By LEE C. CHIPONGIAN
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno is confident that in three years, digital or e-payments will increase to 50 percent of all payments transactions with additional technology and adoption of the standard QR Code.
“My plan is by the end of 2020, 30 percent of all financial transactions will be digital. Before the end of my term (it will be) 50 percent,” said Diokno. His term finishes by July, 2023.
Diokno has said that digital financial transactions could be already at 30 percent of all payments transactions by the end of 2019 but is maintaining this official target until the end of 2020.
“A cash-light economy, with e-payments accounting for at least half of total financial transactions” by 2023, he said.
The BSP is implementing the National Retail Payment System (NRPS) which is a framework for an interoperable system and “secure, efficient and affordable” fund transfers.
Diokno credited the NRPS and financial technology or fintech industry for the expansion of e-payments.
Under the NRPS, both the BSP and the private sector set up two interoperable payment systems – InstaPay for low-value fund transfers credited real time, and the PESONet for bigger-value fund transfers credited within the same banking day.
InstaPay and PESONet transfer funds electronically and since 2017, the large commercial banks are already transacting under these clearing systems.
Diokno expect more big banks to come on board this year and expand the network of e-payments, eventually hitting 100 percent of total financial transactions in 10 years. However to reach this level, there should be a more reliable and faster Internet connection.
Last November, the BSP launched of the EGov Pay and QR Ph. The EGov Pay already has nine agencies including local government units lined up as participants.
The pilot EGov Pay was offered for Bureau of Internal Revenue taxpayers through the Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank).
In the meantime, the BSP wants all payment service providers or PSPs to be compliant with the QR Code standard by mid-2020.
The BSP approved the adoption of a National QR Code Standard in October and is giving PSPs until June 30 next year to fully comply with the QR policy. The PSPs will adopt the QR Code Standard within thirty days after notification.
The QR Ph has six pilot participants and the funds are transferred through the InstaPay. The PSPs participating institutions include the Asia United Bank, China Banking Corp., Landbank, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., PayMaya, and Union Bank of the Philippines.