MANILA, Philippines — The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the “increasing importance” of digital transactions in the country, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Ben Diokno said Wednesday.

In a pre-State of the Nation Address forum, Diokno noted that transactions using e-payment services such as PESONet and InstaPay increased during the imposition of the coronavirus lockdown.

“It was observed that the volume and value of the combined transactions of PESOnet and InstaPay during the lockdown surged while the volume and value of check payments and ATM withdrawals declined,” Diokno said.

InstaPay enables an account holder to transfer money up to P50,000 per day, immediately credited to a recipient account in any participating financial institution.

Meanwhile, PESONet is designed for high-value transactions of companies, other businesses, government agencies, and individuals.

According to Diokno, the volume of InstaPay transactions in April to May grew by 57 percent, while the volume for PesoNet surged “significantly” by 325 percent.

“The BSP encourages the use of electronic payments to enhance speed, convenience, and affordability of financial transactions,” Diokno said.

As of May 31, PesoNet has 58 participating institutions while InstaPay has 45 with the number of participating institutions expected to increase in the coming years, according to the BSP chief.

The BSP has been actively promoting e-payments.

It issued BSP Circular No. 980 in 2017 to provide the policy framework for the establishment of a National Retail Payment System (NRPS). The PESONet and InstaPay were its priority automated clearing houses.

Diokno likewise pushed for the adoption of the National QR Code Standard.

JE



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