Solon files bill protecting ATM users from ‘invisible’ fees

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A Quezon City lawmaker has recently filed a bill protecting ATM users from invisible bank fees charged after each transaction is completed.

Rep. Alfred Vargas of Quezon City said that the proposed “ATM Fee Regulatory Act,” will give the people an option to cancel or pursue our transaction once the fee is revealed early on.

“It is important that we, as ATM users, are made aware of any additional fees charged to us right before we complete any automated transaction,” said Vargas.

Under the bill financial institutions are required to display on the ATM screen the total transaction fee imposed for each transaction and this should be reflected before the user completes his transaction.

Currently, Vargas said that the actual fee deducted from the user’s account is not reflected on the screen.

“Thus, many are caught off-guard once they see the receipt and find out that a certain amount has been deducted from their savings without due notice,” he added.

The bill requires that financial institutions notify their account holders beforehand that a fee may be imposed when the client uses his ATM in a bank operated by another financial institution.

The measure also said that no customer shall be mandated to pay any ATM fee unless the amount is displayed on the screen and in the printed receipt.

It added that no banking fees will be imposed for transactions initiated via telephone.

“No customer shall be billed for more than one fee per ATM transaction regardless of the number of financial institutions involved in the transaction. More importantly, if the bank does not dispense any cash at all, no surcharge shall be enforced,” said the lawmaker.