Thursday, August 15, 2019

ATM fees, other charges must be cheaper under the regime of automation – labor group

The workers’ group Partido Manggagawa (PM) won’t let the bad idea of higher ATM fees die down despite assurances made by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) that they will oppose the banks’ plan to increase their ATM charges.

“Truth must be revealed by the banks on this issue: That the more the system is becoming smart and efficient, which is what automation achieves, the more the services become widely available and cheaper, if not free. The banks’ plan to impose higher fees on ATM transactions and other charges simply violates the economics of automation,” asserted PM Chair Rene Magtubo.

The group argues that under the regime of Industry 4.0 or automation, robots, artificial intelligence (AI) and other smart machines displace humans in the workplace to achieve more economy and productivity. In the case of banks, human tellers were replaced by ATMs and AI, thus, labor costs were saved. 

“So where has the economics of automation gone under this scenario? Truth is, after human tellers were robbed of their jobs, these banks were planning to rob their depositors more to depreciate the robots and to compensate their CEOs. This is corporate greed, plain and simple,” lamented Magtubo.

The planned hike will affect approximately 6 to 8 per cent of minimum wage in NCR and Calabarzon areas, according to PM.

The groups argues further that much of these ATMs must have already been depreciated over time since it was utilized by the banking system and therefore the cost of capital recovery must be very minimal at this point in time.  Other than cost of capex, operations and maintenance the group said, the planned hike is for greed if not outright highway robbery.

15 August 2019

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