Person-to-merchant QR payments to boost digitalization goal
FACILITATING digital payments from persons to merchants (P2M) through standardized QR codes will help the country achieve its goal to be a cash-lite economy where 50% of payments are done online, central bank officials said.
“Payments to merchants alone account for 70% of retail payment volume. That’s why the upcoming launch of QR PH P2M which we are already piloting is very important,” BSP Deputy Governor Mamerto E. Tangonan said in an online briefing at the central bank’s Youth Summit on Friday.
The person-to-merchant scheme was piloted in April and is expected to be fully implemented within the third quarter. During the pilot launch period, consumers with accounts in selected banks are able to make payments to firms that also have accounts with these institutions.
Lenders that participated in the QR PH P2M pilot launch include AllBank (A Thrift Bank) Inc.; Asia United Bank Corp.; China Banking Corp.; Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.; Robinsons Bank Corp.; and UnionBank of the Philippines, Inc.
“Because of what we have seen in the experience during the pandemic, people have actually embraced digital payments and digital financial transactions. I believe that preference is already cemented and will be more prevalent going forward,” said BSP Assistant Governor Edna C. Villa, who heads the BSP’s Payments and Currency Development unit.
But Ms. Villa said many Filipinos are not yet at ease with or lack awareness about digital payments, which could be a hindrance to adoption.
“There are segments of the society that do not yet trust the system…[or] are not yet completely aware, so we need to reach out,” she said.
The central bank wants the Philippines to be a cash-lite economy by 2023 where 50% of transactions are done digitally. It also targets to bring 70% of adult Filipinos into the financial system in the same year. — LWTN