Domestic economic activity and financial inclusion efforts are expected to accelerate following the launch of a clearing house under the National Retail Payment System (NRPS).
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Wednesday launched the Philippine EFT System and Operations Network or PESONet, which is part of initiatives to modernize the country’s retail payment system, increase the use of electronic payments and move to a cash-lite society.
PESONet – the first automated clearing house under the NRPS – is a batch electronic fund transfer (EFT) payment system that is expected to provide an alternative to the still widely used paper-based check system.
“Greater efficiencies in electronic channels will also bring about accelerated velocity in payments and this will increase economic activities,” central bank Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said during the launch.
When payments beneficiaries are able to quickly obtain the liquidity that they need, they will be able to pursue productive activities at a faster rate.
“Perhaps the result of increased electronic payments … which I personally look forward to the most is of course greater financial inclusion. This is what actually triggered us to move in this direction,” Espenilla added.
He said that through PESONet, businesses, the government and individuals would be able to conveniently initiate fund transfers and make recurring payments via accounts maintained in BSP-supervised financial institution (BSFIs).
Funds will be made available to recipient accounts within the same banking day or immediately upon clearing.
For greater transparency and to help clients determine which EFT products offer the best value for money, all participating BFSIs are required to disclose fees that will be charged clients.
To date, 33 BSFIs have signed up for PESONet. This number is expected to increase as the demand for better EFT services intensifies.
Espenilla, meanwhile, also cited convenience as PESONet’s most obvious and foreseeable benefit for customers.
He said the platform would make business-to-business and customer-to-business payments more practical, enable corporations to credit salaries to employees without the need for special payroll accounts and enable the digitization of government-to-government and person-to-government collections and payments.
PESONet was also described as an opportunity for smaller industry players such as thrift and rural banks to increase their participation in the retail payment system.