What comes to your mind when you picture The Philippines? Bustling cities? Beautiful beaches? But what is it that really makes the Philippines unique? Anyone who lives there, or has visited any one of the islands that makes up the vibrant archipelago, will tell you that it’ s the country’s community spirit that brings it to life. For most Filipinos, family - and that includes close friends - is priority.
And as you’ ll know, for Filipinos living abroad, staying connected with loved ones is not just a priority, it’ sa necessity. Support is the backbone of your relationships, even from a distance. One way to offer that is by sending money home.
In this blog, we are going to explore:
- What is the currency in the Philippines?
- The economy in the Philippines
- The exchange rate between Philippine pesos and the British pound
- Which of Small World’ s money transfer options to the Philippines is best for you?
The local currency in the Philippines is the Philippine peso (PHP) and you can recognise it by the symbol: ₱.
While it’ s possible to pay using USD or Euros in some tourist hotspots, it’ s best not to rely on currency that isn’t the peso. Not all places will accept alternative currencies, and the exchange rate is likely to be bad. The Philippine peso is always the best currency to use.
The World Bank describes the Philippines as one of the “most dynamic economies in the East Asia Pacific region“. It has a large, young population that provides both a strong workforce and a good flow of money from ambitious overseas Filipino workers (OFW). According to the Philippine Statistic Authority, as of June 2019, there were 2.2 million OFW perhaps you’ re one of them?
Like most of the world, the Filipino economy has been impacted by COVID-19. While this hasn’t hit the country as hard as some others, it has slowed down economic growth. This is mainly due to understandable decreases in personal spending, less money being invested and a significant slowing of income from exports, tourism, and remittances.
For OFW who are able to, transferring money to the Philippines has never been more important, both for their own wellbeing and development, and for the economy as a whole.
Looking to transfer money to the Philippines? Here’ s what you need to know:
When you send money home, it’ s important to understand exchange rates, and make sure you know what the exchange rate is at the moment you’ re making your transfer.
If you’ re an OFW in the UK, the current exchange rate will tell you how much your British pound is worth when it is converted to Philippine pesos.
As the sender, you are looking for a high rate. This means you get more pesos per pound.
Unfortunately - and sometimes fortunately - exchange rates change by the minute. If you make regular transfers to loved ones in the Philippines, it is worth keeping an eye on them and, if you are able to, choosing when you send money in response to changes.
In the past 12 months, according to Trading Economics:
- The lowest exchange rate was 1 GBP to around 59 PHP, in March 2020
- The highest exchange rate was 1 GBP to around 66 PHP, in February 2021
At Small World, we always make sure our exchange rates are competitive, giving our customers the most pesos to the pound at any given time. Unlike banks, we track the situation and adjust accordingly.
For more information, see our recent blog post on the best time to make a transfer to the Philippines.
So, how can you send money to the Philippines?
The first thing to know is that Small World works incredibly hard to build great partnerships with banks that you will recognise. From BDO and Metrobank to EastWest, we want you to feel comfortable with the banks we work with.
Through these partnerships we’ re able to offer you five options, and the one you choose will depend entirely on your personal preference. You can choose from the following:
With bank deposit, you can send money direct to a Philippine bank account. This option requires your loved one to have access to a bank account, but the transaction can be completed in minutes.
Sending money for cash pickup allows your recipient to choose a location to pick up their money in cash. You can use our cash pickup service if your loved one does not have a bank account.
Luckily, our cash pick up network covers over 11,861 locations across The Philippines, so it’ s likely they won’ t have to travel far, and our partnerships with companies like Metrobank make this even easier.
Cash card reload
Another option is to top-up a prepaid cash card. Again, this does not require access to a bank account, and the transaction is quick and easy.
This is a great option for those wanting to keep in touch with family members. By choosing this option, your money is transferred straight to your loved one’ s mobile provider as airtime. Simple, yet effective.
Finally - the best option for older family members, those who are unable to leave the house, or live in more remote parts of the country - home delivery means your transfer is delivered straight to a home address.
To get started, simply set up an account - by visiting a Small World agent near you, downloading the Small Worldapp or visiting our website - and choose the option that is right for you. Your first transfer is fee-free.