Banks increase service fees

Duc Thien - May 22, 2017 | 04:52 PM GMT+7

Fees increase recently at certain banks, mostly those for online transactions.

Banks increase service fees
Bank fees increase. Photo: Internet

A number of banks have recently raised their service charges, particularly for online transactions.

The Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) is officially applying a new fee schedule for e-banking. The fee on transfers via e-banking of less than VND10 million ($440) is up from VND6,600 (29 cents) to VND7,000 (31 cents), and for up to VND500 million ($22,000) from VND12,000 (52 cents) to VND15,000 (66 cents).

TP Bank has also raised its fees for SMS Banking, from VND8,800 (38 cents) to VND11,000 (48 cents) per month. Eximbank’s have increased to VND16,000 (70 cents) per month and are to be paid every quarter. Explaining the increase, TP Bank said that it had to pay VND800 (3.5 cents) per SMS so it was losing money. The bank recently introduced eTokens for better security at no charge, but customers who still use OTP SMS must pay fees to cover costs, it said.

Previously, the Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Bank raised its internet banking fees for individual customers from VND33,000 ($1.5) to VND44,000 ($1.9) per quarter.

Other commercial banks have sent proposals to the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) over increases to ATM transaction fees to cover part of the cost of their investment in ATMs. Depending on the bank, the cost of an ATM withdrawal is around VND7,000 (31 cents), which is a loss.

Such proposals have been met by public concern, however, as many cardholders claim that using ATM cards is burdened by many other types of fees, with some 20-25 basic service charges. Mr. Nguyen Toan Thang, General Secretary of the Vietnam Banks Association, said that customers should not have to pay all fees but only those for the services they use.

The Department of Payments at the SBV said that domestic debit, or ATM, cards are subject to certain fees, such as ATM withdrawals, money transfers to the same or a different bank account, and statement printing.

Some bank experts said that banks have to charge for ATM-related services because they have invested in ATM facilities in regard to installation, operations, maintenance, and security. ATM users should therefore pay a fee.

In addition to increases in certain e-service fees, banks have also cut some charges. Eximbank, for example, reduced its interbank transfer fee from accounts to the Napas system from VND22,000 (96 cents) to VND11,000 (48 cents). BIDV offers free annual fees for e-banking customers. Other banks, such as TP Bank and Sacombank also offer free eTokens.

Banks are improving such services as they move towards modern banking, increasing service revenues and reducing costs.