CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Northern Mindanao Regional Development Council (RDC-X) Macro and Development Administration Committee (MacroCom) on Tuesday recommended for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to study the possible lowering of interbank transaction fees, particularly from bank accounts to mobile wallet applications like GCash and Maya.
This is after the BSP sought the RDC-X’s support for the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (NSFI) 2022-2028 during the MacroCom’s meeting on 20 September 2022.
Financial inclusion remains a challenge in the country as many Filipinos still do not have access to formal financial institutions like banks. The NSFI aims to bring more Filipinos into the formal financial system.
During the meeting, the BSP noted the significant increase of Filipinos opening accounts in GCash and Maya, and the subsequent increase in online transactions in 2021.
Due to this improved online banking access and adoption, the Committee requested the BSP to consider lowering interbank transaction fees in the NSFI.
Hon. Rogelio Neil P. Roque, MacroCom Chairperson and Bukidnon Provincial Governor, said that instead of leaving the pricing of online transactions to the market, the government may explore caps on fees charged by banks to make online banking affordable, especially among poor Filipinos. He also called for improved internet connectivity to further promote the digital economy and not just online banking.
The BSP will consider the recommendation of Gov. Roque and look into related concerns raised during the meeting such as the onerous requirements in opening bank accounts, and the high maintaining balance required for bank accounts especially those owned by children or full-time adult students with no income.
The NSFI 2022-2028 will be presented during the 131st RDC-X Meeting on 26 September 2022 for the Council’s support and adoption.