Mindanao Times

Rise of digital payments in PH ‘very encouragin­g’


MANILA -- 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 realtime 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. (PNA)

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