The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will adopt three digital payment streams in the third and fourth quarters this year beginning with the QR Ph person-to-merchant (P2M) via InstaPay which will have a pilot launch on Friday.

“The use of QR Ph expanded with the pilot launch of P2M payments tomorrow (April 30). After a successful pilot run, the full implementation of the QR Ph for P2M is expected to be rolled out by the third quarter of this year,” said BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno during his virtual “GBED Talks” on Thursday.

Diokno said next to be launched and adopted, also by the third quarter this year, is the Multiple Batch Settlement Scheme for PESONet, and the interoperable Bills Payment facility.

BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno (Bloomberg file)

The Request to Pay facility is scheduled to be launched in the last quarter of this year. A fourth one, the Direct Debit, the BSP will launch possibly in 2022.

“We are also looking forward to Direct Debit which is expected to run through the PESONet (and) we envision to take off in 2022,” said Diokno. “This facility allows payers to effectively manage recurring, non-urgent (bills) such as rents, loan amortizations and insurance premiums,” he added.

The QR Ph P2M allow payments to small vendors and tricycle drivers which BSP consider unbanked, to be done in an affordable and safe manner, according to Diokno. “This will empower small economic actors to take part in the digital payments ecosystem. Other use cases of for P2M are payments for purchase of goods and services in restaurants, pharmacies, supermarkets, hardware, and department stores,” he said.

At the moment, the PESONet could only transact a single batch settlement in a day for same day settlement. “With more batch settlements in a day, end-users will have greater flexibility and convenience in making payments,” said Diokno, referring to the Multiple Batch Settlement Scheme for PESONet.

As for Bills Payment facility, customers can pay their bills even if the transaction accounts of the customer and the biller are in different payment service providers. “The facility offers better efficiency for settling bills among customers and aids prompt collection among billers,” said Diokno.

The Request to Pay facility, on the other hand, will be convenient in the collection of non-recurring receivables by payees from other billers. “Payors will find it easier to make payment since they need not initiate the payment and provide several details such as a payee’s account details and amount to be settled. Instead, the payors only have to authorize the collection instruction from the payee by responding to the latter’s request,” said the BSP chief.

Diokno said social mobility restrictions is a strong catalyst for digital payments’ expansion.

In 2020, the volume and value of person-to-person payments using QR Ph reached 58,708 transactions and P480.2 million, respectively, he said. “The figures represent a significant year-on-year rise of 2,592 percent in volume and 9,941 percent in value, in view of the low base in the first quarter in 2020.”

As of end-March this year, the combined volume and value of PESONet and InstaPay fund transfers reached 39 million and P552.3 billion.

There are 77 banks and e-money issuers participating in PESONet and 52 in InstaPay.

Source: Manila Bulletin (