BSP to test digital tax payments in Q3

Lawrence Agcaoili - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is set to pilot test the on boarding of government transactions in the National Retail Payment System (NRPS) in the third quarter as it aims to increase the level of cashless transactions to 20 percent by 2020 from about one percent.

BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier told The STAR the regulator is looking at using the NRPS framework for the electronic collection or payments of taxes to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) using one of the two automated clearing houses (ACHs) as part of a safe, efficient, affordable, and reliable e-payments system.

The PESONet (Philippine EFT System and Operations Network) involves the 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 almost instantly between accounts of participating banks.

She added the batched electronic funds transfer facility would allow a taxpayer to directly transfer funds from his or her account to the account of the BIR.

“This means that the individual and institutional clients of the PESONet-participating institutions need not leave their homes or workplaces and go through the hassles of falling in a long queue to be able to settle their tax obligations,” she said.

According to Fonacier, clients could use their personal computers and mobile devices to conveniently initiate payments to the BIR through the PESONet.

Fonacier said the BSP is closely coordinating with the Philippine Payments Management Inc. (PPMI), the industry practitioners, and the concerned agencies on the digitalization of government collections.

“After BIR, other agencies shall be lined-up to follow as billers in this e-payments solution,” she said.

Likewise, the BSP is looking at coursing the payment made by the government to suppliers, social security premiums, dividends, and other fees through digital channels.

The central bank is pushing the inclusion of PHPay as part of the NRPS. The government online payment system is an internet-based e-payment facility and gateway allowing citizens and businesses to remit payments electronically to government agencies.

The facility renders services through various delivery channels, which include debit instructions (ATM accounts), credit instructions (credit cards) and mobile wallets (SMS).

With the iGovPhil’s online payment system, payment can be made online allowing participating agencies to free up their staff and focus more on competencies.

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