(From the speech of BSP Governor Benjamin E Diokno at the HSBC “ASEAN Next – Dialogue on Digital Banks”, November 30 2021.)
The rationale behind the push for financial digitalization is two-fold. First, is robust economic growth. Technology speeds up financial transactions, thereby hastening capital recovery and income generation. Second is financial inclusion. Technology allows the underserved sectors-such as low-income earners and people from remote areas-to easily access affordable financial products and services, including credit for livelihood activities.
The BSP launched last year the Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap-our blueprint for transforming the Philippines into a cash-lite society.
Under this roadmap, we aim to achieve a shift of at least 50 percent of retail payments to digital transaction; and 70 percent of Filipino adults to have a formal financial account by 2023.
With financial digitalization I am confident that we will achieve the stronger post-covid economy that we envision sooner rather than later.
The BSP has achieved milestones in digital banking. Following the issuance last year of the “Digital Banking Framework”, the BSP has already granted licenses to 6 entities.
We expect these newly licensed digital banks to bring banking in the Philippines to new heights.
The BSP has launched last month the “QRPh P2M (person-to-merchant),” that will promote extensive use of QR codes, enabling payments to vendors and public transport.
Other initiatives in the pipeline will make electronic bills payment more convenient. The “interoperable bills payment facility” will allow bills payment of customers to billers even with different service providers. The “Direct Debit” facility provides customers the option to allow automatic debiting of recurring bills payments from their accounts. Meanwhile, the “Request to Pay Facility” allows payees to electronically send a “request to pay” so that payors may conveniently do payments by simply responding to the request.
Additionally, as part of our financial digitalization drive, the BSP is working with the Department of Labor and Employment to promote digitalization of wage payments, and with the Department of Transportation to expand the use of digital platforms to pay for transport fares.