Ayala-backed digital wallet GCash will begin charging a convenience fee for cash-in transactions from BPI and UnionBank-linked accounts starting October 2, 2023.
During a media briefing on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 20223, GCash president and CEO Martha Sazon said that the company could no longer fully subsidize the convenience fee for free.
“What we have been doing all this time, that is known to many, is that we have been subsidizing a significant part of our operations with all the expenses of this cash-in,” Sazon stated. “Unfortunately, given our scale and growing business and cost from our partners, which have also been increasing, we cannot afford anymore to subsidize them in full.”
Sazon noted that even with the convenience fee—which at Php 5 is still lower than the Php 25 charged by most other banks—GCash would still continue to subsidize its services as it remains committed to keeping them accessible to many Filipinos, ensuring that operations will remain seamless across all its customers. (Read: Why should you switch to digital wallets like GCash and PayMaya, and why you shouldn’t)
“The fee that we collect all goes to our partners,” she added. “Nothing goes to us.”
That said, Sazon admitted that GCash’s Php 5 convenience fee is an additional burden to consumers, suggesting that the latter plan their cash-in transactions ahead of time to mitigate the effects of the fee.
The change only affects BPI and UnionBank. Partner banks that use InstaPay for cash-in collect varying service fees. Currently, GCash has over 40 of these partner banks.
Despite the GCash no longer subsidizing the convenience fee for BPI and UnionBank, over-the-counter cash-ins will remain free of change, that is until a user hits the Php 8,000 monthly limit. Once this limit is reached, a two-percent service fee will be applied for every cash-in transaction and automatically deducted from the user’s GCash wallet.
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