The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is maintaining the moratorium on transfer fee increases to encourage Filipinos to use digital payments.
The central bank released Memorandum No. M-2023-037, which states that the moratorium on fee increases remains in effect.
“Participants who currently charge transfer fees for person-to-person fund transfers via InstaPay and PESONet are directed to maintain said fees,” it said.
The BSP first imposed the moratorium in 2021 through Memorandum No. M-2021-071. It aimed to boost digital finance.
PESONet caters to high-value transactions and is considered as an electronic alternative to paper-based checks while InstaPay is a real-time electronic fund transfer facility for low-value transactions of up to P50,000.
“Institutions planning to introduce fees for new fund transfer services shall apply for prior BSP approval. These fees must also be reported to the BSP 60 days before implementation,” the BSP said.
“Moreover, a transfer fee that is currently waived may only be restored up to the amount reported to the BSP before the waiver,” it added.
The central bank said it is also working on lowering and ultimately eliminating fees on small electronic payments.
“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,” BSP Governor Eli M. Remolona, Jr. said in a statement.
The BSP did not give a set date for when the moratorium will be lifted.
“Accordingly, the moratorium on fee increases for InstaPay and PESONet transactions shall be lifted, subject to BSP review, once zero fees are operationalized by the payments industry for small e-payments,” it added.
The BSP is targeting to digitalize 50% of total retail transactions and onboard at least 70% of Filipino adults to the financial system by the end of this year.
“The BSP encourages Filipinos to actively use their accounts for digital payments, savings, and investments. The central bank is working with the industry to bring more of our countrymen into the fold of the formal financial system,” Mr. Remolona added. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson