Bill to disclose ATM Charges proposed

MANILA  (PNA) — In order to ensure that bank clients are informed and aware of transaction fees being charged by banks whenever they use the ATMs, a bill has been filed at the House of Representatives directing financial institutions to display on the ATM screens the bank fees before the transaction is completed.

Rep. Alfredo D. Vargas III (5th District, Quezon City), author of House Bill No. 6296, said that through this measure, clients are given the option to pursue or cancel the transaction once the bank charges are flashed on the screen.

Vargas said it is understandable that due to the rising costs of operating Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), banks have to charge their clients for each transaction.

In filing the measure, Vargas also cited the declared policy of the State to promote the general welfare of the people and uphold the people’s right to be informed of the hidden ATM fees before they are unceremoniously charged with the same.

Under the measure to be known as the “ATM Fee Regulatory Act,” financial institutions are directed to disclose the total transaction fees or surcharge to be imposed each transaction on the ATM screen prior to the completion of the transaction.

The customer has the right to cancel the transaction after the fee or surcharge is disclosed.

Vargas said a financial institution shall provide written notice to its account holders that a fee may be imposed when the account holder uses the ATMs owned or operated by another financial institution or any national, regional or local ATM network, whenever a card, code or other means of ATM access is issued by the financial institution for the purpose of initiating ATM transactions.

The bill provides that no customer shall be liable to pay any fee or surcharge to a financial institution for an ATM transaction at an ATM screen unless the fee or surcharge is displayed.

It added that no customer shall be liable to pay any fee or surcharge to any financial institution for any ATM transaction initiated via telephone.

Also, no customer shall be billed for more than one fee per ATM transaction regardless of the number of financial institutions involved in the transaction.

Lastly, Vargas said clients shall not be liable to pay an ATM fee or surcharge to a financial institution that does not dispense any cash at all of the institution’s branch locations. (PNA)

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