Under the guidance of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the payment industry participants led by the Philippine Payments Management, Inc. (PPMI), launched on 20 November 2019 another set of milestone initiatives under the National Retail Payment System (NRPS)—the Government e-Payments (“EGov Pay”) Facility and the pilot of the first use case aligned with the National QR Code Standard (“QR Ph”).
EGov Pay Facility
After a successful pilot run with the Bureau of internal Revenue (BIR) last 15 August 2019, the EGov Pay facility is now fully launched to the public as a payment solution that enables a streamlined digitalization of government collections and disbursements.
By digitalizing payments to the government, it is able to curb revenue leaks through efficient collection means, better audit trail, and enhanced transparency. On the disbursement side, digital payment services help the government to promptly deliver social services through the quick and safe means of disbursement or paying out of funds to concerned stakeholders.
The pilot implementation of the EGov Pay Facility was initially offered for BIR’s tax collections so that taxpayers can simply initiate payments through the Land Bank of the Philippines’ (LBP’s) Link.Biz Portal. It will then direct the taxpayers to the Philippine Clearing House Corporation’s (PCHC’s) PayGate platform, which allows taxpayers to choose the payment service provider (PSP) from which funds will be transferred to the government via the PESONet, the batch electronic fund transfer (EFT) facility, and the first automated clearing house (ACH) formed under the NRPS.
With the full launch of the EGov Pay Facility, more government agencies are expected to leverage on the efficiencies of e-payments by participating as billers thereby allowing more Filipinos to experience the secure, fast, and convenient way of electronically paying the government.
As of launch date, the following government agencies have been onboarded in the EGov Pay Facility:
(2) Department of Trade and Industry;
(3) City Government of General Santos;
(4) City Government of Manila;
(5) City Government of Valenzuela;
(6) City Government of San Pedro, Laguna;
(7) Local Government Unit of Baler;
(8) Philippine National Police;
(9) Quezon City Government. Nos. 3-9 will complete onboarding on or before 20 November 2019.
The event also celebrated the pilot launch of the first payment use case developed by the payment industry that is aligned with the QRPh. Six (6) pilot participants demonstrated how secure and easy transfer of funds are by scanning the QR code. The funds are transferred through the InstaPay, the real-time low value ACH formed under the NRPS. The PSPs that participated in the demonstration are likewise InstaPay participating institutions, namely, Asia United Bank (AUB), China Banking Corporation (CBC), LBP, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), Paymaya, and Union Bank of the Philippines (UBP).
The use of QR codes for payments has been gaining traction as an alternative to the traditional debit and credit card payments. The QR technology has emerged as the most expedient means of payment since it essentially entails code scanning which is faster and easier to do than bringing out a card, tapping, dipping or swiping it, and signing a charge slip in most cases. Likewise, consumers benefit having faster, easier and cheaper payment options with greater convenience.
The BSP thus required all PSPs to adopt the national QR code standard developed by the PPMI, as provided in BSP Circular No. 1055, in order to transform the fragmented QR-driven payment services into interoperable payment solutions, thereby eliminating the need for the merchants and customers to maintain several accounts and for the merchants to display numerous QRs.
Strategic Roadmap to a Cash-lite Economy
The EGov Pay and the pilot of P2P payments using the QR Ph are only among the first set of initiatives that the BSP and the payments industry are working on to support the roadmap of shifting from a cash-heavy to a cash-light Philippine economy. This emanates from the recognition that digital payments are the gateway to financial inclusion.
“The QR is primarily intended to enable micro-merchants to accept electronic payments,” BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said. “We hope that through the help of our industry partners, 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.”
Originally published from: http://www.bsp.gov.ph/publications/media.asp?id=5213