Rundown: ATM fees for interbank transactions in 2021

February 8, 2021 - 3:34 PM
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Automated teller machine Photo by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke via Pixabay

Banks will soon charge their non-clients of higher fees for using their automated teller machines (ATM).

Called acquirer-based ATM fee charging (ABFC) method, all ATM cardholders will have to pay higher or incur additional costs if they use ATM terminals from other local banks starting April 7 this year.

The additional costs also varies on the issuing banks.

Banks advised their clients to check announcements on their fees/charges first before using their terminals.

Previously, in the issuer-based method, the additional costs to non-clients are uniform on all banks.

This was implemented under the central bank’s Memorandum M-2013-044 in September 2013.

However, in April 2018, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas lifted this six-year-old moratorium, thus giving BSP-supervised financial institutions (BSFI) an opportunity to be competitive with their ATM activities.

In July 2019, the BSP issued Memorandum 2019-020 that required them submit their proposed new ATM fees to BSP for approval.

New rates of some banks

This new policy affects all BFSIs, which include all major banking firms used for payroll in the country.

Here are the announced rates of some banks:

BPI

In an advisory on February 5, Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Islands, one of the largest bank firms in the country, reminded its clients of the implementation of the acquirer-based fees on ATM transactions.

“The withdrawal fee shall be automatically added to the amount withdrawn. The balance inquiry fee will be shown as a separate debit amount which will be reflected in your Statement of Account (SOA) on the day the transaction was made,” BPI said.

The additional fees of BPI to non-clients are:

  • Balance inquiry: From the previous P1.50 to P2
  • Cash Withdrawal: From the previous P15 to P18

BPI cardholders don’t have to worry as long as they transact using the bank’s ATMs.

“BPI clients can continue using their BPI Debit cards on BPI ATMs free of charge,” the bank said.

BDO

BDO Unibank, another major banking firm, updated its list of ATM transaction fees to include new costs for using BancNet terminals.

Screenshot of BDO’s updated list of ATM fees from its website retrieved on February 8, 2021

UnionBank

The new charges of UnionBank Philippines to its non-clients for using its own terminals are less than the costs from BDO and BPI, according to its website. 

  • Balance inquiry: P2
  • Cash withdrawal: P12

Security Bank

Of the banking firms, Security Bank imposes the highest fees to cardholders that are not its clients. 

Screenshot of Security Bank’s updated list of ATM fees from its website retrieved on February 8, 2021

‘Keep fees reasonable’

BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier reminded them to keep the costs “reasonable” to the public.

“While the BSP does not directly intervene in the prices of BSFIs’ products and services as a matter of policy, the BSFIs are reminded that it is their responsibility to ensure adherence to the principles of reasonable and market-based pricing,” Fonacier said.

Moreover, the regulator also noted that issuing banks should disclose all price changes to its clients or cardholders.

“Appropriate disclosures on ATM fees and charges shall be provided to the cardholders. The amount to be charged to a cardholder shall be clearly displayed on the ATM location and on the screen of the ATM terminal,” Fonacier said.