PH banks extending waiver of fees for PesoNet, InstaPay funds transfer

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Some Philippine banks will waive fees for PesoNet and InstaPay transactions until the end of the third quarter while others will be until the end of the year, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor Benjamin Diokno said.

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In a Viber message to journalists Thursday, July 9, Diokno said this move is part of the banking sector’s responses “to the call for relief measures that will benefit the general public and at the same time deepen the use of digital payments during the Covid-19 period.”

Banks that will waive the fees for both transactions until end-September are BDO, Metrobank, BPI, RCBC, ChinaBank, Bank of Commerce, Robinsons Bank, PSBank, and China Bank Savings. Diokno said the deadline for the fee waiver extension by the PNB will be known “until further notice.”

Digital payment firms Paymaya and GCash will also waive fees until end-September this year.

Meanwhile, banks that will waive fees for both transactions until the end of the year are UnionBank, Asia United Bank, Landbank, Security Bank, Sterling Bank, and Standard Chartered Bank.

Diokno said HSBC will waive fees for retail clients until the end of the year, but implemented reduced fees for corporate clients from P150 per transaction to P50 per transaction since last July 1.

He said the central bank is “actively pushing for the use of digital payments now as part of a safe and convenient payments system.” “My goal is to have half of all financial transactions –in volume and value– in digital form by the end of my term, which is midyear 2023. With the quantum jump in the use of digital payments during the lockdown, I’m confident that this goal would be achieved sooner,” he added.

PesoNet and InstaPay are the two real-time electronic payment systems under the BSP’s National Retail Payments System (NRPS). InstaPay allows bank clients to transfer funds up to P50,000 per transaction without limit daily while PesoNet is a credit payment scheme for business-to-business and people-to-business transactions, such as crediting of salaries to employees’ accounts.

BSP earlier said that volume of InstaPay transactions during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in mainland Luzon from March 17 to May 12 rose by 84 percent, while PesoNet transactions grew by 24 percent.

In a separate report, the central bank said the volume of InstaPay transactions reached about 8.86 million last April, up by about 509,151 percent compared to the 1,740 transactions when it was launched in April 2018. PesoNet transactions reached about 1.08 million last April from around 330,000 when the electronic payment system started operations in November 2017. — Joann Villanueva (PNA)

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