Pasig rolls out digital payments at wet markets
MANILA, Philippines -Pasig City became the first local government in Metro Manila and the sixth across the nation to roll out the Paleng-QR campaign on March 3, with about two-thirds of accredited public market vendors signing up to enable digital payments.
This developed as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) firmed up its push to work out an agreement with banks on a scheme that could remove fund transfer fees for low-value transactions.
BSP Governor Felipe Medalla said he was “excited and very optimistic of what’s to come.”
“Our dream in the [BSP] is to make financial digital transactions, especially the small-value ones, interoperable and free of charge,” he said. “We are looking for a solution and we’re working closely with the banks and e-wallet operators.”
The BSP added that encouraging digital payments in the most common activities of Filipinos — such as paying for purchases at wet markets and riding public transportation like tricycles — is safe for consumers, cost-efficient for the central bank and able to provide banks with accurate data for responsive lending decisions.
He has not elaborated on what “small-value transactions” mean, but he had cited as an example that for a P200 fund transfer, a P15 transaction fee is very hefty.
BSP Deputy Governor Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that in Pasig City, 2,100 vendors out of 3,302 have already signed up for the Paleng-QR program.
Puyat said the program would not have been successful without the support of the local government.
The BSP intends to continue supporting local government units in the implementation of Paleng-QR to boost the growth of the digital ecosystem and transaction account ownership in the country. The program is inline with the BSP’s efforts to transform half of the volume of retail payments in the country to digital form and enlist 70 percent of Filipino adults into the formal financial system by this year under the Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap 2020-2023.
Ahead of Pasig City, the cities of Baguio, Davao, Tagbilaran, Naga and Lapu-Lapu have also rolled out Paleng-QR.