Digital payments to cover ‘sari-sari’ stores, trike drivers, too—BSP chief
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine central bank and the payment systems industry will roll out several initiatives to further advance a shift to digital payments and financial inclusion, the central bank chief said on Monday (Sept. 27).
Speaking before stakeholders, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said the BSP “will continue to work with the Philippine Payments Management Inc. to ensure that every Filipino can have meaningful participation in an increasingly digital economy.”
Run by payment industry participants, the Philippine Payments Management Inc. is a self-governing body that is accredited by the BSP as the country’s payment system management body.
One of its key initiatives is the full launch of QR Ph for person-to-merchant payments in the coming days. Quick Response, or QR technology, entails code scanning and benefits consumers through faster, easier and cheaper payment options with greater convenience.
“I am confident that this initiative will facilitate efficient digital payments to unbanked micro-entrepreneurs like sari-sari store owners and tricycle drivers,” Diokno said.
The BSP and the payments group are also collaborating on implementing the PESONet multiple batch settlement system by yearend, establishing an interoperable bills payment facility by early 2022, and rolling out the request-to-pay facility by the second quarter of 2022.
PESONet is a batch electronic fund transfer which can be considered as an electronic alternative to the paper-based check system. From once a day, multiple batch settlement will increase the frequency of PESONet settlements to twice daily. This will speed up the payment process for high-value transfers and support funding requirements for businesses.
The interoperable bills payment facility, on the other hand, will enable billers to collect from their customers through digital means, even if the payment service providers of the billers are different from those of their clients.
The request to pay facility, meanwhile, will empower payees to initiate collections by simply sending a request-to-pay to the payor. Payors need not initiate the payment or get the account details of the payee and will just need to confirm or authorize the payee’s request for payment.
The Philippine Payments Management Inc. is working to attract more PESONet participating banks and e-money issuers to the EGov Pay ecosystem, an e-payment facility for taxes, permits, fees and other government obligations.
Finally, the BSP and the payments industry are also working on the direct debit service initiative, which will enable the payer to send the payee an electronic authority to draw funds directly from the payer’s account on a regular basis. This is ideal for recurring payments like monthly rentals, periodic loan amortizations and quarterly insurance premiums.
“These challenging times have taught us to adapt, be more agile and to find innovative ways to continue thriving,” Diokno said. “In a way, the pandemic gave us an invaluable opportunity—and one that we must seize—to build and enhance our capacities for digital transformation.”
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.