On 27 July 2015, the Philippine Congress passed into law Republic Act No. 10870 or the “Philippine Credit Card Industry Regulation Law” which seeks to regulate the country’s credit card industry by placing credit card issuers and acquirers under the supervision of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipnas (“BSP”). The BSP is granted authority to issue rules of conduct and standards of operation of the credit card industry and to impose penalties in case of non-compliance therewith. The BSP is likewise granted the authority to determine the reasonableness of fees and charges imposed by credit card companies.
To maintain fair and sound consumer credit practices, credit card companies are mandated to ensure transparency of credit card transactions. Hence, credit card issuers are required to disclose to all credit cardholders 1) the finance charges for unpaid amounts, 2) the percentage that the interest bears to the total amount to be financed, and 3) the penalty fees or similar delinquency-related charges payable in the event of late payments.
Violation of the law is penalized by imprisonment of not less than two (2) years nor more than ten (10) years, or by a fine of not less than Fifty Thousand Pesos (PhP50,000.00) but not more than Two Hundred Thousand Pesos (PhP200,000.00), or both, at the discretion of the court.