BSP, payments industry speed up PESONet electronic fund transfers

Ramon Royandoyan - Philstar.com
BSP, payments industry speed up PESONet electronic fund transfers
This file photo shows BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno at a press conference.
Facebook / BSP

MANILA, Philippines — Electronic fund transfers made through the PESONet facility will now be processed in two batches in a single day, as regulators move to meet a growing demand for faster crediting of money to recipients’ accounts.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Philippine Payments Management Inc., a group of payment industry participants, launched Monday a multi-batch settlement (MBS) facility that will do away with the old system of processing fund transfers conducted via PESONet once in a banking day.

With the MBS increasing PESONet’s daily batch settlement to two cycles in a day, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said the new feature “allows faster crediting of funds to the recipient’s account.”

“PESONet MBS allows for better risk management for participating banks and electronic money issuers as settlement of transactions may be divided within two cycles in a banking day,” Diokno explained in a statement.

Considered as an alternative to paper-based check payments, the 4-year-old PESONet is the first automated clearing house under the BSP’s National Retail Payment System.

PESONet has no transaction limit, and fund transfers are free of charge and posted after end of business day unlike instaPay, which charges users with a P10 fee for each real-time payment transaction that is capped at P50,000 per day.

PESONet is usually preferred for bulk, recurring, non-time sensitive payment transactions like payrolls and pensions. According to Diokno, the new system that allows for twice a day settlement cycles — one in the morning and another at the end of the day — would address the demand of the business community for shorter clearing intervals.

At the same time, Diokno said person-to-government payments made via EGov Pay will also be improved because of the more frequent settlement cycles under PESONet MBS.  EGov Pay is an online facility that allows citizens to pay taxes and other fees due to government institutions, including permits and fees.

“With PESONet MBS, businesses can manage their cashflows better. For example, a business can ensure timely crediting of payroll funds since PESONet MBS allows the transfer of funds and the receipt of the same by employees within the same banking day,” the BSP chief said.

“Since funds are made available earlier, PESONet MBS can cut production cycle time that boosts economic productivity,” he added.

E-payments saw great strides amid the coronavirus pandemic, which boosted demand for digital transactions due to contagion fears. The BSP reported that 20.1% of monthly payments volume are done digitally by end 2020, slightly above the central bank’s 20% goal for that year. In terms of value, digital payments grew 26.8% year-on-year in 2020 from 25% in the previous year.




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