Philippines Central Bank Governor Says 50% of Payment Transactions Will Be Digital by 2023

Philippines Central Bank Governor Says 50% of Payment Transactions Will Be Digital by 2023

by May 21, 2020

At least half of retail payment transactions will be shifted to digital in three years. This according to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno in a digital forum hosted today by the Fintech

Along with this commitment, Diokno also sees 70 percent of adult Filipinos having and using a transaction account by the end of his term.

A three-year digital payments transformation roadmap has been drafted by the BSP in pursuit of this objective. One of the priority policy initiatives lined up is open banking.

Likewise, the BSP chief encouraged the participation of fintech players which “are uniquely positioned to support the country’s bid to shape a new economy that is more resilient, inclusive and technology-enabled.”

Benjamin Diokno

Benjamin Diokno

“Fintechs as an innovative provider and enabler of digital financial services will find compelling opportunities in this digital transformation agenda,”

Diokno said.

With the reopening of a number of businesses after the enforcement of community quarantine, the economy begins its road to recovery. The We Bounce Forward digital forum on Pump-Priming a Digital Economy Post-COVID-19 centered on this rebuilding.

“The pandemic has revealed and brought urgency to necessary reforms around public health, social safety nets, disaster response, and countryside development. But what reinforces all these reforms is the digital imperative,”

Diokno said.

“There is no arguing that the new economy is digital. Our aspirations for a more inclusive and prosperous post-COVID world necessitate putting in place the critical pillars of a digital economy, including robust digital infrastructure, digital skills, e-government, digital ID, and an enabling legal and regulatory framework,”

he added.

Diokno also acknowledged the role of other enablers in the countryside such as the cooperatives and microfinance institutions. This includes optimizing fintechs as loan originators or as conduits for the government’s billion-peso direct lending programs, offering digital tools for MSMEs pivoting to e-commerce, and sharing digital platforms for last-mile lending conduits like cooperatives and microfinance institutions.

Lito Villanueva

Lito Villanueva

“Our coops, microfinance institutions, rural banks, lending companies and fintech companies, who are part and parcel of the MSME sector, are frontliners in terms of serving Filipinos nationwide,”

said Lito Villanueva, chairman of Fintech and executive vice president and chief innovation and inclusion officer of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.

“The alliance is a very comprehensive coalition of all of these institutions that are really geared toward pushing for inclusive digital finance,”

Villanueva added.

The BSP governor was joined by a number of industry leaders and stakeholders who acted as a panel of discussants. These include Pia Roman-Tayag, managing director, BSP Center for Learning and Inclusion Advocacy; Lito Villanueva, chairman, Fintech and executive vice president and chief innovation and inclusion officer, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation; Dr. Aristotle Alip, founder and chairman emeritus, CARD MRI; Shailesh Baidwan, president, PayMaya; Francis Lim, president, MAP; Francis Estrada, chairman, ICD; Jane Basas, senior vice president and head, Consumer Wireless Business, Smart; and JF Darre, head, Data Analytics and Financial Services, GCash.

Close to over 20,000 online viewers joined the digital event through Facebook live streaming.

A recording of the event is available to the public through this link:


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