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Going digital

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reports that digital transactions in the country are continuing their uptrend as it maintains efforts to encourage the public to use electronic payment facilities for safer financial transactions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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. These 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 transactions amounting up to P50,000 targeted at e-commerce users.

“The data are encouraging. These indicate the sustained adoption of digital payments in the country,” the central bank said in a 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,” it added.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno earlier expressed confidence that 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.

Aside from providing a safer way of doing business and financial transactions during the Covid pandemic, the BSP strategy of reducing the incidence of poverty with the help of financial inclusion gets a boost with this development as confidence in a system that is safe, convenient and affordable grows.

Digital financial transactions and electronic payments are part of the future. Those that adapt earlier will have lesser chances of being left behind. This hastened adaptation is one thing we have gained from the pandemic. With continued encouragement and support from the BSP, Filipinos should be able to take advantage and extract its full potential.*

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