BSP goal: 20% of PH transactions digital by 2020
As much as P1 for every P5 spent in the Philippines will be transacted through electronic channels in as short as three years under a new Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas initiative to transform the local market into an advanced digital economy.
According to BSP Gov. Nestor Espenilla Jr., the goal of bank regulators is to raise the volume and value of electronic transactions in the country from its present “negligible” level of 1 percent of all transfers to 20 percent by 2020.
“Today, 99 percent of all transactions are still cash- and paper-based,” he said in his first policy speech of the year yesterday before the members of the Rotary Clubs of Manila, Makati West and Forbes Park in Makati City.
“We want to change that,” he added, explaining that the new payment system being created to facilitate cashless transactions is “going to be a big convenience and will potentially supplant the traditional check payment system.”
In particular, the BSP chief pointed out that the new payment system that the central bank was building together with other stakeholders and regulators will also make it easier for retail transactions to be executed using modern electronic methods like so-called “QR” or quick reaction codes.
The system is already gaining widespread acceptance for retail payments overseas and was recently pioneered locally by mobile phone firm Globe Telecom Inc. whose GCash service allows users to QR codes when paying for shopping and dining purchases, among others.
An efficient, secure, and reliable payments and settlements system reduces the cost of exchanging goods and services. It is essential for the smooth functioning of money and capital markets.
More than making payments more convenient, however, Espenilla said moving from a cash-based economy to one where digital payments are more common was crucial toward promoting financial inclusion, since significantly more Filipinos own mobile phones than bank accounts.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.