PH banks set to adopt acquirer-based ATM fee charging

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​Starting April 7 this year, banks will adopt acquirer-based ATM fee charging (ABFC), which is one of the requirements of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for lifting the moratorium on ATM fee adjustment implemented in 2013.

Currently, a cardholder is charged by his/her bank the same ATM fees for transacting at other ATM terminals. With ABFC, a bank can set ATM fees for non-customers, while continuing to offer free ATM withdrawal and balance inquiry services to its customers.

“The method is more advantageous to the transacting public as it promotes transparency and empowers consumers to choose the FI that satisfies their needs in terms of fees and quality of service,” the BSP said in a statement.

“ABFC allows [banks] that deploy ATMs to be reasonably compensated for servicing non-customers, and this also incentivizes them to set up more ATM terminals, which widens the reach of banking services in the country,” it explained.

The central bank said providing ATM services entails cost, including the counting and transporting of cash and its loading in ATMs; using electricity; providing security; and other expenses to operate and maintain the machines.

BSP-supervised FIs are also required to employ safeguards to ensure that clients can safely and conveniently use ATMs.

Adjustments in fees charged by banks to its non-customers are expected with the adoption of the ABFC. At present, ATM withdrawal fees range from P10-P15, which has been the case for more than seven years, the BSP said.

By April 7, ATM withdrawal fees are expected to range from P10-P18.

The BSP said it will review and approve all requests for ATM fee adjustments, and will consider the reasonable cost for ensuring the reliability and security of ATM services.

The BSP said the adoption of the ABFC also supports the implementation of a more straightforward way of imposing fees, as well as enhancements in fee disclosure requirements.

“The ABFC fosters transparent pricing as fees are required to be disclosed to a cardholder before an ATM transaction. ATM users will be able to make better, more informed decisions on how and where they wish to transact based on ATM fees posted in the ATM terminals,” the central bank said.

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