1Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - December 26, 2018 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is evaluating the compliance of banks in making fund transfer and payments available through their electronic channels as the government ramps up its efforts to increase the level of cashless transactions to 20 percent by 2020 from only one percent.
BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier said the Nov. 30 deadline set by the regulator for BSP supervised financial institutions to offer electronic financial and payment services such as PESONet (Philippine EFT System and Operations Network) and InstaPay available through internet and mobile phones already lapsed and was not extended.
Both automated clearing houses were launched as part of the National Retail Payments System (NRPS) aimed at establishing a safe, efficient, affordable, and reliable e-payments system.
The PESONet involves the fund transfer from one account (payer) to one or several accounts (payees) maintained in different banks. The fund transfer or payment instructions are processed in bulk and cleared at batch intervals.
On the other hand, InstaPay allows customers to transfer peso funds almost instantly between accounts of participating banks. The service is available 24x7, all year round.
She warned non-compliance with the deadline would subject the banks and financial institutions to applicable sanctions and other enforcement actions that may be imposed by the BSP.
Fonacier said the fund transfer confirmation of the banks to its client-sender should clearly indicate whether the fund transfer is made via PESONet or InstaPay to set proper expectation on the availability of funds to the beneficiaries in accordance with the prescribed turn-around time.
According to Fonacier, banks are further required to notify the BSP Payment System Oversight Department within 10 banking days from the date it has made PESONet or InstaPay available on its e-channels.
Fonacier said the Philippine Payments Management Inc. is tasked to monitor and lead its members toward compliance with the NRPS framework.
BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. is confident of meeting and even exceeding the target of increasing the share of cashless transactions to 20 percent by 2020.
Espenilla said stakeholders are pursuing the digitalization of government transactions including the payment of the salaries of state employees.
“The government actually has many transactions even with individuals. The government is paying salaries to teachers, police, and soldiers. So these can benefit from digitalization,” he said earlier.
He added the government also pays a lot of suppliers, social security premiums, dividends, taxes and fees that could be coursed through digital channels.