banks in the Philippines

Banks not allowed to raise InstaPay, PESONet fees – Bangko Sentral

Lance Spencer Yu

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Banks not allowed to raise InstaPay, PESONet fees – Bangko Sentral
There is no definite period for the cap on transfer fees, although the central bank says it could be lifted once ‘zero fees are operationalized’ for small-value fund transfers

MANILA, Philippines – If you use digital payments a lot, you’ll be pleased to know that fees for InstaPay and PESONet aren’t going up anytime soon.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has maintained its cap on InstaPay and PESONet fund transfer fees, according to Monetary Board Resolution No. 1599.

The central bank has kept in place a ceiling for fund transfer fees since December 28, 2021, preventing financial institutions from raising their fund transfer fees. Although they may not increase their fees, financial institutions are allowed to reduce or waive their fees.

Transfers via PESONet have no maximum limit and are posted by the end of the day. Meanwhile, InstaPay allows real-time fund transfers of up to P50,000 per transaction. Fees can range from P8 to P50. View the list of transfer fees here.

The moratorium on fees does not have a definite period, although the BSP said it will be lifted “once zero fees are operationalized by the payments industry for small e-payments.”

That’s because the BSP is also pushing for banks to exempt small-value transfers – generally up to P1,000 – from any fees, although it has stopped short of imposing formal rules on this. Instead, the central bank is relying on “moral suasion” – or simply persuading or “shaming” banks. 

In relation, several banks and e-money issuers have temporarily waived their fund transfer fees until December 31, 2023. (READ: LIST: Banks with waived PESONet and InstaPay fund transfer fees)

By eliminating fees or keeping them low, the BSP hopes to encourage Filipinos to embrace financial digitalization and use digital payment channels.

“The reduction or removal of transfer fees for small e-payments supports our vision of digitalization and inclusivity. We are engaging the industry through dialogue to explore ways to reduce or completely eliminate fees for small-value transactions,” said BSP Governor Eli Remolona Jr. in a statement. –

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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.