banks in the Philippines

Bangko Sentral orders quicker refunds for failed InstaPay, PESONet transactions

Lance Spencer Yu

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Bangko Sentral orders quicker refunds for failed InstaPay, PESONet transactions
Starting January 2025, banks will be required to refund failed fund transfers within hours, an improvement from the usual period of 2 to 3 banking days

MANILA, Philippines – If you’ve ever worried about the status of your bank fund transfer, you can now breathe easier thanks to new rules that require financial institutions to promptly return any funds that fail to go through, and keep customers updated on their transfers.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has approved new standards on how financial institutions should respond when a customer’s InstaPay or PESONet fund transfer fails to go through. In particular, banks must soon speed up the time it takes for them to return the money to the sender’s account.

For instant retail payments via InstaPay, funds must be returned to the sender’s account within one hour of receiving the payment instruction.

For payments that use batch clearing like PESONet, funds must be returned within two hours from the receipt of the settlement report from the clearing switch operator.

“These periods are significantly shorter than the current response time of most participants, which usually takes around two to three banking days,” the BSP said in a press release on Tuesday, June 11.

The new time limits will apply to transactions that were rejected, returned, or timed-out.

However, you still have to be careful when sending fund transfers since these rules on returning funds do not cover erroneous transactions – such as sending the wrong amount or transferring funds to the wrong account – or to unauthorized transactions, where funds are sent from your account without your knowledge or consent.

The BSP also said that senders should not be charged fees for unsuccessful transactions or for fund transfers that “did not materialize due to disruption of operations of either the clearing switch operator or automatic clearing house participants.” Fees collected by the bank should be returned to the sender.

Notifying customers

The central bank also requires financial institutions to notify senders about the “accurate status” of their fund transfer, along with providing periodic notifications about the fund transfer until all concerns regarding it are resolved.

At the same time, the receiving financial institution must notify the recipients once the funds have been successfully credited to their account.

All banks and financial institutions are also told to adopt a “common language” that will be used in their notifications so that customers could easily understand the status of their fund transfers.

These new standards were contained in BSP Circular No. 1195 on the Consumer Redress Mechanism Standards for Account-to-Account Electronic Fund Transfers, which was approved by the Monetary Board on May 30.

The circular provides for a transitory period until January 1, 2025 for banks and other participants to develop their resources, coordinate with each other, and revise their operating guidelines.

The BSP also reminded banks to comply with its previous circulars, such as one that requires them to maintain 24/7 customer support assistance. –

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Lance Spencer Yu

Lance Spencer Yu is a multimedia reporter who covers the transportation, tourism, infrastructure, finance, agriculture, and corporate sectors, as well as macroeconomic issues.