The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has adjusted the target for electronic payments (e-payments) in the country, with value of transactions now aimed to account for 30 percent of the total by 2020 from previous goal of 20 percent, including volume of transactions.
In a briefing last week, BSP governor Benjamin Diokno said among the factors for the revised target for the value of e-payments include the increase in the number of government offices that will accept payments for fees and other services through digital means, as well as better coordination between the central bank and its stakeholders.
Diokno said the aim is to enable all government offices to have a digital payment transaction option by 2023 to increase e-payment transactions. This, he said, will result to cash-lite payment environment in the country.
“We need a faster Internet system. With the third telco player, the broadband capacity will quadruple in a few months so I’m confident that by 2023, we’ll have 100 percent (digital-enabled transactions in government offices). That’s a promise,” he added.
In an interview after the briefing, BSP Financial Technology Sub-sector managing director Vicente de Villa III said the previous target, which was based on the result of an earlier study by Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA), did not have specific aim for the value of e-payments.
“We’re just improving the study to include the peso value but the volume is still there,” he said. “If the volume along with the value is increasing, (it indicates) more confidence and trust,” he added.
The first government agency tapped to pilot the EGov Pay facility is the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), which started to use the system last August for tax payments. Payments were coursed through the Landbank’s Link.Biz portal.
During the launch of the EGov Pay in a ceremony at the BSP Manila on Wednesday, Nov. 20, it was announced the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the cities of General Santos, Manila, Valenzuela, San Pedro , Quezon City, the LGU of Baler in Quezon will also be part of the system.
Meanwhile, the BSP and several payments industry players also launched a program called QR PH, which is eyed not only to increase e-payments, but also to secure payment transactions.
Diokno said the use of QR (Quick Response) Code is targeted to primarily help the micro-merchants who transact in small amount compared to other businesses.
“We hope that through the help of our industry players, we can not only achieve our goal of a cash-lite economy but also enable more Filipinos to reap the benefits of a growing economy,” he added. — Joann Villanueva (PNA)