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One of the buildings in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas complex on Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City. (Photo: Alvin I. Dacanay)

BAP, BSP join forces to protect e-trade systems

By Riza Lozada

The Philippine Payments Management, Inc. (PPMI), which was established to facilitate electronic payments, will assist the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in implementing initiatives for the National Retail Payment System (NRPS).

The PPMI was formed after it obtained approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The PPMI will act as a supporting body of the BSP by monitoring proper implementation and progress of NRPS to achieve its end-goal of a more accessible and competitive financial system through digitization of financial transactions.

“PPMI will organize direct clearing participants into a self-governing body and assist the BSP in overseeing the development and operations of the retail payment system. It will help ensure that the country will soon have an interconnected electronic retail payment system,” Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) president Nestor Tan said.

The new body was the result of an agreement between BSP and BAP to create a shared clearing and settlements system for the Philippine financial system.

The PPMI not only includes banks as the BSP targets to increase electronic retail payment transactions to 20 percent by 2020.

The PPMI will help ensure that the playing field among financial service providers in the country is competitive and responsive to the needs of the consumers.

“With the advent of technology, the PPMI can help in recommending policies to the BSP and various agencies towards a more financially inclusive economic system for the Filipinos through cooperation and competition from various financial service providers,” Tan said.

The NRPS is expected to help Filipinos access financial services and carry out financial transactions anytime and anywhere at a reasonable price through the use of innovative technology that will enhance the safety, speed and convenience of delivering financial services by the financial service providers on one hand, and of the availment of such services by the consumers on the other.

The system is positioned to aid the gradual transition of the local financial industry from a cash-heavy to a cash-lite economy benefiting various stakeholders by providing faster financial transaction processes and services in the Philippine market.

“It will also play a vital role to progress financial inclusion in the country, especially in areas not accessible by regular bank branches. We want to provide more options where the public can conduct their financial transactions,” Tan added.

The Philippine Payments Management Inc. was registered with the SEC last August 30 to support the NRPS policy of the BSP, which was launched in December 2015.

The NRPS framework is the flagship program of the BSP to modernize the country’s payment system as it aims to create a safe, efficient, and reliable retail payment system in the Philippines.

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