Angara calls for extension of waiver on fees for cashless transactions

Published October 1, 2020, 11:54 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Juan Edgardo Angara on Thursday urged banks and mobile payment systems to suspend the collection of fees for digital transactions as the country is still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sen. Sonny Angara
(Senate of the Philippines / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Angara made the call after some banks and mobile money services said they will resume collecting fees in spite of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) appeal for them to extend their waiver on PESOnet and InstaPay transactions.

“Right now every family is penny pinching due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic so every peso saved goes a long way,” said Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Finance.

Angara said he fully supports the BSP’s efforts to promote the use of digital payments in order to reduce physical transactions to curb the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

“We appeal to our banks and financial institutions to suspend their collection of fees for digital transactions during this very challenging time,” the senator further said.

The lawmaker pointed out the government is doing its best to help all sector greatly affected by the pandemic; waiving fees for digital transactions would go a long way to help ease the people’s financial concerns.

The BSP noted that several banks, including the biggest commercial banks in the country, will resume charging fees for digital transactions this month.

Among the banks and mobile money services that will resume charging fees today are BDO Unibank, Inc.; Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company; Bank of the Philippine Islands; China Banking Corporation; Bank of Commerce; Robinsons Bank Corporation; Philippine Savings Bank; PayMaya Philippines, Inc; China Bank Savings, Inc.; Philippine Bank of Communications (extending its PhP 1.00 fee due to system constraints); and Equicom Savings Bank, Inc.

But there are at least 12 banks that have decided to waive their fees for PESONet and InstaPay transactions until December 31, 2020, based on a list released by the BSP last August.

These include Union Bank of the Philippines; Asia United Bank Corporation; Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank); Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP); Security Bank Corporation; Sterling Bank of Asia, Inc.; Standard Chartered Bank; East West Banking Corporation; United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB); Maybank Philippines, Inc.; Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) and Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC).

Some banks, on the other hand, have agreed to waive their fees until further notice and these are the Philippine National Bank (PNB); MUFG Bank, Ltd.; CTBC Bank (Philippines) Corporation; Bank of China Limited – Manila Branch; BPI Direct Banko; Cebuana Lhuillier Rural Bank; CIMB Bank; Citibank; DC Pay (retail clients); ING Bank N.V.; JP Morgan Chase Bank; Philippine Business Bank; Philippine Trust Company; and Bank of Florida.