Instead of cash, use digital money to give more hygienic and safer Christmas gifts, according to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno.
“Digital wallets provide a safe, secure, efficient, and convenient way to transfer funds to family and friends during this giving season,” BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said Monday, November 22.
He strongly encourages the Filipino public to use digital money as an alternative way to give cash gifts or “aguinaldo” this Christmas season to reduce physical contact and virus transmission between giver and receiver.
Diokno and the BSP said it was one more way to be contactless as there are still restrictions on mobility and face-to-face gatherings.
The BSP has been pushing for greater bank-wide digitalization to accelerate the shift to a cash-centric society. It aims to enhance customer preference for digital payments by converting 50% of total retail payment volume to digital form and bringing 70% of Filipino adults into the formal financial system through payment or transaction accounts by 2023. .
The establishment of digital banking is expected to further accelerate the creation of e-money accounts. The BSP has, however, limited the number to just six digital banking licenses, for now.
At the end of 2020, the first year of the pandemic, 20.1% of payments were made digitally, a huge improvement when in 2013 it was only a 1% share.
There are now 34.7 million e-money accounts compared to 17.9 million in 2019. The number of e-money transactions also increased by 200% from 2019 to 2020. In the fourth quarter of 2020, there are 58,000 agents cash desk and more than 84,000 e-monetary agents. These are touchpoints that have enabled convenient access to financial services.
The use of interoperable digital payments PESONet and InstaPay has also grown steadily over the past two years. PESONet is expected to eventually replace check payments, while InstaPay will support more public ATM withdrawal transactions over time.
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