BSP sees encouraging rise in cashless transactions

BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier said the results of the study undertaken by BTCA would be released towards the end of this month or in November.
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MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the preliminary results of a survey on the level of cashless transactions in the Philippines being conducted by Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA) showed encouraging results.

BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier said the results of the study undertaken by BTCA would be released towards the end of this month or in November.

“BTCA has not yet released the results of the survey, but preliminary results are very encouraging,” Fonacier said.

Digitizing retail payments is critical in the Philippines as a study conducted by BTCA in 2013 showed that 99 percent of payment transactions per month are done in cash, with businesses and individuals making only one percent and 0.3 percent electronic payments, respectively.

In December 2015, the BSP launched the National Retail Payment System (NRPS) as part of massive efforts to raise the share of digital payments or cashless transactions to 20 percent by 2020 from the previous level of one percent.

The safe, efficient, affordable and reliable electronic payments system paved the way for the launch of the PESONet (Philippine EFT System and Operations Network) and InstaPay.

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The PESONet allows fund transfer processed in bulk and cleared at batch intervals from one account to one or several accounts maintained in different banks, while InstaPay allows customers to transfer peso funds of up to P50,000 per transaction almost instantly between accounts of participating banks.

Latest data from the central bank showed digital transactions coursed through PESONet and InstaPay reached P109 billion in end-June. PESONet transactions amounted to P88.1 billion as volume reached 916,793, while InstaPay transactions reached P20.92 billion with 2.47 million transactions.

As of end-June, PESONet has 51 participating institutions, while InstaPay has 27 institutions capable of sending and 40 institutions capable of receiving InstaPay transactions.

President Duterte has also signed Republic Act 11127 or the National Payment Systems Act providing oversight, regulation, and supervision of payment systems.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno had said the central bank is confident of meeting its target of raising the share of digital payments to 20 percent by 2020 from only one percent in 2013.