PESONet, InstaPay transactions reach P3.81 T in Q1

The value transactions of banks and non-banks via the PESONet and InstaPay reached P3.81 trillion in the first quarter 2024, up 33 percent from same time last year of P2.87 trillion, based on data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

The combined volume of both PESONet and InstaPay in the first three months of the year increased by 70 percent to 309.3 million versus 182.4 million in 2023.

InstaPay is a real-time, low-value digital payments facility that substitutes for cash transactions. PESONet is a batch electronic funds transfer service that provides a viable alternative for checks and recurring payments.

Currently, there are 86 InstaPay participating banks and non-banks of which 22 are big banks; 20 are thrift banks; 18 are rural banks; five are digital banks; and 21 are non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) as e-money issuers.

As for PESONet, there are 109 participating banks and non-banks, of which 40 are big banks; 38 are rurla banks; 18 are thrift banks; five are digital banks; and eight are NBFIs.

The BSP has targeted to migrate 50 percent of all payment transactions into digital form by the end of 2023 and it looked like this goal has been achieved, according to BSP Deputy Governor Mamerto E. Tangonan. The report will be released in July this year as the BSP is still finalizing the data.

The share of digital transactions in total payments has been growing steadily with both InstaPay and PESONet. Also, more people are using the QR Ph code for payments.

The shift to e-payments have steadily grown due to the momentum it achieved during the pandemic, when the lockdowns or movement restrictions forced the public to transact digitally.

Based on the BSP’s Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap and its National Strategy for Financial Inclusion, by end-2023, half of all payment transactions should be in digital form while 70 percent of adult Filipinos should have formal accounts.

As of the end of 2022, 42.1 percent of all payment transactions have shifted to digital while 56 percent of Filipino grown ups have financial accounts as of the end of 2021.

When the BSP started this, only one percent of transactions was in digital form in 2013. By 2018, the volume increased to 10 percent and then to 14 percent in 2019.

By the time the pandemic hit the globe, digital payments expanded to 20.1 percent of all transactions in 2020 and to 30.3 percent by 2021.

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