BSP Looks to Scrapping Fees on Small Online Fund Bank Transfers
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) aims to remove fees on small-value fund transfers to encourage more locals to use digital payments and be beneficial for poor Filipinos.
BSP Governor Felipe M. Medalla stated that the ₱15 transaction fee for bank transfers is still high, especially for less fortunate locals, in his banking community speech last Friday.
Medalla cited, “And one way to make it more inclusive, and I’m sure we can work together to achieve it, is if small transactions… will be free of charge so that the poor can also use digital payments. Because if the transaction is small and the fee is ₱15—it’s quite large relative to the transaction.”
Medalla noted that the banking community and government could “find a cost-sharing system” that would remove small fees for transactions. He also added that the protocol is worth pursuing if the fund transfers done are below a specific number or around three transactions each day.
Medalla discussed, “There is a way of sharing costs. I promise you, the central bank, will be in a greater hurry to cut reserve requirements so you can afford to give those [concessions].”
According to Medalla, efforts to promote digitalization in banking are underway as services, including InstaPay and PESONet are “great successes,” as more Filipinos use QR codes to proceed with transactions.
Medalla explained, “We have done great work there (digitalization). The share of digital transactions in total payments has been growing steadily. But we should not sit on our laurels. We should achieve more, and we must make digitalization more inclusive.”
BSP launched the Paleng-QR Ph Plus in Lapu-Lapu City so market vendors in the region can accept digital payments from their customers. Paleng-QR Ph Plus is a nationwide initiative promoting digital transactions in public markets, transportation hubs, and other business establishments.