Banks brace for surge in cash demand over four-day holidayBy Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines — Local banks are bracing for a surge in demand for cash especially from automated teller machine (ATM) users this four-day weekend holiday.
Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., for its part, announced that it has beefed up its bank channels and readied limited operations for the long All-Saints Day and All-Souls’ Day holiday weekend. From Nov. 1 to 4, selected Metrobank branches nationwide will be open to serve the banking public.
Metrobank and thrift banking arm Philippine Savings Bank, Bank of the Philippine Islands and Banco de Oro Unibank also assured that their ATMs would be available to service transactions over the long holiday.
“We are encouraging the general public to withdraw and finish their transactions early enough to avoid the rush and queues,” BPI said in a statement.
About the same period last year, BPI estimated that the average daily withdrawal volumes on its ATMs was about P 1.4 billion. BPI has over 1,800 ATMs nationwide at present.
For those heading out of town, BPI encouraged ATM cardholders to withdraw at ATMs in the city, noting that the ATMs along the expressways were busiest during holidays.
BPI also reminded the public to practice these precautionary ATM reminders:
1. Check the area before using an ATM. If anyone or anything appears suspicious, leave at once.
2. Do not use ATMs that appear to have tampered card / cash slots.
3. Have your card ready for use.
4. Cover your hand as you type your PIN.
5. Never accept help from a stranger. Call your bank.
6. For your security, never count your money at the ATM in full view of strangers.
7. Get your card and transaction
slip at once. Should you need to deposit cash to your ATM based account over the long weekend, use the BPI Express Deposit Machines.
BPI said its kiosks would continue to follow their regular Saturday/Sunday weekend schedules for November 3 and 4.
BDO said its branches would be closed Nov. 1 and 2. For Nov. 3 and 4, the BDO branches open during weekends will have regular banking hours.
On Thursday (Nov. 1), Metrobank will have 13 branches open: Ilagan, Danao City (Cebu), San Pedro (Palawan), Rizal Avenue (Tacloban), Marasbaras (Tacloban), Ormoc, Naval (Biliran), Baybay, Maasin (Southern Leyte), Sogod (Southern Leyte), Borongan (Samar), Catarman and Catbalogan.
These will mostly open until 12 noon except for San Pedro and Rizal Avenue which will open till 1pm and Danao City which will open till 2 pm.
On Friday (Nov. 2), two Metrobank branches will open McArthur Highway, Tarlac (1 to 4 pm) and Legazpi, Rizal (until 12 noon).
Apart from opening selected branches over the long holiday break, Metrobank said it was also conducting maintenance checks on all its ATMs nationwide. The bank assured these would loaded with sufficient cash to meet the requirements of customers over the long weekend.
Metrobank and PSBank assured that their operation support teams would be on-duty 24/7 to ensure continuity of ATM services.
Metrobank also reminded its ATM accountholders that they can also pay for their purchases in department stores, supermarkets and other establishments through the BancNet point-of-sale (POS) terminals.
“PSBank assures the public that all its ATMs nationwide totaling to over 500 are all set to serve clients in time for All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day,” the thrift bank said.
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