BSP's real time settlement platform to ensure safer flow of funds

Published May 12, 2021, 5:36 PM

by Lee C. Chipongian

The central bank’s new peso real-time gross settlement (RTGS) platform of the next-generation Philippine Payment and Settlement System (PhilPaSSplus) – which is expected to go live by June this year – will pave the way for a more efficient and safer flow of funds, according to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno.

Diokno announced on Wednesday, May 11, that testing for the PhilPaSSplus has started in the first half of the year. “In the first quarter of 2021, the BSP completed its ‘User Acceptance Test’ and kicked off the industry-wide market rehearsal which will conclude in June 2021. The outcome of the market rehearsal is key to determining if the system will go live in June this year,” he said during his virtual press briefing.

Describing the new PhilPaSS with “very comprehensive functionalities”, Diokno said it will settle larger volume of financial transactions of varying types and complexities. Its use of the latest technology has also enhanced its system efficiency rate, risk mitigation, business continuity provisions, liquidity management, and the generation of data and information in support of the decision making and related functions of the real-time gross settlement stakeholders, noted Diokno.

“Transactions to be settled in the new platform will generally be the same as those currently processed under PhilPaSS,” he added. “However, PhilPaSSplus is likely to process new kinds of transactions in the near to medium term. This is in view of prospects for expanding the peso real-time gross settlement ecosystem; and considering the trends in financial market products and payment services, mostly requiring instant settlement on gross basis using central bank money,” said Diokno.

The BSP’s switchover to PhilPaSSplus is part of its three-year Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap.

PhilPaSS and its enhanced version enables settlement of large-value payment transactions between customers of financial institutions, as well as interbank and financial market transactions between financial institutions, all of which require immediate settlement such as: remittances of government collections by authorized agent banks to the Bureau of the Treasury; and settlement of securities and foreign exchange trades, and clearing results of retail payments done through checks, ATMs, InstaPay, and PESONet.