Lawmaker Urges BSP to Push Banks to Reduce Online and Digital Transaction Fees in the Philippines
Chairperson of the Senate committee on banks, financial institutions, and currencies, Senator Grace Poe, urged for the assistance of the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to push banks to lessen digital charges and e-wallet fees for the reason that many of the Filipino citizens using these services are yet to find jobs during the pandemic.
Digital banking and e-wallets became one of the most prominent payment platforms for many Filipinos during the pandemic. This enables them to continue monetary transactions without engaging in contact or face-to-face communication.
According to Statista, approximately 8.6 million e-wallet accounts were registered between 2011-2017. Upon the emergence of the pandemic, the number of people who use digital payment methods significantly increased as they rely on paying and transferring their funds to e-wallet platforms such as G-cash, Coins.ph, Shopeepay, Paymaya, Paypal, and the likes.
In a statement posted on the Senate’s website, Poe noted, “I am calling on the BSP to urge banks and other financial institutions to lower their charges for digital transactions as Filipinos are striving to endure the impacts of COVID-19.”
Poe noted that the pandemic had driven millions of Filipinos to utilize digital payments and e-wallets that resulted in banking institutions charging pre-pandemic fees to make profits from digital transactions.
Poe expressed, “There are still many people who don’t have work, and they are making sure that each peso they spend will help their families.”
Poe mentioned that lessening the charges of these electronic payments services will diminish the consumer’s expenses and will urge them more to use digital services such as online banking and e-wallet transactions.
BSP imposed a moratorium on the planned fee increases for digital fund transfers of banks and financial institutions through InstaPay and PESONet.
BSP Governor, Benjamin Diokno previously mentioned that the moratorium is expected to assist the economy and sustain momentum in electronic payments.
BSP made the announcement in the midst of reports of some banks and financial institutions that increased fees for digital transaction services that were initially waived during the peak of the pandemic.