Tuesday, March 5, 2024

BSP tells banks: Accept PhilSys ID — in physical and mobile versions — as proof of identity

​The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reminded on Tuesday, Nov. 9, the public and local banks that the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) ID is considered sufficient proof of identity to open a bank account.

Photo shows a Philsys registration center at the SM Center mall in Dagupan City
(Photo courtesy of Dagupan City Public Information Office)

The BSP made the pronouncement following reports that BSP-supervised financial institutions (BSFIs) are refusing to accept the PhilSys ID as a valid proof of identity because it does not feature a signature of the ID holder.

In Memorandum No. M-2021-057 issued on October 21, the BSP endorsed the advisory issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) which reminded all government and private entities to accept the Philippine Identification (PhilID) card as sufficient proof of identity, subject to proper authentication. This is in line with Republic Act No. 11055 or the PhilSys Act.

“PhilSys will help more Filipinos, especially the marginalized and low-income, to begin saving money in banks and other BSFIs,” BSP governor Benjamin E. Diokno said.

Diokno added the national ID system will support the wide scale opening of transaction accounts, particularly the Basic Deposit Account, which is designed to meet the needs of the unbanked.

In support of the earlier PSA advisory, the BSP’s issuance instructs local banks that the PhilID, in both physical and mobile formats, shall be accepted as sufficient proof of identity without the need for another ID.

It also emphasized that the PhilSys will offer online and offline methods for identity authentication through the PhilID physical security features, QR code digital verification, biometric verification, and SMS one-time password (OTP).  These features, it added, will facilitate stronger and more secure methods of identity verification than traditional methods such as manual matching of handwritten signature against specimen.

The local banks were likewise directed to include the PhilID in their list of valid IDs to be displayed on their counters, public entrances of their establishments, websites, social media accounts, and other consumer information channels.

As a foundational digital ID system, the BSP said it considers the PhilSys as a gamechanger for financial inclusion, a state wherein there is effective access to a wide range of financial services for all.

“Aside from contributing to the massive opening of transaction accounts, PhilSys is expected to transform how services are delivered and accessed in the Philippines, accelerating the country’s transition to a digital economy,” it said.

The PhilSys is considered a major infrastructure component in the BSP’s Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap, which was launched in October 2020 with the twin goals of digitizing 50% of the total volume of retail payment transactions by 2023 from 19% in 2019, and bringing account ownership among adult Filipinos to 70% by 2023 from 29% in 2019.

As of October 21, the number of transaction accounts opened due to the co-location of PSA registration sites and Land Bank account opening facilities totaled 5,922,304 accounts.

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