(Source: InterAksyon.com | Aug. 3, 2015)
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has caled on Bancnet to join in efforts to create a National Retail Payments System (NRPS).
In his speech during Bancnet’s 25th anniversary, BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. said the NRPS will provide Filipinos easy access to financial services by creating accounts whereby they can “make payments, and receive or transfer funds to other accounts anytime, anywhere, at a reasonable price from any digital device.”
“Efficient retail payments contribute to the stability and efficiency of the financial system and the economy as a whole,” he said.
Tetangco said creating the NRPS is timely given the integration between Bancnet and Megalink, the country’s two ATM networks.
The NRPS would facilitate the shift from paper-based to electronic-based transactions, thereby generating savings of up to one percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
Citing a study done by Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA), Tetangco said Filipinas undertake 2.5 billion payment transactions a month worth a combined US$74 billion. Of this total amount, only one percent is done electronically, with the remaining 99 percent done through cash or check.
“NRPS will allow us to start reversing this ratio. In other words, you have the option to have a bigger slice of this huge pie,” Tetangco said, referring to the integrated ATM switch network.
Beyond facilitating payments, digitization would also promote financial inclusion, he said.
Citing the BSP’s National Baseline Survey in Financial Inclusion, Tetangco said only four out of 10 Filipino adults have savings. Of the four, less than a third have bank accounts.
While 47 percent of Filipinos are indebted, only 4.4 percent of that are owed to banks, with the balance owed to family, relatives, friends and informal lenders.
“The NRPS initiative is a rare opportunity for all of us to work together to do something that can be a real positive game changer for the economy and for our people,” Tetangco said.