Philippine banking landscape begins with making drastic changes to people’s lives. His vision is to promote inclusivity by providing Filipinos the financial products that they deserve and providing everyone the same opportunities to attain financial freedom wherever they are in their financial journey.


The Bank’s top leader makes sure to instill discipline and hard work to over 200 employees of the Bank that services more than three million customers. He often reminds them that there are no shortcuts when delivering against exceptional targets. He sets the tone and sets an example of hard work, day in and day out. By doing so, he is able to rally and inspire everyone in the organization to strive for excellence. 

The most awarded all-digital bank 

Through a purpose driven passion, an unmatched digital banking platform strategy, and an award-winning leadership, CIMB Bank Philippines maintains its position as a key player in the country’s digital banking sphere. In the first three months of 2021 alone, the Bank secured 12 new awards including the Best Digital Bank 2021 award from the Global Banking and Finance Review, Fastest Growing Digital Personal Loan Provider 2021 award from the Global Economics Awards, and the Innovative Digital Bank of the Year 2021 award by The European.


To date, the Bank has garnered 35 recognitions from several international award-giving bodies, making it the most awarded all-digital bank in the Philippines. By offering best-in-market products, introducing a seamless digital banking experience, and forging strategic partnerships, CIMB Bank Philippines is able to give Filipinos the chance to seize their life’s goals.