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A Commitment to Grow E-payments in the Philippines

E Payments in Philippines

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) spearheaded the recently held “Digital Payments Leaders Summit” event, where leaders from the government and the private sectors renewed their commitment to accelerate the adoption of electronic payments in the country.

According to a recent press release, the summit was marked by the release of the study of the United Nations-based Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA).

E-Payments in the Philippines

  • It reported that the volume of e-payments usage in the Philippines grew from 1% in 2013 to 10% in 2018, while the value of e-payments rose from 8% to 20% during the same period.
  • The study also revealed that women in the Philippines are ahead of the men in adopting digital payment solutions.
  • BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno shared how this development affirms that significant progress is attainable through effective cooperation as efforts are being harmonised towards promoting a cash-lite economy.
  • In view of its immense potential to foster financial inclusion, the rising usage of e-payments is seen to provide robust support to the shared goal of promoting inclusive economic growth.
  • In line with this, the summit identified key areas of cooperation. These are:
  • Social benefit transfers
  • Payments to merchants and billers including payments to the government
  • Payments to suppliers
  • Remittances, which are critical use cases in making digital payments widely available and acceptable throughout the country

Other BSP Initiatives

The Governor explained that these efforts are aimed at bringing the country closer to the ultimate objective of having an inclusive payment system where no adult Filipino is left behind in terms of access to payment and other basic financial services.

The BSP actively promotes the use of e-payments.

Recently, it launched the EGov Pay facility, which enables online payment of taxes and government fees.

It also launched the QR PH, which is the country’s QR Code standard that allows convenient person-to-person money transfers.

The BSP pursues these initiatives with the payments industry led by the Philippine Payments Management, Inc.

OpenGov Asia recently reported on Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Industry launch EGov Pay and QR Ph.

The EGov Pay facility is now fully launched to the public following a successful pilot run with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) last August 2019.

It is a payment solution that enables a streamlined digitalisation of government collections and disbursements.

By digitalising payments to the government, it is able to curb revenue leaks through efficient collection means, better audit trail, and enhanced transparency.

Meanwhile, the use of QR codes for payments has been gaining traction as an alternative to the traditional debit and credit card payments.

The QR technology has emerged as the most expedient means of payment since it only entails code scanning, which is faster and easier than bringing out a card, tapping, dipping or swiping it, and signing a charge slip, in most cases.

The central bank required all PSPs to adopt the national QR code standard as provided in BSP Circular No. 1055, in order to transform the fragmented QR-driven payment services into interoperable payment solutions.

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