Published: July 20, 2020 | Updated: July 29, 2020 | Posted by: Mayee Gonzales | Personal Finance
Every day, millions of Filipinos use an ATM to access their savings and checking accounts. With a debit card, or ATM card as most people call it, account holders can withdraw money, check their account balance, and even transfer money to other bank users. All of these activities can be done in a few clicks, making electronic banking more convenient to the public.
ATM service fees are comparative and vary from bank to bank. Charges also differ for every transaction. Balance inquiries are typically cheaper than withdrawal transactions as they are deemed simpler compared to the latter.
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An Automated Teller Machine or ATM is an electronic banking outlet that offers quick self-service options to cardholders. Electronic banking allows customers to complete transactions without going to the bank. ATMs are convenient as you don’t have to wait in line at the bank to withdraw funds or know how much money you still have in your account. Today, there are over 3.5 million ATMs in use across the globe .
Before we discuss ATM service fees in the country, let us first identify the networks that provide online facilities to banking corporations and debit cardholders in the Philippines. At present, there are three major bank consortia namely Bancnet, Megalink, and Expressnet.
Bancnet is the largest electronic banking network in the country with 114 members and more than 13,000 ATMs nationwide. Founded in 1990, the company is the exclusive gateway of UnionPay, allowing access to nearly 1 billion ATM cardholders from China. Apart from providing services in the Philippines, Bancnet also links with international card networks like Diners Club, Discover Card, KFTC, Mastercard, and VISA.
Before merging with Bancnet in 2015, Megalink was the biggest electronic banking network in the Philippines, handling more than 795,000 transactions per day from over 13 million cardholders. Founded by Equitable Banking Corporation (now BDO) in 1989, Megalink continues to operate as a partner of Bancnet.
Expressnet may not be the largest bank consortium in the country, but it is one of the most accessed thanks to one of its members, BPI Family Savings Bank. Despite its popularity and success, Expressnet merged with Bancnet in 2016, making it the newest partner of the company.
Megalink and Expressnet remain to be separate entities regardless of their partnership with Bancnet. All of these electronic banking networks perform under different agencies, which explains the non-uniform ATM service fees in the country.
Avoid unwanted charges when using an ATM. Here is a list of local ATM transaction fees and other related service charges in the Philippines.
UnionBank charges the highest for interbank balance inquiry, while BDO, Maybank. PNB, RCBC, UCPB charge PHP 2. Balance inquiries done on each bank’s respective ATMs are free of charge, except for RCBC that charges PHP 1 per transaction.
|Bank Name||Balance Inquiry Fee|
|China Bank||PHP 1|
|Eastwest Bank||PHP 1|
|PS Bank||PHP 1|
|Security Bank||PHP 1|
Withdrawal transactions done using these banks’ respective ATMs come at no cost except for RCBC, charging PHP 2 per withdrawal. However, when you’re using a different ATM, BPI, Chinabank, and Metrobank charge the highest ATM withdrawal fees.
For EON debit cardholders, UnionBank charges various fees for every account balance and withdrawal transaction.
|Bank Name||Withdrawal Fee|
|China Bank||PHP 15|
|Eastwest Bank||PHP 11|
|PS Bank||PHP 10|
|Security Bank||PHP 10|
Intrabank transfers mean transferring an amount to another person who has an account with the same bank. BDO, China Bank, Maybank, Metrobank, PNB, PS Bank, RCBC, and UnionBank offer this service for free. On the other hand, Eastwest and UCPB charge the highest for ATM transaction fees at PHP 25.
|Bank Name||Intrabank Transfer Fee|
|Eastwest Bank||PHP 25|
An interbank transfer is done when you transfer money from one bank to another. BDO and China Bank have the highest ATM service fees for interbank transfers, while BPI and UnionBank only charge PHP 10 per transaction.
|Bank Name||Interbank Transfer Fee|
|China Bank||PHP 50|
|Eastwest Bank||PHP 25|
|PS Bank||PHP 25|
|Security Bank||PHP 25|
Banks in the country may impose a fee on accounts that have fallen below the Required Monthly Average Daily Balance (MADB) for at least two consecutive months. HSBC and UnionBank have the highest monthly penalty fees.
|Bank Name||Below Maintaining Balance Charge|
|China Bank||PHP 300|
|Eastwest Bank||PHP 500|
|PNB||PHP 300 to PHP 500|
|PS Bank||PHP 500|
|Security Bank||PHP 300|
According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), banks can only charge a dormancy fee of up to PHP 30 per month on deposit accounts that have been inactive for five years. Additionally, banks can only charge this transaction fee if there are no deposits or withdrawals done for five years, or if the account balance is below MADB.
To provide a more holistic understanding of ATM services in the Philippines, here is a list of ATM withdrawal limits of some of the major banks in the country.
|Bank Name||ATM Withdrawal Limit|
|China Bank||PHP 20,000|
|Eastwest Bank||PHP 50,000|
|PS Bank||PHP 30,000|
|Security Bank||PHP 10,000|
PNB offers the highest daily withdrawal limit in the country at PHP 100,000. Security bank, on the other hand, has the lowest allowed withdrawal limit at PHP 10,000 per day. Take note of these when withdrawing via ATM.
ATM service fees in the Philippines may seem cheap, but multiple interbank transactions can eventually hurt your savings. Be smart when it comes to account balance and withdrawal transactions. If there’s an ATM similar to your bank account, opt for that facility. Other than ensuring the safety of your account, this saves you money as well.
Mayee is an experienced writer, editor, and content strategist. She enjoys writing about personal finance and lifestyle topics. On her free time, she reads, travels, and watches a lot of movies. She’s also a proud cat-mom. Follow Mayee on LinkedIn.