Bangko Sentral hopes to ‘shame’ banks into removing fees on small transfers

By Lance Spencer Yu | Rappler
September 14, 2023

MANILA, Philippines – In a bid for greater financial inclusivity, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is pushing for more banks to remove fees on small-value transfers. But without any formal regulations issued, the central bank is still hoping to “shame” big banks into waiving fees.

“For now, three of the major banks have removed fees on small transfers up to P1,000. We’re trying to shame the other major banks into following the same policy,” BSP Governor Eli Remolona Jr. said during the 2023 Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) Global Policy Forum on Thursday, September 14.

According to a BSP report, fees generally range from P8 to P50. They also tend to stay the same regardless of transfer value, which can disproportionately impact small transactions. At the same time, small transactions make up a large portion of digital transfers.

“In general, when it comes to payments, we want to make sure that the poor don’t subsidize the rich,” Remolona clarified.