BSP wants more Instapay real-time channels

Published April 23, 2018, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Lee C. Chipongian

After launching the second automated clearing house (ACH), InstaPay, the central bank is encouraging more players as demand for a less-costly real-time electronic payments are expected to increase.

There are now 18 InstaPay participating banks, and two firms transacting in electronic payments. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said they expect this number to “increase quickly in the coming months as more institutions respond to customer demand.”

InstaPay is part of the BSP’s National Retail Payments System (NRPS) Framework. The central bank describes the ACH as a “safe, efficient, affordable, and reliable electronic retail payments system” which is expected to boost electronic payment transactions to 20 percent – at least – in two years. The first ACH, PESONet, was launched last November 2017.

BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. yesterday called on the private sector to work together to increase electronic payments.He said the “broader utilization of these platforms will accelerate economic growth for the country and make the Philippines more competitive.”

The BSP said that with InstaPay, individuals, businesses, and government institutions can send and receive funds or make payments in real time of up to P50,000 per transaction in a day, and without limit. “The transferred funds are instantly received in full as no fee is charged to the receiving party. Charges may however apply to sending parties. Recipients may also be charged for cash withdrawals,” explained the BSP.

The central bank also stated that InstaPay will have 24/7 access through mobile apps and internet banking facilities provided by participating banks and e-money issuers, and soon with other e-channels. This eliminates the need to go through the trouble of physically travelling and transacting at bank branches or payments counters, said the BSP.

“Both senders and receivers must have accounts with participating institutions to enjoy instant transfers. The interoperability of InstaPay conveniently allows users seamless transactions between accounts maintained in any of the participating institutions,” the BSP added.

The NRPS was adopted by the BSP last year after issuing Circular No. 980. This was followed by the establishment of the industry-led Philippine Payments Management Inc. (PPMI).

The BSP began the NRPS initiative in 2015. The PPMI, in the meantime, will function as a payment system management body.