A bag vendor browses her mobile phone as she waits for customers at a market in Manila on August 9, 2018. (AFP / Ted Aljibe)

Misleading claim circulates online about new fees charged by Philippine money transfer app

Copyright AFP 2017-2020. All rights reserved.

Multiple Facebook posts shared in September 2020 purport to list new fees introduced by Philippine money transfer app, GCash, from October 1. The claim is misleading; in response to the posts, the company said on October 1, 2020, that the fees listed were not accurate.

The misleading claim was published in this Facebook post on September 25, 2020. 

A screenshot of the misleading post, taken on October 1, 2020

The post purports to show “changes” in service fees starting October 1, 2020 for customers using GCash, a mobile money service in the Philippines. 

The purported fees include a 0 percent to 2 percent charge for “Send Money” transactions; and a charge of 84 Philippine pesos ($1.7) to 125 Philippine pesos ($2.6) for bank transfers.

An identical claim was also shared here, here, here and here on Facebook. 

The claim, however, is misleading.

In response to the posts, GCash posted this statement on Twitter on September 26, 2020, saying the purported fees were not accurate.

It said: “Send Money (GCash-to-GCash) will remain free! Bank transfer fees will have a Php 15.00 fee per transaction starting October 1, 2020.” 

The statement includes a screenshot of a Facebook post containing the misleading claim, with a warning that states: “DO NOT BELIEVE IN FAKE NEWS”.

A screenshot of GCash’s statement, posted on September 26, 2020

A representative for GCash corporate communications told AFP in a phone interview on October 1, 2020, that the new 15 Philippine pesos ($0.3) bank transfer fee would not be introduced until November 1.

He said: “We’re supposed to implement new fees on October 1. We decided to move it on November 1. So the fee we’re talking about is the bank transfer fee… That’s 15 pesos… That's a flat rate.”

An accurate list of GCash fees can be seen on this page, as of October 2, 2020. 

The misleading claim has also been debunked here by the fact-checking arm of Rappler, a Philippine news organisation.