BIZ BUZZ: Bancnet-PCHC merger finally cleared | Inquirer Business

BIZ BUZZ: Bancnet-PCHC merger finally cleared

/ 02:20 AM February 02, 2024

After undergoing a thorough scrutiny by the country’s antitrust guardians, the merger between electronics payment network Bancnet Inc. and payments system service provider Philippine Clearing House Corp. (PCHC) is ready to see the light of day.

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has yet to announce it, but based on a document we’ve seen, the commission has already passed a resolution to “accept the voluntary commitments of the parties.”

It added, “The transaction is hereby ALLOWED to proceed subject to strict compliance to the commitments and other terms and conditions provided in the undertaking.” (Emphasis not ours.)


Among the key conditions is for the unified entity to reduce service downtime.


“It’s perhaps one of the more difficult cases that confronted PCC but they saw through the issues and were the guardians of the consumers,” said an industry expert privy to the merger.

Bancnet enables the customers of its members to transact at automated teller machines, point-of-sale terminals and through mobile phones via digital applications and websites.

On the other hand, PCHC facilitates the check clearing operation of different banks in the Philippines. It also offers several electronic-based payment system services, including Philippine Domestic Dollar Transfer System, Payment Application Secure System and Payment Gateway facility.

Currently, Bancnet is the clearing switch operator (CSO) for the real-time interbank electronic fund transfer facility, InstaPay, while PCHC is the CSO for the batch interbank electronic fund transfer facility, PESONet. Thus, there were earlier concerns that the unification may stifle competition.

“The merger between BancNet and PCHC is just a merger between two systems majority owned by the same bank shareholders for cost efficiency. But more than costs, it brings operational resiliency and security and risk management. Banks as users of the merged entity will be in a better position to serve the consumers. They are the ones who will be competing among themselves. And the PCC has seen this through with its approval of this merger,” said our elated source.

“The approval is a plus and vote of confidence for our regulators like PCC on any anticompetition and for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for any financial supervision,” the source added. —Doris Dumlao-Abadilla


Finex’s Bengzon hits ground running

The head of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (Finex) is hitting the ground running with his challenge to champion transformation, sustainable growth and diversity.

It’s a message that is familiar within many corporate manifestos but Augusto Bengzon, Ayala Land chief finance officer and Finex president for 2024, hoped to also demonstrate how concrete steps can be taken to achieve these goals.

“As finance executives, we must recognize the impact our decisions can have on the environment and strive to align our corporate strategies with sustainable practices,” Bengzon said during his induction as Finex president.

Ayala Land formalized its sustainable guidelines in 2007 and launched its first sustainable estate, Nuvali, a few years later. In 2021, the group also announced its commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Diversity is at the company’s core and also at the top. Bengzon said Anna Ma. Margarita B.“Meean” Dy, the company’s first female CEO in its 35-year history, is “strategically incorporating talents and experts” to keep the developer on track with its ambitious growth targets to double earnings by 2028.

“Sustainability guarantees our longevity and adaptability. Diversity brings depth to our perspectives, fostering innovation and resilience,” Bengzon said.

“Digitalization, the backbone of modern enterprises, allows us to efficiently deliver new products and services, find new ways to engage customers, and turn them into lifelong partners,” he added.

Finex will have a busy year ahead as it harnesses the talents of its experienced leaders while shaping the next generation of finance executives.

“We are now assembling our next set of industry leaders who will provide insights on sustainability, diversity, and digitalization and how they are shaping their respective growth agendas,” Bengzon said. —Miguel R. Camus

GCash went missing?

Social media was abuzz with posts concerning the unavailability of the GCash app for download via the Google Play Store on Thursday.

It wasn’t clear at the time why, prompting its users to be worried about their accounts.

The popular e-wallet brand, however, assured its users that services remain available.

On the same day, GCash was able to sort the issue out with Google Play Store. It just needs to update some feature of the apps for the android users.

The app is also available on the Apple App Store and the Huawei App Gallery.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

GCash reminded its users to download the app only via trusted platforms. —Tyrone Jasper C. Piad

TAGS: Bancnet, Biz Buzz, Finex, GCash, PCHC

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.