QR code, eGov facility payments soar

Lawrence Agcaoili - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said cashless transactions via the national quick response (QR) code and the government electronic payment (EGov Pay) facility continues to gain traction as it ramps up efforts to transform the Philippines into a cash-lite economy.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said the volume of EGov Pay transactions, including payments for taxes, permits and other obligations to the government, surged 688 percent to 1,277 in end-June from only 167 when it was launched last November.

Diokno said value likewise jumped 799 percent to P12.85 million from P1.43 million.

“This surge reflects the deepening public awareness of this digital facility as a safe and efficient means of payment government obligations,” he said.

Around 180 government entities are expected to be onboard the facility by the end of this year. Participating agencies right now include the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Philippine National Police (PNP), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and various local government units.

There are also around 65 government agencies now using the electronic portal of state-run Land Bank of the Philippines from only two when EGov Pay facility was launched last November.

On the other hand, Diokno also reported a 1,214 percent jump in the volume of QR Ph transactions to 5,938 in end-June from 452 when the person-to-person transactions by scanning a standard QR code was launched less than a year ago.

In terms of value, the BSP chief reported an exponential 1,374 percent jump to P15.27 million from P1.04 million.

“The demand and supply of QR payment services have also been promising,” Diokno added.

The use of QR codes for payments has been gaining traction as an alternative to the traditional debit and credit card payments. The QR technology has emerged as the most expedient means of payment since it essentially entails code scanning which is faster and easier to do than bringing out a card, tapping, dipping or swiping it, and signing a charge slip in most cases.

Likewise, consumers benefit having faster, easier and cheaper payment options with greater convenience especially amid the containment measures against the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic.

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