Mindanao Times

Official: PH eyed as ‘cash-lite society’


MANILA -- An executive of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said it is targeting for the Philippine­s to become a “cash-lite society” but would take time to do so.

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Tuesday, Melchor Plabasan, officer in charge, BSP Technology Risk and Innovation Supervisio­n Department,

commented that there is still a lot to be done before most Filipinos would do epayments.

“We target that 20 percent of retail transactio­ns would be electronic­s by 2020. Our goal is a ‘cashlite society’, not totally ‘cashless’ for now,” he said.

Plabasan explained that the BSP’s goal is to minimize transactio­ns using banknotes and coins, thus the term “cash-lite”.

“(Going electronic­s) result to savings, and it is more convenient. You’d just use your mobile phone to pay for transactio­ns,” he said, adding that people could save time and money as they would not need to withdraw money from the bank, for instance.

For the country to be “cashless” like China, there must be a strong push for digital literacy, as well as preparatio­ns in terms of safety and security.

Many people could use the internet, Facebook, but are not well-informed with regard to other necessary details like security, he added.

Plabasan clarified that when a country goes “cashless”, it does not mean it stops producing money.

“Someone’s mobile account has to come from somewhere. Meaning, bills and coins still exist in the bank. Someone wouldn’t get PHP 1 million (e-payment) if there is no PHP 1 million deposited in the bank,” he clarified.

“Unless we (BSP) would issue a digital currency, there would always be physical money. Even if we go digital,” he continued.

Security Meanwhile, Plabasan bared that these days, many still fall victim to malware and phishing scams.

These are strategies that attackers use to get the target’s sensitive informatio­n like account details, passwords.

“That was why the BSP has instructed banks to implement multifunct­ion identifica­tion. For example, a code would be sent to your phone so that banks could assure that it is really you they are talking to,” he said.

The use of EMV chips on ATM cards is also BSP’s way to prevent fraud, Plabasan added.

In the old ATM cards, fraudsters could copy the data from the card’s magnetic strip.

“There has been no documented case that a fraudster was able to copy data from the EMV chip,”

he noted.

Plabasan also clarified that when someone becomes a victim of fraudsters, it is the bank’s responsibi­lity to investigat­e and solve the case, and not the BSP’s.

“The person needs to prove that (the incident) wasn’t his or her fault. The bank replaces the lost money if the victim proves he or she was not at fault,” he noted.

Plabasan explained that banks need to investigat­e such instances, so they wouldn’t be abused as well since they would replace the money.

“How did the fraudsters get their customers’ account details. They (banks) are the ones responsibl­e for that (details), so they are the ones to do investigat­ions when fraud or scams take place,” he said. (PNA)

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