BancNet makes possible cash-outs without ATM
(The Philippine Star) - August 18, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Automated teller machine (ATM) or debit cards can make cash withdrawals without the use of an ATM unit.

That is being made possible with an innovative facility introduced by BancNet, which enables cash withdrawal even without an ATM unit.

Called POS Cash Out, the new facility consists of a small machine where cardholders can simply swipe their cash cards to receive their cash.

BancNet came out with the ATM-less facility to allow people in far-flung areas to recover cash without having to travel long distances just to make withdrawals in an ATM.

This is particularly true in areas with a lot of enrollees in the government’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) system, also known as “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program” or 4Ps for short.

BancNet general manager Aristeo Zafra Jr., said more Cash Out machines will be rolled out in other remote areas not served by ATMs. “This is in support of the government’s financial inclusion advocacy.”

There are over 17,000 ATM units throughout the country.

However, these are mostly located in the major cities and first-class municipalities.

Distant areas in the countryside are not served by this modern-day convenience. One such area is Gabaldon, a third-class municipality in Nueva Ecija.

Its residents have to travel for more than one hour to the nearest city, Cabanatuan, the provincial capital located 85 kilometers away, in order to withdraw cash from an ATM.  

Among them are some 2,000 4Ps beneficiaries. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) administered by the program with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), a government financial institution, tasked to disburse the money.

Beneficiaries get P300 monthly for each child in grade school and P500 monthly for each child in high school.

Since tuition is free (public schools), the money must be spent on school supplies and daily allowance.

They are given cash or debit cards to enable them to withdraw the money anytime through any ATM anywhere in the country.

LBP is a member of BancNet, the bank consortium that operates the electronic switch that connects the ATM systems of its members not only with one another but also with international payment networks.

In this particular case, the New Covenant Rural Bank in Gabaldon and within the campus of the Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology were tapped to handle a POS Cash Out each to meet the demands of the 4Ps beneficiaries.

Prior to this development, beneficiaries had to travel for almost two hours, and spend an average P160 for round-trip transportation fare.

To further speed up the process and decongest the queue of individuals “cashing” their cards, New Covenant Bank also made a weekly schedule wherein barangays take turns in withdrawing their money.

The LBP also partnered with Key Rural Bank in San Antonio, Nueva Ecija and Rural Bank of Sta. Ignacia in Sta. Ignacia, Tarlac.

It targets to deploy at least 50 Cash Out machines within the year.

Meanwhile, Zafra said the Banco Dipolog (based in Zamboanga), Asia United Bank, Philippine Bank of Communications, and the Development Bank of the Philippines are in the process of implementing the service and would launch their Cash Out machines soon.

“They will be located not only at partner rural banks but also at other strategically located business establishments so that it will be more convenient for the rural folk,” the BancNet general manager said.

These will benefit not only 4Ps beneficiaries but also other ATM cardholders who unexpectedly find themselves in need of cash while traveling in the countryside.


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