Senate Bill No. 677: Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Free Regulatory Act

You found that you are out of cash without your preferred Automated Teller Machine (ATM) in sight, worrying about what charges you may incur should you use a rival bank’s ATM. Yet, you refuse to keep a large sum of cash on hand for fear of theft or robbery.

The most convenient ATM however is often one of a different bank than the ATM cardholder who is unknowingly charged PhPlS.OO1for each withdrawal at a non-native bank or PhP2.00 for a balance inquiry. Whilst banks incur costs to facilitate interbank transactions, it is a cardholder’s right to be informed of the exact extra charge they will incur before every point of transaction, and to be able to cancel the transaction to avoid incurring the extra charge.

This bill proposes that all financial institutions be required to inform cardholders of extra charges they will incur during each ATM transaction. In addition, this bill proposes to minimize the cost of using ATMs by ensuring that during interbank transactions, only one fee will be charged to the cardholder instead of both banks charging the customer. Lastly, this bill proposes to limit any additional fee to 1% of the total transaction value.

This bill would safeguard ATM cardholders from surprise fees and would allow them to make the decision to opt out of an ATM transaction should they be unwilling to pay the extra fee. With the passing of this bill, both cardholders and financial institutions will benefit from the availability of safe, convenient transactions at an efficient cost.

In view of the foregoing, immediate approval of this bill is earnestly sought.

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