The local banking industry implemented a new system of charging fees for ATMs which started yesterday, April 7, 2021.

Currently, there are close to 22,000 ATMs nationwide that are used by over 77 million cardholders. These ATMs are interconnected so cardholders of a bank can transact at ATMs of other banks that are more accessible to them. Here’s a quick Q&A about the new ATM fees.

What is the new fee-charging system?

Before April 7, most banks that issued ATM cards charged their cardholders a fee every time they withdrew or inquired at ATMs of other banks. Now, the ATM owner charges cardholders of other banks a fee for using its ATM.

What are the new fees?

The fees for interbank cash withdrawals and balance inquiries vary depending on the ATM owner and location. These range from P10 to P18 for cash withdrawal and up to P2.50 for every balance inquiry. The use of ATMs issued by the same bank remains free of charge regardless of transaction type.

Can I avoid paying the new ATM fees?

The use of ATM remains free of charge when transactions are made in the same issuing bank, and through your bank’s digital channels including internet banking and mobile banking applications where you can check your account balance, transfer money, pay bills, and pay for online purchases.

Instead of withdrawing cash, to avoid ATM fees, you can also use your ATM/debit cards in-store via Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals at the counter or by scanning the store’s QR code.

For the past six years, ATM fees did not increase. The new fee-charging scheme will help ATM owners recover their expenses in installing and maintaining ATMs. This will also encourage banks to put more ATMs in various areas even in remote locations, and may bring about lower fees and better services in the future as banks will compete more in attracting cardholders to use their ATMs. Don’t hesitate to reach out and contact your bank for further questions about ATM fees.

Source: Manila Bulletin (