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BSP keeps cap on credit card interest rates, monthly add-ons

Mastercard Inc. credit and debit cards are arranged for a photograph in this file photo (Photographer: Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg)

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas retained the maximum interest rates or finance charges on outstanding credit card balances at 2 percent per month or 24 percent per year.

BSP governor Benjamin Diokno said the monetary board decided to maintain the credit card ceilings on credit card transactions under Circular No. 1098 dated 24 September 2020.

As such, the maximum interest rate or finance charge on the unpaid outstanding credit card balance of a cardholder remains at 2 percent per month or 24 percent per year. 

Similarly, the monthly add-on rates that credit card issuers can charge on installment loans is retained at a maximum rate of 1 percent. 

Meanwhile, the maximum processing fee on the availment of credit card cash advances stays at P 200 per transaction.

“The decision is based on a holistic assessment of developments in the macroeconomy, the state of credit card financing as well as the safety and soundness of banks and other credit card issuers. It will also continue to help ease the financial burden of consumers through affordable credit card pricing.” Diokno said.

Diokno also said that the acquirer-based fee charging (ABFC) for automatic teller machine (ATM) services began to take effect on April 7. 

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,” said BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno. 

“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. With variable fees charged under the ABFC, the fee could be lower,” the Governor added.  

The BSP explained that the shift to ABFC only affects the fees charged to transactions performed by cardholders at another bank’s ATM. Withdrawal and balance inquiry fees remain to be free when a cardholder transacts at his bank’s ATM.  

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