Digital transactions continue uptrend
Digital transactions in the country continued their uptrend, as the central bank maintained its efforts to encourage the public to use electronic payment facilities to carry out financial transactions safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said that the combined PESONet and InstaPay transactions as of April this year were higher by 276 percent in volume and 127 percent in value, compared to the figures recorded during the same month in 2020.
PESONet and InstaPay are automated clearing houses under the National Retail Payment System. PESONet is a batch electronic fund transfer system, which can be considered as an electronic alternative to the paper-based check system. InstaPay is a real-time, low value fund transfer facility for transaction amounting up to P50,000 targeted at e-commerce users.
The central bank also said the volume and value of QR Ph person-to-person payments in April this year increased by 23 percent and 38 percent, respectively, compared to the figure posted a month earlier.
QR Ph—or the National QR Code Standard—leverages on the efficiency, safety, and affordability of quick reaction code technology. It entails code scanning and benefits consumers through faster, easier, and cheaper payment options with greater convenience.
The regulator also said that 82 BSP-supervised financial institutions were participating in PESONet and 52 in InstaPay as of end April 2021.
“The data are encouraging. These indicate the sustained adoption of digital payments in the country,” the central bank said in its statement. “The preference of consumers for safety in their financial transactions, coupled with the readiness of the BSFIs to offer digital payment choices that are safe, convenient, and affordable will continue to support the widespread use of digital payments.”
Over a year into the pandemic, the BSP believes that financial consumers are adapting to the use of technology for their financial transactions.
“New adopters have experienced first-hand the advantages of going digital,” the agency said. “Their positive experiences are expected to create a ripple effect and to promote the wider use of digital payments.”
Earlier, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno expressed confidence the Philippines could meet the central bank’s ambitious goals for improved digitalization and financial inclusion in two years as a means of boosting inclusive growth among citizens.“Fifty percent or half of all transactions should be digital by 2023, and 70 percent of Filipino adults should have formal bank accounts by 2023,” he said, explaining that the Philippines has always been committed to “growing on a sustainable basis” while also being committed to reducing the incidence of poverty with the help of financial inclusion. INQ
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