Banks assure public new ATM fee policy ‘customer-centric’
Philippine banks have migrated to a new automated teller machine (ATM) pricing model whereby fees charged to a cardholder for withdrawal or other transactions are based on the fees of the acquirer or the owner of the ATM terminal used.
This is to comply with a much-debated new ATM pricing framework by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), which replaced the long-running issuer-based pricing model that previously allowed the issuer of the ATM cards to set the fees and share the rest with the ATM acquirer and the switch network that facilitates the clearing.
On Wednesday, the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) expressed its support to the acquirer-based ATM fee principle set by the BSP.
“We are appreciative of the BSP’s move to adopt this pricing philosophy that is market driven and customer-centered. This policy promotes competition and efficiency in the banks’ effort to deliver better services to the banking public,” said Benjamin Castillo, BAP managing director.
The new system has generally resulted in higher fees on transactions using ATM terminals owned by entities other than the ATM cardholders’ issuing banks.
But the BAP assured the banking public that cardholders who transact through the ATMs of their respective banks would continue to enjoy free ATM services.
“Cardholders who choose to transact using an ATM of another bank will still have an option to proceed or not to proceed with his transaction mindful of the ATM fee that will be charged,” Castillo said.
Asked about the compelling reason behind the phaseout of the old issuer-based pricing, which some big banks favored, the BSP had said the old system was not transparent. The customer was previously not aware that said fee was being shared among different parties, namely: the acquiring bank that receives a fixed fee, the switch network that receives a fixed clearing fee and the issuing bank that receives the remaining portion of the ATM fee, the BSP said. —Doris Dumlao-Abadilla
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