February 3, 2023

Addressing people’s doubts on digital financing transactions is among the key factors to further increase the share of electronic payments in the overall landscape in the Philippines.
 In her presentation during a he virtual forum on Tuesday, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Assistant Governor Illuminada Sicat said a big portion of the adult population continues to have trust issues and lack awareness about the use of digital payment solutions.
 “The BSP believes that promoting digital literacy plays a crucial role in deepening the public’s trust in digital finance services,” she said.
Sicat said that wider Internet connection access as well as having a digital identification system will facilitate the scale and reach of digital financial services.
Citing the results of the 2019 Financial Inclusion Survey, Sicat said 69 percent of adult respondents said they have mobile phones but only 12 percent of them use their mobile phones for financial transactions.
The same survey showed that 53 percent of the surveyed adults use their phones to access the Internet, but only nine percent of them use it for financial transactions.
 Results of the same survey showed that seven out of 10 unbanked adults have mobile phones, which, Sicat said is an opportunity to further increase digital financial transactions in the country.
 She said experiences during the pandemic show the importance of digital financial transactions in an economy.
 Sicat said the pandemic accelerated the use of digital payment platforms and boosted the BSP’s bid to increase the share of digital payments to 50 percent of the total by 2023.
 She said automated teller machine withdrawals during the enhanced community quarantine fell by 24 percent in terms of volume, and 13 percent in terms of value compared to the 76-day period before the lockdown.
 During the same period, check transactions dropped by 67 percent in volume and 62 percent in terms of value.
On the other hand, electronic fund transfers rose by 74 percent in volume and 42 percent in value.
“Without the vaccines that will prevent the spread of the virus, we expect the increasing trend in digital transactions to continue even as lockdown measures are eased,” she added. – PNA