COL financial vs BPI trade? Who will I choose?


BPI Trade

Application: So hard and so complicated (this is the most tiring part, believe me — you apply online, print, bring the form personally to any branch, wait for weeks for their email to arrive, then the email arrives but everything is confusing and you still won’t be able to open your account, then finally you call their hotline to ask for the initial password. And as additional surprise, you still have to enrol your BPI Trade Account Number to your BPI Express Online so you can do fund transfer. To do this, you have to again enrol online, print, bring form to the bank then wait for days again until you see it in your Express Online account. Note that all of these take about 3-5 weeks to finish.

Funding Your Account: You may fund by logging to your BPI Express Online and do fund transfer from your Savings Account to your Trading Account, but the fund takes 1-2 full days to be credited, what’s up with that? Also, I’m not sure if you can fund thru other banks.

Customer Service: Just sucks. You email them, they don’t reply for days and when they finally answer your inquiry, multiple agents will again still answer your email days apart, it’s like they don’t tag a query as closed. Oh and their email server cannot accept emails with attachments, whut?

Website: It was down for 3 days from Fri to Tue last week, could be a server problem or an upgrade gone wrong. However, I can’t deny that their website is down from time to time for minutes to hours and that sometimes you can log-in but won’t be able to access your portfolio and do trading. Design-wise, their website can do better (hope they remove that hovering menu, it’s hard to navigate on a phone). One thing to also note is that the website times-out due to inactivity after only a few minutes. While this is appreciated for security reasons, they need to increase the inactivity buffer to 30-60mins since this is a trading site anyway. Also, seems i can’t find the Watchlist menu and the stock prices are not updated automatically?

Dividend Notification: They don’t email you if you will receive a dividend, they just credit it to your account, albeit 2-4 days late, so it’s hard to track.

Mobile Application: none

COL Financial

Application: Fast and efficient. (apply online, print, bring/mail to their office in Ortigas, wait for their email, fund, wait another mail for password; finish all these in about 3-4 days).

Funding Your Account: Takes only 15-30 minutes to be credited via bills payment from BPI, BDO or MetroBank. (Yes, even from BPI. I find it weird that doing funds transfer from BPI to BPITrade takes at least a day to be credited. Maybe BPI could just utilise bills payment instead of fund transfer?)

Customer Service: Fast as per my last email with them. I asked a question, they responded 20 minutes after.

Website: Seems good enough though just a bit cluttered. After 6 months of usage, it was only last week that I encountered a problem when clicking Buy/Sell from their Watchlist. This lasted that afternoon but was immediately fixed the next day. Other than that, there are just minor complaints like ticker not working for iphones and for some computers, etc. and that there are very few instances when the site is laggy.

Dividend Notification: They email you if you will receive dividends.

Mobile Application: None yet but already doing beta testing and will be released soon in iOS and android.
I believe the problem with BPI Trade is that they think like a bank and not like a broker. They need to become a totally separate entity from BPI to be able to give better service to common traders.