Electronic Payments Surged By 5000% In 2020
As the country was ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, cash transactions have seen a drastic decline while the use of electronic payment has massively surged according to the head of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
Various electronic payment platforms and methods such as QR codes and instant money transfers between people and merchants contributed to the increase. And as the economy progressively reopens this year, that trend seems to carry on.
The BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said in an online press briefing that the BSP expects the transition to gather pace amid the rise in electronic payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. He added that the BSP will continue to engage the public to ensure that Filipinos will adjust well to this transformation.
The current landscape is undergoing a phased digital transformation where the economy will transition from a cash-heavy to a cash-light environment by 2025, and eventually, to a coin-less and cashless society according to the BSP Governor.
The person-to-person use of the QR Ph digital payment scheme grew by at least 5,678 percent in terms of transactions in December 2020 just a year after its launch. The corresponding value of these transactions jumped by 15,687 percent during this period.
Based on BSP’s report, there was a 286 percent increase in volume and a 301 percent increase in value in electronic payment in the second quarter of 2020. Another surge of 189 percent in volume and 537 percent in value were seen in the last quarter of 2020. The BSP said that this trend signifies growing confidence of consumers in using QR Ph[ (for person-to-person payment).”
PESNet and InstaPay electronic transfers also posed record highs in 2020. PESONet transfers surged to 15.3 million transactions, up by 376 percent year-on-year. In value, PESONet transactions rose by 188 percent to reach PHP951.6 billion. Meanwhile, payments made through InstaPay reached 86.7 million transactions, up by 459 percent. These transactions were valued at PHP463.4 billion, which represented a 340 percent increase.
On the other hand, as digital transactions relentlessly grew, the demand for coins in 2020 dropped by 57 percent in volume and 60 percent in value compared to 2019. He pointed out the broadening access to safe and convenient e-payment options as one of the major contributors to the decline in coin demand.