PH fintechs urged to capitalize on surge in e-payments
The Philippine central bank is urging the country’s financial technology firms to take advantage of the rise in digital transactions and favorable regulatory policies amid the coronavirus pandemic to grow their industry and provide much needed services to Filipinos.
Speaking before the second general membership meeting of Fintech Alliance Philippines recently, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno noted that the ongoing public health crisis has prompted a surge in electronic transactions both in terms of volume and value.
“Strike while the iron is hot,” he said, referring to companies that offer breakthrough platforms, services and digital systems to automate, expand and facilitate access to financial services. “Tap into your innovation DNA to create worthwhile solutions. The conditions are ripe and the time to act is now.”
The central bank noted a significant spike in digital transactions amid the pandemic.
As of end-July 2021, InstaPay transaction volume and value rose by 64 percent and 103 percent, respectively, relative to the same period in 2020. Meanwhile, PESONet transaction volume and value also grew by 190 percent and 50 percent, respectively, as of end-July 2021.
In recent months, the BSP issued policies on digital banking to encourage better delivery of financial services of digital banks without the constraints of brick-and-mortar operations, and on open finance to promote greater interoperability and collaboration among financial institutions and fintechs.
Furthermore, to revisit, recalibrate and fortify existing policies, the BSP is undertaking policy initiatives to amend its electronic money and technology outsourcing circulars, and formalize its test-and-learn approach or “regulatory sandbox.”
BSP is also transitioning to a new supervisory rating framework, which hinges on stronger offsite supervision.
All these initiatives aim to support the digital transformation programs of BSP-supervised financial institutions, including fintech players, while promoting sound risk technology and cyber risk management.
Earlier this year, the central bank and the country’s other financial regulators also agreed to come up with a unified monitoring and supervision scheme for the local fintech industry without stifling these firms’ new and creative ideas.
To this effect, a memorandum of agreement was signed under the auspices of the multiagency Financial Sector Forum on the establishment of a cooperative oversight framework on fintech innovation.
The framework aims to facilitate seamless regulation and supervision of fintech companies across the financial sector leveraging on the consultative and collaborative platform under the agreement.
This will ensure that risks associated with fintech activities will be effectively managed without crimping innovation.
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