Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said banks can increase ATM withdrawal fees up to P18 only, the cap they are imposing now, as well as a P2.50 ceiling for balance inquiry charges.
Based on the acquirer-based ATM fee charging (ABFC), which started April 7, banks will impose ATM withdrawal fees ranging from P10 to P18 from the previous P10 to P15.
“The ABFC is a market-based and transparent way of pricing ATM services that empowers cardholders to choose an ATM that charges lower transaction fees,” said Diokno.
“In the old pricing method, the cardholder has no option but to be charged a fixed fee in any ATM not owned by his bank. With variable fees charged under the ABFC, the fee could be lower,” he added.
The shift to ABFC only affects the fees charged to transactions performed by cardholders at another bank’s ATM. Withdrawal and balance inquiry fees remain to be free when a cardholder transacts at his or her bank’s ATM, said Diokno. He expects banks will set up more ATMs because of the ABFC.
About 34 percent of ATMs are in the National Capital Region and 13 percent in Region IV-A or the CALABARZON area.
The other regions have zero to eight percent of ATM share. As of end-September 2020 there are 22,466 ATMs. Diokno said during the height of the lockdown in 2020, ATM withdrawals naturally declined from 100 million volume to just 73.6 million. By end-2020, the volume was at 94.2 million with a less severe lockdown.