What is InstaPay? Quick User Guide (Plus Fees, Partners, and FAQs)

Rouselle Isla

Rouselle Isla

Last updated September 29, 2022

It’s faster and more convenient than ever to transfer money using a smartphone, thanks to mobile wallets and banking apps. However, most of them don't allow you to transfer money to accounts maintained by other applications or financial institutions. Enter InstaPay Philippines, an electronic fund transfer (EFT) service by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Launched in 2018, InstaPay allows you to transfer money to another bank or a non-bank institution that carries the facility. In this article, know what InstaPay is and how you can use it to send and receive money instantly.

What is InstaPay?

what is instapay

InstaPay is an electronic service that lets you instantly transfer money from your bank or e-wallet to another. It’s readily available in partner banks and e-wallets’ mobile apps. It’s a safe and reliable retail payment system, especially for real-time, low-value fund transfer transactions.

According to the BSP, the value of InstaPay transactions ballooned to ₱1.91 trillion in the first seven months of 2022, a 37% increase from the same period in 2021. The volume of InstaPay transactions also grew to more than 300 million in the first seven months of 2022, a 25% increase from 2021.[1]  

This tremendous growth of InstaPay is attributed mainly to Filipinos’ increased usage of online banking and e-money transactions when shopping online, paying bills, sending domestic remittances, and making other low-value payments. Suffice it to say, more and more Filipinos are using InstaPay for their daily financial transactions.

Who Owns InstaPay?

The stand-alone, self-governing regulatory structure Philippine Payment Management Inc. (PPMI) governs InstaPay, and the BSP directly oversees and supervises it. 

InstaPay is part of the BSP’s National Retail Payment System and is powered by BancNet, which acts as the clearing switch operator.

Is InstaPay Legit and Safe?

what is instapay - is instapay legit and safe

You should use only a legit and safe app or e-wallet. So is InstaPay safe to use? 

Yes, InstaPay is the fastest and safest way to send and receive money nationwide. It’s guarded by a strict verification process and follows global security standards. All transactions are protected and data encrypted.

How Does InstaPay Work? 

Instapay interconnects banks and non-bank electronic money issuers (EMIs) in the Philippines. Furthermore, the rules and service levels that govern InstaPay are defined, agreed upon, and observed by the Automated Clearing House (ACH) participants.[2] 

All settlements are done via PhilPasSS, BSP’s real-time gross settlement system. Participating institutions need to pre-fund the settlement of all net clearing obligations through their demand deposit accounts (DDAs) maintained by the BSP. This is to mitigate credit risk and to give small and large institutions the opportunity to participate in the InstaPay ACH. 

What is the InstaPay Limit for Transfers?

You can transfer funds up to ₱50,000 per transaction as often as you like daily. However, some banks and other non-bank e-money issuers have a minimum daily limit for sending via InstaPay. 

What are the Advantages of Using InstaPay?

what is instapay - advantages

There are many advantages to using InstaPay. Here are the most notable ones:

  • Safe and legitimate way to send and receive money electronically
  • Real-time transactions 
  • Fast and no waiting time
  • Amount is received in full (no deductions and charges to the receiver)
  • Minimal transaction charges
  • Available 24/7 and all year round
  • Can also be used for in-store or online payment via QR code 

What are the Disadvantages of Using InstaPay?

Banks in the Philippines have different InstaPay transfer fees, with some charging as much as ₱25 per transaction. The fees can be pretty costly if you have to do several InstaPay transfers in a day. 

There’s also a transfer limit of ₱50,000, which makes InstaPay suitable for low-value payments and remittances only. 

How to Use InstaPay for Fund Transfers

what is instapay - how to use instapay for fund transfers

Using InstaPay is pretty straightforward, so you can safely and conveniently use it on your mobile device or computer. 

Sending Money via InstaPay

  1. To transfer money via InstaPay, you need to log in to your online/mobile banking or e-wallet account.
  2. Choose Send or Transfer money. Select the bank or e-wallet you’ll send money to. 
  3. Select the account you’re sending from. Enter the amount and the recipient’s details. It can be a bank account number, mobile number, or QR code. 
  4. Confirm and then submit. 
  5. Enter the one-time pin to finalize the transfer. You’ll receive an SMS or email notification once your transaction is successful.

Receiving Money via InstaPay

You don't have to do anything to receive money via InstaPay. Just wait for the sender to verify that the amount has been credited to your account. Then simply log in to your e-wallet, bank app, or facility to check whether you’ve already received the money.

InstaPay's Participating Banks and Non-Bank E-Money Issuers

Check the list of participating InstaPay banks and financial institutions below:

InstaPay Sender and Receiver

  • AllBank
  • AUB
  • Bank of Commerce
  • Binangonan Rural Bank
  • BPI / BPI Family / BPI Direct BanKO
  • Camalig Bank
  • CARD BANK / CARD SME Bank
  • Cebuana Lhuillier Rural Bank
  • China Bank
  • China Bank Savings
  • CIMB
  • CIS Bayad Center
  • CTBC
  • Development Bank of the Philippines
  • Coins.ph (DCPay)
  • EastWest Bank / EastWest Rural Bank
  • Equicom Savings Bank
  • GrabPay
  • GCash (G-Xchange)
  • ING Bank
  • LANDBANK
  • Malayan Bank
  • Maybank Philippines
  • Metrobank
  • PayMaya
  • PBCom
  • Philtrust Bank
  • PNB
  • Producers Bank
  • PSBank
  • RCBC
  • Robinsons Bank
  • Seabank
  • Security Bank
  • ShopeePay
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • Sterling Bank of Asia
  • UCPB
  • USSC Money Services
  • Union Bank

Read more: Transferring or Receiving Money? Check This Complete SWIFT Code and Bank Code List

InstaPay Receiver Only

  • Alipay
  • Bangko Mabuhay
  • ISLA Bank
  • Omnipay
  • Philippine Business Bank
  • QCRB
  • UCPB Savings Bank
  • Veterans Bank

Read more:

 

Are There Fees for Using InstaPay?

The receiver will not be charged any fees. However, InstaPay fees may apply to the sender. 

Here are the InstaPay transfer charges for some of the top banks and e-wallets in the country:

Bank/e-Wallet InstaPay Transfer Fee
AllBank ₱15
AUB ₱8
Bank of Commerce ₱15
BPI ₱25
Cebuana Lhuillier Rural Bank, Inc. ₱15
China Bank Savings, Inc. ₱10 to ₱12
China Banking Corporation ₱10 to ₱15
CIMB Free
CTBC Bank ₱15
EastWest Bank ₱10
Equicom Savings Bank ₱15
GCash ₱15
LANDBANK ₱25
Metrobank

₱25

Maya Philippines (PayMaya) ₱15
PBCom ₱20
PNB ₱20
PSBank ₱15
RCBC ₱8 to ₱25
Robinsons Bank ₱10
Security Bank ₱25
Sterling Bank of Asia ₱15
Tonik Digital Bank Free
UnionBank ₱10

Read more: 7 Best Banks in the Philippines for Opening a Savings Account

InstaPay Philippines FAQs

what is instapay - frequently asked questions

1. Is there an InstaPay Philippines app?

No, InstaPay doesn’t have its own app. But you can access InstaPay when you send money via the participating e-wallet, bank’s mobile app, or website. 

2. Is transferring money via InstaPay real-time?

Yes, it is! The receiver will instantly receive the transferred funds after a successful transaction.

3. Can I transfer money to an overseas bank account using InstaPay?

Unfortunately, you can’t use InstaPay to transfer money to an international bank or a bank account created overseas. InstaPay is only for Philippine peso fund transfers between savings accounts maintained in the country and participating institutions. Visit the InstaPay Philippines website for the complete list of InstaPay ACH participants.[3]

4. Can I transfer money to a non-participating financial institution?

No, you can’t. InstaPay operates only between banks and non-bank e-money issuers affiliated with the service.

5. I got a transaction error while using InstaPay. What should I do?

If you encounter any errors when sending money using the facility, you should immediately report the problem to your bank or e-wallet service provider. 

Receivers who also encounter an issue with receiving funds via InstaPay Philippines should contact their bank or e-wallet service provider and request for the fund to be returned to the sender.

6. What is the InstaPay Philippines hotline?

Wondering how to contact InstaPay Philippines? You can do so through BSP. For any InstaPay concerns, reach out to BSP's Online Buddy (BOB) via the following:

  • Webchat: www.bsp.gov.ph (click the BOB icon on the lower right of the page) 
  • Facebook: www.facebook.com/BangkoSentralngPilipinas
  • SMS: Globe subscribers can send an SMS to 21582277

You can also send your inquiries and clarifications about InstaPay to psod@bsp.gov.ph. 

7. Which is better, InstaPay or PESONet?

Both are reliable when it comes to making online fund transfers. But if you want to transfer funds immediately, InstaPay is the better option. With InstaPay, you can also transfer funds any time, all year round, even on holidays. There are no transaction cut-offs.  

Final Thoughts

InstaPay offers a fast and reliable way to transfer funds. With just a few clicks on your computer or mobile device and a minimal fee, you can send funds to loved ones and pay for various expenses. 

If you haven’t discovered the convenience of InstaPay yet, this is the best time to start using it for your daily transactions.

Do you have accounts with other banks? Check out these online banking guides:

Compare credit cards with Moneymax

Sources:

Rouselle has over eight years of writing experience in the personal finance niche. She has written feature stories, articles, and how-to guides on various personal finance and trending lifestyle topics. And when not writing or editing articles, Rouselle likes binge-watching Netflix shows and fixing herself a nice, tall glass of iced coffee. Follow Rouselle on Linkedin.