Filipinos urged to use e-payments
The country’s top financial regulator wants more Filipinos to use electronic payments as a means of settling transactions especially during the Luzon-wide lockdown imposed by the government to combat the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a statement, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said the use of e-payments during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) minimizes face-to-face transactions and would prevent the spread of the virus.
“We can do our part in stopping the spread of COVID-19 by staying home,” he said, as he urged more Filipinos to “use e-payment services, such as PESONet
and InstaPay, when purchasing essentials like food and medicines, when transferring money to accounts of loved ones and when paying utility bills, loans and other obligations.”
“Fees for these services have been waived by authorized financial institutions during the ECQ period,” he added.
InstaPay enables an account holder to transfer money up to P50,000 per day, immediately credited to a recipient account in any participating financial institution. It is designed for urgent and small value transactions.
On the other hand, PESONet is designed for high value transactions of companies, other businesses, government agencies and individuals. It is the electronic alternative for transferring funds via checks. Money transfers made under PESONet have no transaction limit per day. Crediting to the recipient account is on the same banking day, provided that a sender transfers money within the cutoff time set by financial institutions.
InstaPay is being offered by 45 financial institutions, while PESONet is offered by 56 financial institutions to their account holders. These services provide convenient, safe and secure alternatives to face-to-face cash or check transactions.
They can be used by individuals for person-to-person money transfers, remittances, bill payments or payments to merchant accounts for purchases of goods and services. Companies and other businesses can also benefit from these services when accepting client payments and when paying their suppliers, creditors and employees’ salaries.
Diokno also noted e-payments could be conveniently accessed by account holders of banks and e-money issuers.
Individuals without existing accounts can take advantage of online onboarding facilities of banks offering basic deposit accounts and the online e-wallet creations offered by e-money issuers.
Diokno further advised Filipinos to exercise due diligence and utmost vigilance when performing e-payments and other online transactions in view of potential risks, such as phishing, spoofing, fraud and scams.
According to the BSP, the number of e-payment transactions in the country grew to 10 percent in 2018 from 1 percent in 2013. The value of these e-payments also rose to 20 percent from 8 percent of total transactions over the same period.
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