PayMaya, GCash get online payments licenses

Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - December 24, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — PayMaya Philippines Inc. and G-xchange Inc. (GCash) led the list of 36 companies given the green light by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to operate online payments systems.

The BSP’s Monetary Board also approved the provisional licenses of BancNet, American Express Travel Related Services, FEXCO Philippines, Dragonpay, IPAY 88 Philippines, Philippine Seven Corp., and Surepay Technologies.

Local and foreign banks granted provisional licenses to operate online payments systems include Yuchengco-led Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., Lucio Tan-owned Philippine National Bank, Sy-led China Bank, CTBC Bank, Rural Bank of Bay, Banco Bakun, Sterling Bank of Asia, Rural Bank of Maasin (Southern Leyte), Rural Bank of Bayombong, Rural Bank of Bay, Bankways, Dungganon Bank as well as the Manila branches of Citibank NA, Sumitomo Mitsui Bank and Mega International Commercial Bank.

Others include Lulu-Pils International Exchange, Aurora Integrated Multipurpose Cooperative, Qfpay Philippines, GHL Electronics Payments, Blockxperts, BTI Payments, Pito AXM Platform, ZYBI Tech, GDP Philippines, Qwikwire Billing Systems, IOT ACH Services, and Code Payments Pte Ltd.

In all, the regulator has granted provisional certificates of registration to 58 operators of payments system over the past two months as the government continues to ramp up the country’s transformation to a cash-lite economy.

The BSP has issued the registration guidelines for operators of payments systems through Circular No. 1049 last Sept.5.

The circular is a product of extensive consultations among private and public stakeholders in the payments industry, and is part of the phased-in implementation of Republic Act 11127, or the National Payment Systems Act, approved by President Duterte prioritizes the creation of a baseline inventory of all operators of payment systems.

The inventory will be used as inputs in the crafting of rules and criteria for designating payment systems.

Operators of payment systems include those that maintain platforms that enable payments or fund transfers, regardless of whether the source and destination accounts are maintained with the same or different institutions as well as those that operate the system or network that enables payments or fund transfers to be made through the use of a payment instrument.

Likewise, companies that provide a system that processes payments on behalf of any person or the government are required to register with the BSP.

In keeping with the thrust of the BSP to promote ease of doing business, the circular also provides a simplified registration process through self-assessment, streamlined list of documentary requirements, and descriptive examples-albeit not exhaustive-of activities that are akin to operating a payment system.

The BSP launched the National Retail Payment System (NRPS) in December 2015 in its bid to raise the share of cashless transactions to 20 percent by 2020 from only one percent in 2013.

Based on the latest survey conducted by the Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA) of the United Nations, the level of cashless transactions as of 2018 based on volume has increased to 10 percent from one percent and in terms of value to 20 percent from eight percent. 

However, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said the share of electronic payments to total transactions is now likely to hit 30 percent by 2020 with the onboarding of government transactions through the launch of the government electronic-payment (EGov Pay) facility and the national QR (quick response) Code Standard (QR Ph).

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