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Diokno: Don’t fret, lower ATM use ‘normal’

The data would show that ATM withdrawals declined from 2019 to the first half of 2020 from 100 million to 7.36 million

TDT

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A huge decline in automatic teller machines (ATM) withdrawals from the first semester of 2020 against the first three months of this year could be considered normal amid the imposed mobility restrictions.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said such volume could see better numbers should quarantine measures be relaxed.

“The data would show that ATM withdrawals declined from 2019 to the first half of 2020 from 100 million to 7.36 million. However, withdrawals regain its volume by the end of 2020 to about 94.2 million as lockdown restrictions were relaxed,” Diokno explained during a virtual press conference on Thursday.

Diokno noted the movement of cash through digital channels continues to increase and will be sustained in the coming months.

ABFC to level field

Further, the BSP chief said the recent adoption of the acquirer-based ATM fee charging (ABFC), which started Wednesday, will allow ATM owners to be compensated for incurred costs.

“The ABFC is a market-based and transparent way of pricing ATM services that empowers cardholders to choose an ATM that charges lower transaction fees,” he said.

“In the old pricing method, the cardholder has no option but to be charged a fixed fee in any ATM not owned by his bank. Variable fees are charged under the ABFC,” he added.

The central bank has set an P18 ceiling for withdrawals and a P2.50 cap for balance inquiries.

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