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BSP prepares more automated clearing houses to open this year

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By Lee C. Chipongian

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is preparing for the set up of large value payment systems in the second half of 2019 as part of its digital financial ecosystem.

BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier. (Bloomberg Photo)

BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier. (Bloomberg Photo)

BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier said large value payments units will enhance the private sector’s automated clearing houses (ACH) and it will match market requirements for higher than the P50,000 threshhold an existing ACH currently has.

The BSP has helped create two ACHs so far, the PESONet and InstaPay. The latter is limited to transact up to P50,000 only. Fonacier said what is happening right now, in the absence of large value payments ACH, is a credit or debit pool.

PESONet transactions have no limit while InstaPay since it is retail, has a maximum limit of P50,000 per transaction.

The enhanced ACHs will have variations, she added. The amount will depend on the structure. “The structuring of these large value payments ACH will depend on what they need, but definitely it will be more than P50,000 (per transaction),” the BSP official said.

Aside from the establishment of more ACHs for “other useful retail payment schemes,” an inter-operable national quick response (QR) code standard is in the development stage to level the playing field and encourage participation of small players in the BSP’s National Retail Payment Systems (NRPS).

A standardized QR code will specifically prevent the proliferation of closed loop infrastructures. The private sector entity working with the BSP for the ACHs and QR code is the Philippine Payments Management Inc. (PPMI).

Earlier, the BSP announced it is planning to form three more ACHs to accelerate the shift to a cash-less digital payment system, targeted for 2020.

The NRPS was launched by the BSP in 2015. This was followed by the establishment of the industry-led PPMI, a stand-alone self governance structure run by payment industry participants.

In 2018, the BSP phased out its very own PhilPaSS Remit in favor of the PESONet and InstaPay. The PhilPaSS Remit was created in 2010 as an electronic settlements and payments facility for overseas Filipino remittances.

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