QR PH payment facility now fully implemented – BSP

Published July 27, 2022, 3:10 PM

by Lee C. Chipongian

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the QR Ph person-to-merchant (P2M) payment facility is fully implemented and should accelerate the country’s digitalization of payment transactions.

BSP Deputy Governor Mamerto E. Tangonan said on Wednesday, July 27, that they continue to engage the payments industry and relevant players to “ensure the quality and responsiveness of digital payment services in the new normal” for a “stronger and more inclusive Philippine economy.”

E-money transactions

“The use of QR Ph P2M is convenient and cost-effective since it does not require expensive point of sale or data capture terminals to facilitate digital payments for individuals and businesses,” said Tangonan.

There are 17 financial institutions participating in QR Ph P2M. As of end-April, the payment stream is available for use at 473,000 merchant locations nationwide, up from the previous 243,000 merchant locations in May.

The QR Ph P2M is a crucial part of the BSP’s 2020-2023 Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap to digitalize at least 50 percent of total retail payments in the country and onboard at least 70 percent of Filipino adults into the financial system by 2023.

The QR Ph P2M was launched in October last year. It enables an interoperable digital payments between customers and merchants even if they maintain accounts with different financial service providers. It may also be used for bills payment in the future, said the BSP.

It was in 2019 when the BSP introduced the QR Ph person-to-person (P2P) payments for the informal sector’s payments and remittances.

As of end-2021, about 30.3 percent of total retail payments have shifted in electronic payments or e-payments, closer to the target of digitizing 50 percent of all transactions by next year.

The e-payments total in terms of volume is higher compared to 20.1 percent in 2020, the first year of the pandemic. The lockdowns and mobility restrictions made it possible for millions of Filipinos to switch to digital payments or online transactions.

In terms of value, 44.1 percent of total retail payments are in digital form, up from 26.8 percent in 2020.

The BSP was able to migrate 30.3 percent of transactions into digital form because of merchant payments, P2P remittances, and business payments of salaries and wages to employees. All of these payment streams are high-frequency and low value retail transactions.