Ways To Avoid Paying ATM Fees

Though carrying around cash is increasingly becoming an outdated habit, there are still times in life when a debit card, credit card, or a digital wallet payment simply won’t suffice.

Honestly, even if online banking is more convenient for me, I still need some cash in my wallet just in case I need to pay for something that is Cash On Delivery or for emergency purpose. There is nothing wrong withdraw your money from ATM machine, the only problem here is paying an ATM fee simply to access your own money.

As single mom, every centavos counts. That is why even a small amount for ATM fee when withdrawing my money or just checking my balance is a big NO for me. That is why I only go with the bank I trust from the beginning and fee of charge every time I check my balance and withdraw like BDO.

What is ABFC?

Acquirer-based ATM fee charging or also known as ABFC is a market-based pricing model that lets the ATM-owner—who invests in the machines and infrastructure to service cardholders—set the fees for transactions. Currently, ATM owners (usually banks) are only given a fixed share in fees collected.

Under the ABFC, usage of ATMs of a cardholder’s own bank shall remain free of charge. However, using ATMs of different banks shall incur fees that would vary depending on the owners’ business model, deployment strategy, pricing scheme, etc. Cardholders will be empowered to choose an ATM terminal that charges the lowest fees and provides more reliable service.

How much will the increase be in ATM fees?

Currently, ATM withdrawal fees range from P10 to P15 which have been the rates for the past seven years. When the ABFC is adopted starting April 7, here are the expected rates:

  • withdrawal: P10 – P18
  • balance inquiry: P0 – P2.50

Why adopt the ABFC model?

  • Imposing fees will be simpler and transparent 

Transaction fees shall be displayed on the ATM screen and on signages near ATM terminals so that cardholders may be free to choose which ATM offers the lowest charges. Cardholders may cancel the transaction if he/she does not agree with the charge stated in the confirmation notification.  

  • ATM owners will be reasonably compensated for costs incurred 

The current imposition of a fixed share in fees collected is considered unreasonable and is believed to be the reason for the decline in the growth of ATMs since 2013. The ABFC aims to incentivize ATM owners (usually banks) to put up more terminals even in rural and remote areas. 

  • Competition would benefit consumers in the long run 

Banks competing with one another to attract non-clients to use their ATMs by disclosing fees and providing more reliable service would make the Philippine ATM system expand and be more efficient ultimately, benefit consumers.

Ways to avoid paying ATM fees:

  • Open an Account at Banks with no ATM Fees

If you are considering opening a new bank account, do some research to find banks with no ATM fees like BDO Unibank. As mom and a BDO client, I never really stressed out over inter-banking fees. Don’t have an account? Don’t worry because the application is easy, simple and convenient. You can check out this link to learn more.

  • Use the ATM of your own bank

Using ATMs that are part of your bank’s network is the best and easiest way to avoid ATM fees. Under the ABFC, transactions in ATM terminals of the cardholder’s own bank shall remain free of charge. BDO has thousands of branches and ATMs across the country. These ATMs won’t cost you anything when you withdraw cash from them.

  • Go digital!

A really easy way to avoid ATM fees is to try not to use cash. Use alternative payment solutions such debit/prepaid cards, QR codes, or fund transfers via PESONet and Instapay. These are quick, safe, and convenient payment options available to consumers anytime, anywhere. Go digital and go cashless!

Going digital can be quick, safe and convenient payment options but there bad people who will try to access your account to get your money. BDO is doing their best to fight against scammers. You can also read BDO Urges Vigilance Vs Latest Scam, BDO Unibank Reiterates Fight Against Account Verification Scam and BDO to online bankers: “Never share your OTPs!. Let’s all be smarter than a scammers!

Let me share to you some tips when doing your online transaction:

  • Never ever share your bank account numbers (both Debit/Credit), PINs, and CVV
  • Never share your online bank account details (username, password, and OTP)
  • Your bank will NEVER ask for you to verify your account or your bank account details to verify your transactions.

Banking is an everyday part of our lives but keep more of your hard-earned money for things you want and need to buy, don’t hand them over to banks for free. If you follow these tips accordingly, you can say “good riddance!” to ATM fees.