Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, issued a temporary restraining order for banks to increase the ATM interbank fees for the next month. The reason stated by the BSP is that they need to study the hike because it affects the consumer welfare. Consumers may withdraw free of charge from their respective banks. The fee would be from 11 pesos to 15 pesos per interbank transaction.

Banks push for the increase of ATM interbank fees due to higher cost the interbank networks. Megalink, Nationlink, Bancnet and Expressnet are some of the interbank networks that connect different banks together. ATM’s are often used for small withdrawal transactions and small retail remittances within the same bank or to other banks. Although the BSP considers the welfare of the consumers in the increase of ATM fees, they should also weigh the welfare of the banks as well. Big banking companies such as BDO, Metrobank and BPI had announced the increase of ATM fees due to higher cost. Thus, the profitability of the banks would be compromised if BSP would restrain the banks for the price hike. 

Del Rosario, Keren Michelle P.
Desamparado, Lorenze Matthew G.
Somes, Elliane P.

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