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FINTECH.PH top brass pushes for open finance regime

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Fintech Chairman Lito Villanueva (Photo from Facebook)

By Alithea De Jesus

The evident role of the digital economy in a country empirical as this made transactions safe, fast, and efficient notwithstanding the fact that this empowers many people and defies the borders and space.

Corollary to this, the FinTech industry in the Philippines supports Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas adoption of an open finance regime to serve as an engine of innovation essential in a digital economy and ultimately empower customers. An Open Finance Oversight Committee (OFOC) would be organized to draft the Open Finance framework. 

The Proposed Guidelines for Adoption of Open Finance Framework is a welcome development in the digital banking and finance space. It will help grow the Open Finance field and allow the industry to identify and deal with obstacles that hinder its adoption in the Philippines. 

However, Fintech.ph, believes that the development of such standard and framework should be best handled by the market players and the government through the BSP should support the process.  

“The BSP should only step in to weigh in and remove artificial barriers to competition such as such as refusal to interconnect systems or share information and can be placed by other government agencies particularly, the National Privacy Commission (NPC) with respect to personal data”, said Fintech Chairman Lito Villanueva. 

Villanueva added that it would help if BSP can designate its initial core members to work on the details of the Framework and guide the group through a governance mechanism. 

“Since the OFOC is key to the success of the Guidelines, it might be fatal if the OFOC is unable to negotiate among its members regarding matters of governance and membership. A starting point which has more details can allow a core group to move quickly to self-organize”, explained Villanueva.

It has also been suggested by Fintech Alliance to simplify the integration by providing a single access point to multiple sources of data and a single access point to multiple sources of payment transaction data.

Fintech Alliance also recognizes that the biggest obstacle in the framework would be the data privacy laws particularly the Deposit Secrecy Law and the Data Privacy Act.

“Perhaps the OFOC can be tasked with coming up with standard forms and agreements that participants can use to demonstrate their right to share personal data. Alternatively, the OFOC and its members can formulate their own industry Privacy Code for approval of the NPC to mitigate the risks associated with the user of personal information by Open Finance”, Villanueva further suggested.

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