THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) is optimistic it will achieve its target to have digital transactions at 20% of total settlements by 2020, its chief said on Tuesday.
In a speech during a luncheon meeting with the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said, “I am fairly confident that we will reach 20% by 2020, if not, exceed,” referring to electronic payments.
“These things are very dynamic. In five years time, we will probably reach 50%,” Mr. Diokno added.
He said government agencies are now taking advantage of financial technology (fintech) for payments, while the private sector is actively coming up with their own fintech systems.
“The day will come when you can use your QR code to pay your jeepney ride, the tricycle… That’s within my term,” Mr. Diokno said.
“We central bankers talk to each other. One thing that is along this line is we want to have a payment system that is interoperable among the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) members… We will be working on a system,” he said.
“Even in India, it is widely used. You can give alms to the beggar using your cellphone. The beggar has his own QR code there. Things are so dynamic and this is going to be very very useful with respect to our OFWs (overseas Filipino workers). Remittance cost is still high,” Mr. Diokno said.
The BSP chief added that the use of technology can minimize corruption as transactions will be limited to robots.
Asked about the central bank’s stand on the use of cryptocurrencies, Mr. Diokno said the BSP is not against technological innovation but is vigilant in checking these services first to ensure the safety of depositors.
“On the part of BSP, I think my attitude is we should not fight technological innovations. Always keep in mind that we got responsibility to the depositors to make sure that it is safe and secure because if something happens to the instrument, they will blame BSP,” he said. — R.J.N. Ignacio