COCKTALES | BDO imposes P2 fee on cash card withdrawals means BUSINESS

Starting September 1, it will cost a BDO cash card holder P2 every time he/she withdraws his/her own money from any BDO terminal.

The fee does NOT apply to every BDO depositor's ATM transaction, as Cocktales had mistakenly reported earlier. Cocktales regrets the error, and apologizes to BDO and its depositors for the confusion.

The new fee advisory was being flashed on the bank's 1,596 ATM-network as each terminal dispensed wads of cash for the duration of the four-day weekend.

BDO issued a quick clarification after Cocktales posted earlier that the P2-fee also covered ATM withdrawals by regular BDO account holders.  

"The P2-fee will only be effective on withdrawals of clients using Cash Cards (or BDO pre-paid electronic debit cards), similar to what other industry players are implementing," said Jaime Nasol, head of BDO's cash management services.

"This is to partially recover our cost on cash handling," Nasol added.

Nasol said BDO, like any other local bank, still exempts its own account holders from any ATM fee so long as the withdrawal is made from the depositor's own bank ATM network.

But withdrawals made on other bank's ATMs are hit with P10-11 fee for every transaction.

Individual banks do not normally publish their depositor base or the number of transactions that their own home networks process each day.

But a rare glimpse of the magnitude of the potential windfall from such automated transactions may be gleaned from a year-end account by BancNet, the largest of the three ATM consortiums in the country. (BDO happens to be a Megalink member.)

BancNet chief operating officer Aristeo Zafra Jr. said a record 2.282 million "switched" transactions was recorded on the BancNet network last December 15.

Switched transactions, as defined by BancNet, are mostly withdrawals and balance inquiries done on ATMs other than the ATMs of the cardholder’s bank. These are done not only by the consortium’s own cardholders but also by cardholders of other networks such as Megalink and BPI-dominated ExpressNet.

December 15 happened to be payday for government offices and most private companies. It was also the same day, BancNet said, when most Christmas bonuses were distributed and credited into employee bank accounts.

“Withdrawals usually peak on the payday before Christmas on account of the fact that majority of ATM accounts are payroll accounts,” Zafra said.

The volume on the Friday before Christmas, December 23 came very close to December 15, with 2.278 million switched transactions, followed by December 29, the payday before the New Year weekend which posted 2.083 million switched transactions.

BancNet said it had over 12 million ATM cardholders and 5,700 ATMs at end-2011, comprising 37.4 percent and 50 percent, respectively, of all cardholders and ATMs in the country.

BDO so far has the most generous ceiling for ATM withdrawals for its own depositors, allowing up to P50,000 cash withdrawal a day at a maximum P25,000 for every ATM transaction.


• GMA son-in-law Luigi Bernas and four other candidates to the Manila Polo Club board are sure winners in the August 28 board elections.

There are five vacancies, not three as reported here on August 7, that need to be filled in the country's most exclusive country club, thus making Bernas and company already winners even before the first ballot has been cast.

• Marcos-era Blue Lady Lourdes "Lulu" Tinio has obtained court approval to have a new title issued to her Dasmarinas Village home. Tinio told the Makati Regional Trial Court the original title was lost when she transferred a trove of documents from a Metrobank to a Chinabank safety deposit box.

Heard through the grapevine

Except for dotting the i's and crossing the t's, the Berjaya Group has all but sewn up the acquisition of the 20-percent Yabut bloc in the Atrium, the condominium fronting the Ayala Triangle Park along Makati Avenue that was developed by the late Makati Mayor Nemesio Yabut.

Berjaya Group, through broker CB Richard Ellis, has also been approaching individual unit owners to join the sale.

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