Landbank of the Philippines Joins Other Banks in Waiving Fund Transfer Fees for Small Transactions
In a move to promote cashless payments and financial inclusion, Landbank of the Philippines has announced that it will waive fund transfer fees for small transactions. This comes after a call by the central bank of the Philippines, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), for banks to reduce or remove fees on small online transactions.
Landbank, a government-owned bank, stated that it has eliminated fees for online fund transfers below P1,000 through InstaPay and PESONet as of November 1st. Additionally, the bank has reduced the interbank fund transfers of more than P1,000 to a fixed transaction fee of P15, down from the previous P25.
Lynette V. Ortiz, the president and CEO of Landbank, expressed that the waived transfer fees for small-value online fund transfers are a Christmas season perk for their valued customers. She emphasized that this initiative aims to promote safe, secure, and convenient digital transactions.
Landbank hopes that by eliminating transfer fees, it will enable clients to send money to loved ones in a safe and convenient manner, thereby promoting financial inclusion in the country. The waived transfer fee applies to the first three online fund transfers and transactions in a day via the Landbank Mobile Banking App (MBA) and the bank’s online retail banking channel, the iAccess.
It is important to note that fund transfers made through Landbank and its digital bank, Overseas Filipino Bank, regardless of the amount, remain free of charge.
This move by Landbank aligns with the BSP’s efforts to encourage cashless payments and remove fees on small-value fund transfers. BSP Governor Eli M. Remolona Jr. has been urging banks, especially large institutions like Landbank, to waive transfer fees on small online transactions. While the BSP can only appeal using moral suasion until there are formal regulations in place, Landbank’s decision sets an example for other banks to follow.
Since February, when the BSP began discussing the reduction of online transfer fees with banks and non-banks, Landbank is the fourth big bank to eliminate fees on small transfers up to P1,000. The other banks that have taken this step are Bank of the Philippine Islands, Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., and Union Bank of the Philippines.
The BSP is also engaging in discussions with non-banks that provide digital payment services, such as GCash and Maya (formerly PayMaya), to encourage them to follow suit and reduce or remove fees on small transactions.
Currently, there are 82 financial institutions participating in InstaPay and 106 in PESONet, according to end-September data. Some institutions offer free InstaPay services, while others charge a rate ranging from P8 to P25 per transaction.