Philippine National Bank (PNB) announced it is extending the waiver of electronic fund transfer fees in its digital platforms until the first quarter of 2021. In a statement on December 29, the bank said that it will not be charging fees to money transfers via InstaPay and PesoNet until March 31, 2021, to promote the use of digital banking channels.
PNB President Jose Arnulfo A. Veloso said the bank is supporting the call of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Philippines’ central bank, to accelerate the shift to digital platforms in accomplishing banking transactions. While its physical branches are open, the bank said that transacting online is the safer option to minimize exposure to the virus. This has been a trend, PNB said, citing the recent uptick in digital enrollment among customers.
“Customers have become more comfortable in using these digital applications through their computers and smartphones,” Veloso said. In a news briefing last October, the bank said it was studying moves to hike its budget for information technology (IT) projects in the next two years. PNB Chief Financial Officer Nelson C. Reyes said that the bank was still deciding how much budget increase is needed for its IT allocation. The listed bank allotted around P2.5 billion of capital expenditures for IT initiatives this year, which is 15-percent higher than 2019 budget. The bank said it is allocating 30 percent of the IT budget for digital payments and e-wallet, among others. The PNB has around 696,000 digital banking platform users as of September, which is over 30 percent more than last year.
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