Tonik as a Good Digital Bank: the Future is Here

 Recent news about the 6 digital banks that got approved here in the Philippines is just a testament that these non-traditional banks are here to stay. Tonik is my current go-to, but I attach the buying guide to survey what we have out there.


Photo c/o Pixabay

Tonik is a digital-only bank that you access through a phone app. Features

Top-up: Allows you to put money into your Tonik account through PESONet, Debit Card, Online, and Over-the-Counter (Cliqq, 7-Connect, Cebuana, Mlhuillier, SM Busines Center)

Send: Money can be sent through PESONet and InstaPay (so basically accounts of majority of Philippine banks), to Other Tonik customers, and through Over-the-Counter partners (Cebuana, MLhuillier)

Virtual Card: useful for online shopping, and has added features like locking your card and setting spend limits

Physical Debit Card: Let’s you buy a physical card for ₱300, though Tonik is transparent that a ₱250 fee is charged over ATMs (basically because it’s still considered a non-local bank to other banks)

Stash: Apparently this is one of the distinguishing features of digital banks: these are labeled and maintained mini-accounts (no separate number, but you can deposit into and take out money from each stash). It’s meant to divide your money into and save money for goal purchases (they give an example of a stash to buy a car or computer). You set up target amount for each stash, and because they function as savings, they earn interest (an amazing 4% for individual stashes, and a bigger if you have a group stash). 

Time Deposit: This is your usual time deposit, but their great rates are what set them apart (I believe a promo rate, but they give 6% per annum).

Loan: Requires a pay-slip and for now they loan up to ₱50k


I’ll leave it to their websites to detail their features, but for the most part, these banks have virtual and physical cards, and have high interest rates compared to your regular banks.

Stable Interest Rate

Other Remarks



Link with Gcash/Gsave



No loans w/in the app




Tonik’s rates are promo rates since they are the newest entrant so far. The 4% savings account rate is a point for Tonik. For the 6% time deposit rate, it’s certainly a promo, but also to be clear, here’s a run-down of the big differences vs. a savings account, and why it gives a higher rate:
You can only deposit money upon setting up the time deposit. This is a big thing for savings accounts because new deposits do enjoy per-month interest earnings. Tonik only allows 5 time deposit accounts, so planning is needed
You can’t withdraw your money until maturity. This is a big issue when one needs to be liquid.


I found opening an account and getting money in to be very straightforward (just have a government ID). The interbank transfers are just so good (not to mention free) during the pandemic. The time deposit is really what shifted me over to Tonik because that rate is a little short of MP2, and actually beats a lot of the dividends from stocks (not to mention that it is also less risky). It is also leagues better than the .5% or 1% interest rates of traditional banks. 
The stashes were a good surprise that I ended up using. I use it make sure I am saving, and there’s a sort of motivation if you know it’s for a new cellphone or a new laptop. The rate is also amazing compared to CIMB and ING. To be fair, the other two banks have promo rates where they get to the 4%, but it only applies for 1 or 2 months.
You’ll also notice that Tonik is geared towards the younger crowd, so it uses very informal language that makes banking less daunting actually.


The big thing is the physical card. That ₱250 withdrawal fee is horrible. I also don’t like that they do not have a browser interface. The app is actually good now (it was buggy a few months ago), but honestly we are on our computers so I would appreciate accessing my account through a browser. I also online check deposit, which ING has.


■■■ Pwede na
Amazing rates, easy interface and account opening. The interest rates make it a really strong choice. I think we're still at the stage of waiting for some of its other features (browser interface, check deposit), but I hope it gets there.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post