BSP urges ATM networks to support e-payment scheme

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THE central bank called on automated teller machine (ATM) networks in the country to support the creation of a national retail payment system (NPRS).

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“I call upon the Bancnet community . . . to give your full support to establish a safe, efficient, and reliable national retail payment system,” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said in his speech during Bancnet’s 25th anniversary.

Under a national retail payment system, Filipinos will have easy access to financial services such as to make payments and receive or transfer funds to other accounts anytime anywhere at a reasonable price from any digital device.

The BSP governor stressed that an efficient retail payment system will contribute to the stability and efficiency of the financial system and the economy as a whole.

“Studies have shown that shifting from paper-based to an electronic-based payment system can generate annual savings of up to 1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP),” he said.

While implementing the NRPS is most challenging, it also represents vast opportunities from the business point of view, Tetangco said.

The central bank governor said the NPRS could reduce the dominance of payment transactions done through cash or checks.

Tetangco said that based on country diagnostics conducted by the Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA), Filipinos make about 2.5 billion payment transactions per month worth $74 billion, but only 1 percent are transacted electronically while 99 percent are paid either in cash or checks.

“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,” he stressed.

Furthermore, he said another significance of NPRS is the digitization of payments which can promote greater financial inclusion.

“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,” he said.

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