Rep. Joey Salceda is urging the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to put a cap on the digital transfer fees charged by banks while using PesoNet, Instapay, and other interbank services.
It is said that the high bank transfer fees are a form of “avarice” or an act of greed. This is based on the BSP data revealing that interbank transfer fees using PesoNet can go up to Php2,100 per transaction. Meanwhile, local banks apparently charge as high as Php550 while InstaPay fees can go as much as Php35 per transaction, the House ways and means committee chairman said last Tuesday.
For those who don’t know, InstaPay and PesoNet are private companies built by a consortium of financial institutions. InstaPay is mostly used by regular consumers for transactions with lower amounts while PesoNet is for bigger transactions.
Moreover, Salceda is criticizing banks that are imposing transfer fees for transactions made within the same bank.
“There are even charges for supposedly ‘unenrolled’ accounts, which to me is just fiction. What is the value added that the bank is charging for? Even money for pickup within the same bank can be charged as high as P100. Again, what is the value added that merits charging?” Salceda said.
“There isn’t even a guarantee that these transfers are safe. Just a few months ago, we saw mass incidents of bank transfer fraud and interception,” he added.
SEE ALSO: How to pay Meralco bill using GCash
Salceda said that the BSP should stop these exorbitant transfer fees.
The representative also wants for BSP to “issue regulations capping the charges.”
Setting a cap on fees may force traditional banks to improve and innovate and be more consumer-friendly like virtual banks. Such banks include GCash and PayMaya, which gives their users high deposit interest rates and low to zero bank transfer fees.
Salceda, who is also an economist, said that banks might be “starting to get too relaxed and are believing they can get away with such things as exorbitant fees.”
He added that, while regulations are good, such entities will “eventually find ways to circumvent regulations,” highlighting that competition is much better as they will have to “straighten up for survival.”