Bankers Association supports new ATM fee-charging model

THE Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) threw support behind the memorandum of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) about the new charging model for automated teller machine (ATM) transactions.

Beginning April 7, all banks will be adopting acquirer-based ATM fee-charging principle following the BSP mandate. This scheme will charge cardholders for balance inquiry or fund withdrawal based on the fees imposed for other banks by ATM operators.

Currently, banks follow issuer-based method: the charges are set by the issuing bank and they apply even though cardholders transact with another ATM owner.

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

Castillo assured consumers that they will continue to enjoy free ATM services for transactions completed via their respective banks.

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

Several banks have already released advisories regarding this new ATM fee charging scheme.

The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) said that BPI debit card holders can continue using BPI ATM terminals for free. For non-BPI card holders, transaction fees may vary.

“The withdrawal fee shall be automatically added to the amount withdrawn,” BPI said.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

The Ayala-led bank will charge P15 for withdrawal transactions and P1.50 for balance inquiry for other local banks’ ATMs.

BDO Unibank Inc. is encouraging its clients to use its over-4,000 ATM terminals so they can transact without incurring additional fees. “Using your BDO card at non-BDO ATMs will incur fees which may vary depending on the bank,” the Sy-led bank said.

According to its website, non-BDO clients will be charged with P18 for withdrawal and P2 for balance inquiry.

Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., meanwhile, is charging non-bank clients with P18 and P2 per cash withdrawal and balance inquiry, respectively.

“Cash withdrawal and balance inquiry transactions made using your DBP [Development Bank of the Philippines] ATM card at other banks’ ATM will now be charged a transaction fee, which may vary depending on the ATM terminal being used, as set by the other bank (acquiring bank),” state-run DBP said in an advisory.

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