Safely Transferring Foreign Currencies to GCash

This post explains the different ways you can convert foreign currencies and send them to your GCash account.

Filipinos are known for having connections in other countries — as immigrants, as overseas workers, and as tourists. And understandably, a lot of Filipinos remit money back home to their families.

Additionally, through the rise of e-commerce and side hustles, it isn’t uncommon that Filipinos can also earn dollars and other currencies. They would also need to transfer their earnings to their local bank or to their GCash account.

In this post, we’ll talk about different ways how you can transfer money from a different country to your GCash account.

Can I use GCash abroad?

As a Filipino abroad, you are able to make use of your GCash as long as you qualify for the following:

  1. You use a Filipino SIM card and have international roaming enabled.
  2. You are Fully Verified and have an address in the Philippines.
  3. You are a Filipino national.

If you use a SIM card from a different country, you won’t be able to log into GCash, even if you have help with OTP (one-time password) from a local in the Philippines.

How to activate roaming on your phone

For postpaid plans, you typically only need to turn your data on. For prepaid plans, you would need to avail of roaming plans (Globe / Smart).

Transfer via Remittance

As we have a lot of OFWs abroad, they also need to remit their earnings back home. Unknown to many, GCash has a lot of partnerships with remittance partners abroad. If you have a GCash account and you are in another country, you can fund your wallet by using remittance partners aside from cashing in using Philippine bank transfers.

For remittances, the fees are shouldered by the sender. So in this case, the recipient receives the net amount with the fee removed.

A shortlist of remittance partners includes:

For more details, you can also take a look at my receiving remittance post.

Transfer via Bank/Wire Transfer

Another popular method is to transfer to a Philippine bank account via wire transfer from a foreign bank. The originating currency will automatically be converted to pesos once deposited. But expect that there will be processing fees included in the transfer.

This method is popular for freelancers or OFWs earning in foreign fiat and wanting to send money back home.

Here are some common bank SWIFT Codes. The bold ones have either a cash-in or GSave integration with GCash and the others, you can transfer to GCash via their respective InstaPay / PesoNet capabilities:

  • BPI / BPI GSave – BOPIPHMM
  • UnionBank – UBPHPHMM
  • CIMB Bank / GSave – CIPHPHMM
  • Maybank – MBBEPHMM
  • BDO Unibank – BNORPHMM
  • Metrobank – MBTCPHMM
  • Landbank – TLBPPHMM
  • Security Bank – SETCHPHMM
  • Philippine National Bank – PNBMPHMM
  • Chinabank – CHBKPHMM
  • Eastwest Bank – EWBCPHMM
  • RCBC – RCBCPHMM
  • UCPB – UCPBPHMM
  • PSBank – PHSBPHMM
  • AUB – AUBKPHMM
  • PBCom – CPHIPHMM
  • DBP – DBPHPHMM

Once the wire transfer is complete, depending on the bank, you can either withdraw (from GSave), initiate a bank cash-in, or do an Instapay transfer to your GCash balance.

Take note that for Instapay transfers, there may be fees for some banks.

Here are the InstaPay fees for most banks (as of Aug 31, 2022):

  • AUB: Php 8
  • BDO: Php 25
  • BPI: Php 25
  • Chinabank: Php 15
  • Coins.ph (DCPay): Php 10
  • East West: Php 10
  • Landbank: Php 25
  • Maybank: Php 10
  • Metrobank: Php 25
  • Paymaya: Php 15
  • PBCom: Php 20
  • PNB: 50
  • PSBank: Php 15
  • RCBC: Php 25
  • Union Bank: Php 10

You can also refer to the BSP Instapay fees list if your preferred bank is not here.

Transfer via Paypal

For many entrepreneurs, Paypal is one way to receive money online. It’s also easy to link Paypal to a GCash account, as long as your name matches the Paypal account name.

You can also enable multiple currencies in your Paypal account, meaning you can hold multiple currencies in different sub-wallets without converting from one to another. If the currency you plan to accept isn’t on the list, it will be converted automatically to the primary currency you’ve set.

Cashing in is simple as you can do it from within GCash once linked. Fees may include the conversion from one currency to PHP.

Here is the list of supported currencies. :

  • Australian Dollar (AUD)
  • Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  • Czech Koruna (CZK)
  • Danish Krone (DKK)
  • Euro (EUR)
  • Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
  • Hungarian Forint (HUF)
  • Israeli New Shekel (ILS)
  • Japanese Yen (JPY)
  • Mexican Peso (MXN)
  • New Taiwan Dollar (TWD)
  • New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
  • Norwegian Krone (NOK)
  • Philippine Peso (PHP)
  • Polish Złoty (PLN)
  • Pound Sterling (GBP)
  • Russian Ruble (RUB)
  • Singapore Dollar (SGD)
  • Swedish Krona (SEK)
  • Swiss Franc (CHF)
  • Thai Baht (THB)
  • United States Dollar (USD)

Transfer via Payoneer

Another option for online business owners is cash-ins via Payoneer. Similar to Paypal, you can receive payments in Payoneer, then transfer them to your GCash balance. The main advantage of receiving payments in Payoneer is the receiving account can simulate a checking account at a local bank which makes it easier for some sellers.

Supported currencies are USD, EUR, GBP, and JPY. This means that you can accept payments with these currencies without needing conversion.

For fees, according to this site, receiving payments with Payoneer using the USD wallet incurs a 1% transaction charge. The other currency wallets don’t have this fee. Another is the conversion fee when you do cash-in to GCash.

Transfer via Cryptocurrency

There is no direct cash-in via cryptocurrency from within the GCash app. However, you can receive money in GCash by converting the cryptocurrency you received to Binance. You can use the P2P trading function to have the crypto converted to fiat and sent to your GCash balance.

The fees you will encounter are related to the conversion of your cryptocurrency in the exchange, and the conversion to fiat via the P2P buyer.

The supported cryptocurrencies for Binance P2P trading to fiat are:

  • USDT
  • BTC
  • BUSD
  • BNB
  • ETH
  • SLP

I recommend you use BNB, BUSD, or USDT (via Binance Smart Chain) as these don’t take too much gas fees to transfer, unlike BTC, ETH, or SLP which costs an arm and a leg to transfer.

Alternatively, you can transfer cryptocurrencies to another local exchange (like Coins.ph or PDAX) and convert them to pesos for Instapay transfer to your GCash account.

Transaction Limits and AMLA

In receiving money, let us always remember the GCash monthly transaction limits.

Wallet and Transaction Limits

This also covers most of the limits of all cash-in channels, including over-the-counter, machine, online, Paypal, Payoneer, and remittances.

Additionally, the outgoing limit also applies to financial services like GInvest and GInsure, as you are putting money into investments and/or insurance.

DetailBasicFully VerifiedFully Verified with
Linked Accounts
Fully Verified Minor (GCash Jr)Platinum ( enrolled in a Globe Platinum Plan)
Wallet SizePhp 50,000Php 100,000Php 500,000Php 50,000Php 1,000,000
Daily Incoming LimitPhp 10,000N/AN/AN/AN/A
Monthly Incoming LimitPhp 50,000Php 100,000Php 500,000Php 10,000Php 1,000,000
Daily Outgoing LimitN/APhp 100,000Php 100,000Php 10,000Php 500,000
Monthly Outgoing LimitPhp 10,000N/AN/APhp 10,000Php 1,000,000
Yearly Outgoing LimitN/AN/AN/APhp 100,000N/A

The linked accounts here pertain to BPI, UnionBank, and Payoneer accounts, with GSave and GInvest placements.

If you encounter GCash limit exceeded errors, you will need to wait for next month for your limits to reset.

For some cash-in channels, here are the respective limits:

  • Payoneer: Php 100k per month
  • BPI Cash-in: Php 50k per day
  • UnionBank Cash-in: Php 50k per day

Otherwise, the GCash monthly limits apply.

Take note that the GCash upper limits are Php 500k per month, this is because the Anti-Money Laundering Act mandates reporting of deposits of amounts exceeding this.

If you have big amounts to transfer, it would be best to transfer partially at a time and stretch it. Or you can use different channels in sending to your accounts. You can also send it one time via bank transfer but you may need to send documents to let them know that your fund sources are above board.

Other Questions

How do I send money in my GCash balance into other currencies?

If the recipient has a GCash wallet and is in another country, you can send the funds straight to him, and he can either withdraw from any ATM using his GCash Mastercard or pay in select merchants having Alipay+ support. He can also use his AMEX or GCash Mastercard as a debit card and the payment automatically converts to a competitive exchange rate.

Summary

Transferring foreign currencies to GCash is not that hard, as you have a lot of channels to choose from — either through remittances, wire transfer, Paypal, Payoneer, or cryptocurrency.

You should also take note of the monthly limits due to your verification level, as well as other limits and fees imposed depending on the channel you chose.

If you’d like to learn more about GCash, I created a how-to on the basics of GCash.

Here is a list of links if you’re interested in the main GCash features:

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