August 13, 2020

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BSP to launch clearing house for government services

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The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is looking to launch a new clearing house that will be a part of the central bank’s stronger push for online transactions.

According to a recent report, the clearing house will be called “PhPay” and will allow digital payments for government services.

PhPay

The central bank’s Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier explained that the third automated clearing house will process payments for government services as well as the state’s fund releases to individuals.

However, the central bank is still waiting for the Department of Finance (DoF) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to set up a platform for e-invoicing.

This platform will be providing electronic receipts to users of the payment portal.

Because trace numbers usually would not suffice for customers, electronic invoicing is needed. According to the BSP official, customers prefer to have receipts as proof of payments that they have made.

Originally, the DoF started work for the PhPay clearing house under the Integrated Government Philippines program.

This program would also serve as the centralised online payment portal, transactions ledger and reconciliation system for e-payments to state agencies.

This platform is expected to improve the ease of doing business in the country, as payments for permits and licenses can also be coursed here.

It was last year when the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas revealed its plans of setting up a new clearing house that will specifically cater for bills payment that includes government services.

Once it has rolled out, the PhPay will follow the Philippine Electronic Fund Transfer System and Operations Network.

This is a platform which compiles all interbank fund transfer instructions, runs a batch process, and credits the amount to the receiver by the end of the banking day.

Clearing Houses

Meanwhile, InstaPay, which is one of the central bank’s clearing houses, processes real-time transfers that are worth US$ 950.22 (PHP 50,000) or lower.

With InstaPay, the money is sent to the destination account in a matter of seconds or minutes.

These clearing houses were opened in line with the central bank’s goal to raise the share of e-payments to 20% of all transactions in the Philippines by 2020.

This is coming from a measly 1% share back in 2013.

In a previous statement, the late BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr said that he was specifically targeting to shift government payments onto digital platforms.

These payments include the payout of worker salaries, tax collections, and even loan proceeds from state agencies.

The use of e-payments and online transactions is expected to fast-track access to money, and will therefore boost economic activity as funds are made available quickly.

OpenGov Asia earlier reported on BSP’s initiative of streamlining the licensing requirements for e-payment.

As reported, this initiative is in line with the central bank’s reform agenda that promotes digital innovations as well as increasing availability of safer and more efficient channels.

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