The rise of cashless payments is here with PESONet, a new electronic funds transfer service that enables customers of participating banks, e-money issuers or mobile money operators to transfer funds in Philippine Peso currency to another customer of other participating banks. PESONet, seen as a catalyst to spur the rise of cash-less payments in the country, is the best payment method for bulk disbursements or payments. It is the most convenient and efficient alternative to checks!
To encourage people and businesses to conduct their financial transactions digitally, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the payments industry launched PESONet late last year as the country’s first Automated Clearing House (ACH) under the National Retail Payment System (NRPS). Since its launch, response among financial institutions was encouraging. By end of July 2018, there were already 58 financial institutions that signed up as participants with 43 of them already receiving PESONet transactions. On the other hand, 22 institutions have already made PESONet available in their online and mobile phone channels.
So why switch to PESONet? There are many benefits that digitizing payments can bring to both businesses and individuals. According to a study by Better Than Cash Alliance entitled “The Future of Supply Chains: Why Companies Are Digitizing Payments,” real benefits “can be accrued not just by companies but also their employees, suppliers, distributors, and in many instances, the communities they work in,” by going digital with their payments. Among these are improved efficiency, increased revenue, greater transparency and security, and stronger business relationships. Specifically for the payees, they receive payments due them within the same day with no fees nor deductions.
In the McKinsey Global Institute’s study “Digital Finance for All: Powering Inclusive Growth in Emerging Economies”, the Philippines’ share of digital payments is 2% of all payments.With PESONet now in place in the Philippines, the BSP hopes this will improve eyeing an increase to 20% in total electronic payment transactions by year 2020.
“PESONet remains part of the BSP’s commitment to harness the power and reach of the digital space to push the agenda of greater financial inclusion. The digital revolution underscores the importance of innovation and technology to ensure the delivery of financial products and services to a wider segment of society,” says BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla, Jr.
So far, the response from the financial sector such as the banks, a vital component for PESONet, is overwhelming. Not only was there an increase in the number of financial institutions that signed up with PESONet (total of 58 participants), the volume of transactions likewise increased. The Philippine Payments Management, Inc. (PPMI) reported that by end July 2018, a daily average of 39,000 PESONet transactions are processed. In terms of value, these transactions would be approximately PhP 3 billion per day. Compared to the same period last year, these grew by 27% in volume and 26% in value.
“These figures show a vast improvement from batch or bulk funds transfer prior to PESONet, which is already very encouraging. We hope to see more financial institutions to start using PESONet, particularly thrift and rural banks, the non-bank electronic money issuers, and government corporations as PESONet customers and businesses using PESONet for disbursements as well as collections,” explains PPMI Chairman Justo A. Ortiz.
Among participating PESONet financial institutions includeANZ Bank, Bank of America, Bank of China, Citibank, CTBC Bank, Deutsche Bank, Development Bank of the Philippines, Eastwest Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Maybank, MUFG Bank, Ltd, Mizuho Bank, PNB, PSBank, Robinsons Bank, Shinhan Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, UCPB, Unionbank and YuantaSavings Bank..
After PESONet, the BSP and the payments industry offered more options for the consumers to shift to e-payments with the InstaPay. Compared to PESONet, which normally handles volume/bulk financial transactions, InstaPay transactions are done real time 24/7 through the internet and/or mobile banking channels of participating financial institutions limited to P50,000 per transaction and without limit on the number of transactions. Funds transferred through PESONet and InstaPay are received without deductions.