Ever since Paypal announced that it will be allowing registered paypal users to withdraw funds from their paypal account and transfer it directly to banks in the Philippines, I noticed quite a few blogs writing about the topic. My friend Kuya Lestat redirected me to PMT(which stands for Pinoy Money Talk) when we were discussing about routing codes for paypal transfers. PMT has provided a step-by-step instruction on how to go about the fund transfer. However, I noticed quite a commotion on the “bank code” required to consummate the withdrawal transaction. I presume most were left in the dark when it came to this “bank code.” PMT likewise did its best to compensate for Paypals lack of information on the matter.
Indeed there was quite a confusion with this much required "bank code." First off, I believe Paypal described this as a routing number or ABA number if I am not mistaken. The ABA number is actually a 9 digit number uniquely assigned to the bank for identification/routing purposes(kind of like an ID Card No. in school). Now if you are a Filipino inquiring in any Philippine bank and you ask for the banks ABA number, I believe you might not be provided the right one. Why? Upon inquiry from a reliable source, Philippine banks do not have an ABA number. What we do have is the Bank Routing Symbol Transit Number or BRSTN which coincidentally is also nine digits. Secondly, I also read that the "bank code" is usually that 9 digit number printed on the topmost part of checks beside the check number(I assume that this is for dollar checks). Allow me to point out that the BRSTN is also printed on the same location for philippine checks.
Having made this observation, there was already a nagging feeling inside my chest that maybe I was on the right track. I had second thoughts though, because publishing a post that could affect lots of people in doing their paypal transfer transaction is no joke. Notwithstanding the fact that there are charges to be incurred in doing the transfer and I didn't want to take the risk. Going back to my bank code discussion, as per Paypals' release of the Official List of Paypal Philippines Bank Codes, these codes are actually the BRSTN of the banks main offices. These BRSTNs are uniquely assigned to each bank. Let us take for example, Allied Bank having a routing number of 010320013. Whereby, 01 pertains to the region number(in this case, Metro Manila); 032 would be the numerical bank id or bank code(if you would notice, all Allied Bank branches would be assigned a 032, whereas Metrobank would have 026, etc).
I encourage readers not to mention the ABA number when they are inquiring in Philippine bank branches, for the reason I have stated above, where Philippine Banks do not have ABA numbers(well technically they are not called ABA numbers here in the Philippines). Second, do not mention wire transfers for they will give you the SWIFT code(usually in this form--BNORPHMM or EWBCPHMM) instead. Some universal banks like Metrobank, BPI and Chinabank might be able to give you an ABA number when it comes to wire transfers, but that will most likely be the ABA number of the Phiippine banks nostro account abroad. This would still depend on what place the wire transfer is coming from.
That being said, while it is indeed a breakthrough , it is still in its early stages. However, I hope it could be well-developed so that it could serve the purpose for which it was implemented in the first place. Much thanks to PMT for keeping us updated with the developments. Just a tip, when you ask for a banks routing number(for paypal transactions), ask them the BRSTN of the banks main branch. >
Labels: Banking, Paypal