Inter-bank ATM charges set to increase under new rules


Inter-bank automated teller machine charges are set to increase by April as banks switch to the “acquirer-based” ATM fee model prescribed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas from the issuer-based method.

Acquirer-based ATM fee charging is a model where fees charged to a cardholder for a withdrawal transaction or balance inquiry are based on the fees of the other banks or ATM owners. This means ATM cardholders will pay higher or incur additional costs if they use ATM terminals from other local banks.

The Bankers Association of the Philippines said in a statement it supports the acquirer-based ATM fee principle of the BSP.

“We are appreciative of the BSP’s move to adopt this pricing philosophy that is market driven and customer-centered. This policy promotes competition and efficiency in the banks’ effort to deliver better services to the banking public,” said BAP manading director Benjamin Castillo.

Castillo assured the banking public that cardholders who would continue to transact through the ATMs of their respective bank would keep enjoying free ATM services.

“Cardholders who choose to transact using an ATM of another bank will still have an option to proceed or not to proceed with his transaction mindful of the ATM fee that will be charged,” Castillo said.

“Same as before, no fee will be charged if the cardholder will use the ATM terminal of his bank,” he said.

Data showed that as of this months, the ATM balance inquiry fees are for BDO Unibank Inc., P2; BPI, P1.50; China Bank, P1; EastWest Bank, P1; LandBank, P1; Maybank, P1; Metrobank, P2; PNB, P2; PS Bank, P1; RCBC, P1; Security Bank, P1; UCPB, P2; and Union Bank, P2.

The withdrawal fees are for BDO, P11; BPI, P15; China Bank, P15; EastWest, P11; LandBank, P10; Maybank, P11; Metrobank, P11; PNB, P11; PSBank, P10; and RCBC, P14.

Under the acquired-based model, BPI’s non-clients who would use BPI ATMs would be charged P18 for every withdrawal starting April 7, 2021, up from the P15. Metrobank and PSBank also announced they would increase their withdrawal and balance inquiry fees for non-Metrobank/PSBank clients to P18 and P2, respectively.

BAP is composed of 45 member banks, 21 of which are local banks and 24 are foreign bank branches

Banks earlier advised clients to check announcements on their fees/charges first before using their terminals. The additional ATM charges are uniform among banks under the current issuer-based method.

The BSP in April 2018 gave supervised financial institutions an opportunity to be competitive with their ATM activities. In July 2019, it issued Memorandum 2019-020 that required banks to submit their proposed new ATM fees for BSP approval.

BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier earlier said banks were applying for higher ATM fees to recoup the cost of ATM services.

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