BSP taps digital finance expert to head new unit for ‘interplay’ of cash, e-money

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​The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has named digital finance services expert Mamerto Tangonan as deputy governor for the newly-established Payments and Currency Management Sector (PCMS).  

New BSP deputy governor Mamerto Tangonan. (Photo from chemonics.com)

The central bank recently established the Payments and Currency Management Sector (PCMS) which is tasked to manage the interplay of physical currency and digital money.

“PCMS is tasked to maintain the safety and integrity of the local currency and to ensure a well-functioning payments and cash ecosystem that supports sustained and inclusive economic growth, said BSP governor Benjamin E. Diokno.

“This is aligned with the BSP’s Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap which aims to achieve efficient, safe and inclusive payments ecosystems,” Diokno explained.

The new sector, which consolidates existing currency and payment management units, is responsible for producing banknotes, coins, and securities documents; refining gold; and printing of cards for the national ID.

Tangonan brings with him over 28 years of experience in digital and traditional financial services, telecommunications, technology, financial inclusion and consulting services.

Immediately before joining the BSP, Tangonan led a six-year USAID-funded program on the E-PESO project aimed at accelerating the shift of the Philippine economy from cash to digital payments.

In this capacity, he spearheaded a team in providing technical assistance to the BSP in the policy formulation and implementation of the National Retail Payments System (NRPS). He also worked with the BSP in obtaining industry buy-in for the NRPS.

Earlier, he handled initiatives like the USAID-funded “Scaling Innovations in Mobile Money” to expand financial inclusion by boosting the adoption and usage of mobile money; the development of a DFS-enabled agriculture value chain information system in Tanzania; and the engagement with Bank of Indonesia to obtain e-money license for Indonesian-based PT Smart Telecom.

Moreover, he led a team in providing support to the Bureau of Internal Revenue to collect taxes via e-payments; working with local government units (LGUs) to build a mobile money ecosystem that resulted in the first mobile money payroll by an LGU in Pulilan, Bulacan; and developing a mobile money disbursement system used by Quezon City to distribute social welfare benefits to its 22,000 scholars and teachers.

He also served as general manager of PT Smart Telecom; director of Globe Telecom, Inc. where he handled the project management of G-Cash mobile banking project for rural banks; and first vice president of ING Life Insurance Co. (Phils.) Inc.

Tangonan took his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of the Philippines and his executive MBA from the Asian Institute of Management.

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