GCash to charge 2.58% convenience fee for Bank Card Cash-In beginning July 6, 2020

I love GCash. I used it extensively during this quarantine for our family’s purchases from individual sellers who only accept bank deposits, and to move my money between my different bank accounts without ever leaving my home. It’s convenient, easy to use, and best of all, it’s free. Although there are monthly transaction limits to be careful of, it can save you a lot in transfer fees compared to InstaPay and PESONet, especially if you do multiple bank transfers in a month.

Unfortunately, this will soon no longer be the case for Bank Card (VISA/MasterCard) Cash-In, which is the method GCash users use for most of the banks here in the Philippines. According to the GCash Help Center, a hefty 2.58% convenience fee will be charged for each Cash In via VISA or MasterCard beginning July 6, 2020.

Sample computation from GCash Help Center

As an alternative way to Cash In, BPI and Unionbank account holders can link their accounts to GCash to Cash In for free, while account holders of the following banks can use InstaPay instead of linking their Bank Card:

  • AUB
  • BDO
  • Landbank
  • Maybank
  • Metrobank
  • PNB
  • PSBank
  • RCBC

InstaPay transfer fees differ between banks and range from Free to Php50. You can check the full list of PESONet and InstaPay transfer fees here.

For other banks not listed above however, it seems like the only option of users who want to continue using GCash is the Bank Card Cash In, with its new (and painful) 2.58% convenience fee.

Final Thoughts

I used to work in Ortigas Center where all major banks are only a stone’s throw away (or in the same building, in the case of Tektite Towers). After moving to Cavite however, I became completely reliant on GCash to move money from my payroll (Security Bank) to other banks. The DP for our condo parking unit is auto-debited from my BDO account so I transfer at least Php12,754.17 per month. At a rate of 2.58%, the convenience fee would be Php329.06 — which is totally insane!

I’m really sad about this upcoming change because GCash has been very useful to me, and I honestly think it’s a great app. As much as I would like to continue supporting the product however, the new convenience fee is a big deal-breaker for me. Add this to the fact that they’ve lowered the regular GSave interest from 4.1% p.a. to 3.1% p.a. and I wonder if they would lose a lot of users in the coming month.

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