BSP launches second automated clearing house

By Joann Villanueva

April 23, 2018, 8:38 pm

MANILA -- Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' (BSP) goal of coursing at least 20 percent of local payment transactions through electronic channels just got another big boost with Monday's launch of another automated clearing house (ACH) called InstaPay.

InstaPay is the second ACH under the central bank’s National Retail Payment System (NRPS) after PESONet, which was launched in November 2017.

This platform reportedly allows consumers a safe, affordable and real-time electronic payment mode for up to PHP50,000 per transaction without limit in a day. Charges may apply to the one sending the fund and the one receiving it depending on the financial institution they will tap.

BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. told reporters in an interview that NRPS was conceptualized after results of a survey done in 2014 showed that only 1 percent of payment transactions in the country are done electronically while the balance is accounted for by cash and check payments.

He said this figure is “quite disturbing”, given the fact that online transactions are not new in the country.

“That’s the opportunity area …from 1 percent back in 2014 to at least 20 percent of the total volume of transactions by 2020. And through an infrastructure like this, that is very doable,” he said.

“Once we have fully rolled out these solutions, it’s probably time to do another survey -- a way of checking exactly where we are on this,” he added.

Earlier, BSP officials said about PHP2.5 billion worth of payment transactions happen in the country in a month. This particular payment platform is governed by the BSP-regulated industry-led body known as the Philippine Payment Management Inc.

To date, 20 financial institutions have agreed to be part of this payment system.

Banks that have agreed to provide InstaPay -- related payments and withdrawals are Asia United Bank, BDO Unibank, China Banking Corporation (ChinaBank), China Bank Savings (CBS), Equicom Savings Bank, Security Bank, and Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank).

Those that allow receiving of payments only are CTBC Bank, EastWest Bank, Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank), Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company (Metrobank), Omnipay, PayMaya, Philtrust Bank, Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank), Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), Robinsons Bank, Sun Savings Bank, United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB), and Yuanta Savings Bank. (PNA)