A Worry-Free Guide To BPI’s Upcoming Fee Increases

5 min. read By eCompareMo on

The Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) recently posted an announcement about changes to its banking fees starting September 1.

The announcement has been met with confusion and concern as many people feel that this increase in fees would make transactions inconvenient—and costly—for the bank’s current customers.

Some of the most glaring changes in the way the country’s oldest bank slaps fees on customers are the following:

    Transactions/Services

    Fee

    Cash Deposit (over the counter, through the branch)
    Branch of account

    Free

    Metro Manila

    Free

    Intra-Region (to another branch in the same region, e.g. NCR to NCR)

    Free

    Inter-Region (to another branch in another region, e.g. NCR to Region 2)

    P50 per deposit

    Cash Withdrawal (over the counter, through the branch)
    Account with ATM Card

    P100 per withdrawal

    Account with Passbook
    At the branch of account

    Free

    Within Metro Manila

    Free

    Intra-Region (to another branch in the same region, e.g. NCR to NCR)

    Free

    Inter-Region (to another branch in another region, e.g. NCR to Region 2)

    P100 per withdrawal

    Check Encashment
    Branch of Account Free
    Metro Manila P100 per Check
    Intra-Region (to another branch in the same region, e.g. NCR to NCR) P100 per Check
    Inter-Region (to another branch in another region, e.g. NCR to Region 2)

    P100 per Check

    Foreign Currency Cash Deposit
    US Dollars

    P0.10 per US $1 or a fraction thereof

    Non-USD currencies such as AUD, CAD, CHF, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY and SGD

    P0.10 per US $1 equivalent or a fraction thereof

    Checkbook
    Personal

    P250

    Corporate

    P500

    Manager’s Check P75
    Demand Draft P550
    Bank Certification P200
    Printed Statement of Account P50 per page
    Safety Deposit Box Rental

    P2,000 to P6,000 a year

    Although most changes will take effect on September 1, BPI decided to postpone its implementation of new fees for over-the-counter ATM withdrawals and inter-region deposits to January 2019. According to the bank, this will give the customers more time to familiarize themselves with options like mobile and electronic banking.

    If you’re still confused, take a breather. We’ve got you covered in this handy guide about BPI’s impending fee hike.

    New fees explained

    Here’s the hierarchy of the potential transactions based on what branch you’ll conduct such transactions:

    • Branch of account . Meaning, the same branch where you registered (e.g. a passbook account holder at BPI Reposo Branch doing a transaction at the same branch)
    • Within Metro Manila . Transactions conducted at any BPI branch in Metro Manila (e.g. a passbook account holder at BPI Reposo Branch doing a transaction anywhere within the 16 cities and one municipality within Metro Manila)
    • Intra-Region . Transactions conducted at the same region (e.g. a savings account holder with an account in Antipolo, Rizal doing a deposit to his account at a branch somewhere in Cavite; both branches are in Region IV-A)
    • Inter-Region . Transactions conducted outside the region where his branch of account is (e.g. the same savings account holder from Antipolo, Rizal doing an over-the-counter deposit somewhere in Olongapo, Zambales; the person’s branch of account is in Region IV-A while his transaction will be conducted at a branch in Region III)

    Now that you know how BPI’s hierarchy of transactions works, it’s time to explain the changes in fees above using a fictional setting.

    (Read: BDO, Metrobank, BPI Rank High On List Of World’s Most Valuable Banking Brands)

    Take Elmer, for instance. He set up an ATM, passbook, and checkbook account at BPI’s Reposo-Makati Branch. The future fees mentioned above will be applicable to him in these instances:

    1. For inter-region branch deposits over the counter, there will be a P50 deposit fee per transaction.

    If Elmer deposits money in his BPI Reposo (Makati, NCR) account through a branch in Zambales (Region III), then he’ll be charged with P50 for the transaction because they’re from different regions.

    2. For over-the-counter withdrawal from ATM accounts, there will be a P100 withdrawal fee per transaction.

    Let’s say Elmer is on a vacation in La Union (Region I) and he needs P21,000 for some reason. Unfortunately, customers can only withdraw up to P20,000 via ATM every day. If he makes an over-the-counter withdrawal from his ATM at a branch in La Union, he’ll be charged a P100 fee because he withdrew his money over the counter in region different from his branch of account.

    3. For inter-region withdrawal from passbook accounts, there will be a P100 withdrawal fee per transaction.

    Elmer forgot to bring his ATM account when he goes to Antipolo (Region IV-A), but conveniently brought his passbook. Since he desperately needs some cash, he withdraws some money from his passbook account—which will be subject to P100 fee because the transaction is done outside the region of his account branch.

    4. For check encashment anywhere except for the branch of the account, there will be a P100 encashment fee per transaction.

    For whatever reason, Elmer issued a check to a friend. If that friend exchanges that check at any branch except for the branch of account (in this instance, BPI Reposo Branch), then he’ll be charged with P100.

    (Read:  The Definitive Guide To Applying For A BPI Credit Card)

    With the changes that will take effect in the future now clear, how does it affect BPI’s customers?

    Unfortunately, people have no say in the matter since according to the bank, they have not updated their fees for quite some time and the increase in the fees is just “aligning with industry practice.”

    As for the increase in fees, customers can either just live with it or make the switch to another bank that offers lower rates for their services.

    You can do the following to avoid paying the fees for over-the-counter transactions that will be imposed by the banks:

    • Instead of transacting with BPI’s tellers for services like deposits, use their deposit machines for faster transactions. Even if you’re going to conduct an inter-region deposit, you won’t be slapped by any fees.
    • Change your home branch to the one where you frequently conduct your transaction.
    • Take advantage of the convenience of mobile banking. With the use of your smartphone, you can do banking anytime, anywhere via BPI’s mobile app. Just go to the Google Play Store or Apple App Store and download BPI’s mobile banking app.
    • Ask for an increase in the amount you can withdraw via ATM.
    • Make the big switch. If the fees are too cumbersome for you or you have certain transactions that cannot be mended by the said workaround, consider changing your partner bank.

    Sources:

    https://www.bpiexpressonline.com/cms/page/18053/advisory-on-bank-fees-bpi

    https://www.bpiexpressonline.com/p/1/2131/rgb-fees-faqs

    http://news.abs-cbn.com/business/07/02/18/bpi-updates-transaction-fees-effective-sept-1

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