Is an e-payment system the preferred way to send money to Philippines for the majority of expatriates? The Philippines has a sizable social media market, with the largest English-speaking population in Southeast Asia, Facebook’s eighth-biggest member base, and a 531 percent increase in Internet penetration since 2010. Despite the rising use of the Internet, the country currently lacks a national e-payment platform. The Philippines’ e-commerce business has been hampered in recent years by the lack of a standardized e-payment system, and the government is trying to transition the country from a predominantly cash-based culture to an e-payment-platform customer base.
Currently, cash accounts for more than 98 percent of all money transfers to Philippines. To demonstrate the necessity for an online system, the Philippines’ government compared the country’s high cash usage frequency to that of countries like the United States and Australia (where cash is used for just 57 percent and 61 percent of all transactions, respectively). The Philippines promised in early 2015 to change its economy from a cash-heavy to a “cash-lite” society within the next 20 years in order to lessen its reliance on cash transactions.
What Are The Initiative Of Government For The Development Of Digital Payment System In the Philippines?
Digital payments have been identified as a policy priority by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). It has pushed for a shift from a cash-based economy to a digital or cash-lite economy. However, it appears that we still have a long way to go, as cash still accounts for 85 percent of all retail sales in the country. One possible cause is a lack of understanding of the various e-payment platforms. On the other hand, fintech has the potential to hasten our transition to a digital economy. For example, you send money to Philippines online from abroad will be reached to the receiver faster than bank transfers.
The Philippines has teamed up with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to develop a statewide electronic payment system by 2018. The platform will eventually replace any existing small-scale e-payment services across the country.
In addition to building a national e-payment network, USAID cooperated with the Batangas city administration last year to implement an online tax-payment system via mobile phone. As a result, now online money transfers to Philippines by overseas Filipino workers will be accepted through the digital payment system. The system has grown to over 4,000 members since its inception, and USAID has stated that it plans to increase the scope of such projects in the coming years.