One of the things that caught people’s attention lately is the additional charges imposed for their streaming services and online subscription in the Philippines. Banks like BPI, BDO, and Security Bank have started imposing a 1% fee, and reading through their fine prints confirms that transactions processed in Php by foreign companies are covered by this additional fee.
- Netflix is Now More Expensive with Select Payment Methods
How big is the additional 1% fee? For a Netflix Premium subscription that normally costs Php 549 a month, that translates to an additional Php 5.49 for a fee that’s called an “assessment fee” from Mastercard and Visa. The additional fee is due to the fact that all Netflix transactions are processed in Singapore–which local card companies classify them as foreign transactions even if done online through their local website.
This affects other streaming services that process transactions abroad and not in the Philippines: Spotify processes its transactions in Sweden, Adobe and Canva process their transactions in Ireland and Australia respectively. Lazada and Shopee transactions are not affected because they have a local office that handles all of their customer’s transactions. That explains why they are not part of the additional 1% assessment fee.
While there are workarounds to avoiding the additional fees–as of this writing, GCash and Citibank do not charge any, and we can vouch for it–we expect that all local payment companies will comply with the 1% assessment fee for both Visa and Mastercard for foreign transactions. As a Twitter/X user pointed out, the additional charges is part of Visa and Mastercard increasing their fees globally–in short, the additional charges imposed is not limited to the Philippines.
That being said, our advice is to anticipate the additional fees to all your online subscriptions this early even if you’re not affected yet.