BSP ramps up digitalization efforts to support small firms

Lawrence Agcaoili - The Philippine Star
BSP ramps up digitalization efforts to support small firms
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) continues to facilitate capacity building and technical assistance for the digitalization initiatives of the microfinance sector and micro entrepreneurs as the country recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said the central bank remains steadfast in spearheading digitalization efforts and programs supporting the microfinance sector as well as micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“Our initiatives include bringing digital payments closer to the people by promoting its use in the most common transaction points for most Filipinos – the community markets and local transportation services such as tricycles,” Diokno said.

The BSP chief spearheaded the virtual launch of the 1st Digital Financial Inclusion Awards (DFIA) to highlight the achievements and contributions of the country’s microfinance institutions (MFIs) and micro entrepreneurs towards implementing digital solutions.

The central bank continues to actively support the implementation of Republic Act 11055 or the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) to streamline and enhance the onboarding capability of MFIs.

It also continues to pursue efforts to promote responsible use of alternative data to benefit MSMEs and unbanked individuals with little to no credit history.

The DFIA program is a financial inclusion initiative funded by Citi Foundation, in partnership with Microfinance Council of the Philippines Inc. and supported by Citi Philippines and the BSP.

“Through DFIA, we hope to make a meaningful difference in the communities we live and work in. Our goal is to see micro entrepreneurs flourish and prosper,” Ahmed said.

The first component of the awards program focuses on recognizing MFIs and micro entrepreneurs who have successfully adopted digital solutions that will motivate other MFIs and micro entrepreneurs to apply new digital technologies and incorporate them into their business operations.

To be recognized are four MFIs that have successfully implemented digital solutions in their institution as well as 20 micro entrepreneurs who have notable achievements in improving their businesses through digital solutions.

Aside from shifting 50 percent of total retail transactions to electronic channels, the BSP aims to raise the number of Filipino adults with bank accounts to 70 percent by 2023 under its Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap.


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