Rise of digital payments in PH ‘very encouraging’ — BSP

Rise of digital payments in PH ‘very encouraging’ — BSP
BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier (File photo courtesy of BSP FB page)

By Joann Villanueva

Digital payment transactions in the Philippines, which is targeted to hit about 20 percent of total transactions by 2020, is increasing in line with the bid of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier said monetary officials “are just awaiting the official results from the assessment made by Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA).”

“Advance information provided on this is very encouraging. But let’s just wait for the official results to come out,” she told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Monday.

She said the results will “hopefully (come out) within the next two to three months.”

The results of a BTCA survey, done in 2013 in coordination with the BSP, showed that only 1 percent of about 2.5 billion monthly payment transactions in the country are done electronically.

Encouraged by the results, the BSP has introduced several programs to entice more Filipinos to use digital payments, especially since technological innovations are changing the financial services landscape.

Among these programs are the institution of real-time electronic payment systems called InstaPay and PESONet, the automated clearing houses (ACH) under the National Retail Payment System (NRPS).

InstaPay provides consumers a safe, affordable, and real-time electronic payment mode for up to PHP50,000 per transaction without limit in a day.

Charges may apply to the one sending the fund and the one receiving it depending on the financial institution they will tap.

There are about 20 financial institutions that have agreed to be part of this payment system and those that have agreed to provide InstaPay-related payments and withdrawals.

These are Asia United Bank, BDO Unibank, China Banking Corporation (ChinaBank), China Bank Savings (CBS), Equicom Savings Bank, Security Bank, and Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank).

On the other hand, CTBC Bank, EastWest Bank, Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank), Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company (Metrobank), Omnipay, PayMaya, Philtrust Bank, Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank), Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), Robinsons Bank, Sun Savings Bank, United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB), and Yuanta Savings Bank agreed to receive InstaPay payments.

PESONet, meanwhile, is a batch electronic fund transfer (EFT) credit payment scheme. This is for business-to-business as well as people-to-business transactions like credit salaries to employees existing accounts.

The BSP data show that as of July this year, there are about 51 PESONet ACHs or banks that provide this service.

Former BSP governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said these electronic payment systems are beneficial to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) because it will help them increase their customer reach, reduce costs of managing cash, and provide more access to credit. (First published by PNA, Sept. 3, 2019)

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