The Philippines Remains In The Top 5 In Global Financial Inclusion Ranking
In this year’s Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) global financial inclusion ranking, the Philippines ranked fifth our of 55 countries. It dropped one notch from last year’s ranking, tied with India, making both countries the two-highest ranking Asian countries in the list. The Philippines’s score slipped to 71 this year from 72 in 2018.
EIU’s report stated that the Philippines has increased its focus on digital financial inclusion, with the launch of a biometric national identification system and a programme to provide a one-stop-shop for online government services. The report also mentioned the efforts being made to increase financial and digital literacy, the only downside to it is that it lacks gender goals.
Earlier this year the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) noted that they are on track in the implementation of the national identification system, which will further boost financial inclusion in the country. Unbanked individuals will be able to open an account with the local banks.
The EIU also noted that Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has created a support institution to focus on digital financial technology for reaching the underserved. Among this initiative include’s BSP’s launch of the Government e-Payments (EGov Pay) Facility last month.
The EGov Pay Facility will allow government agencies to accept digital payments and the QRPh, the national standard for quick response codes across the country. This will integrate all digital payment solutions.
This feat is indeed a step towards the right direction, but it may still be improved with the participation of more institutions, according to the EIU report. It remarked how interoperability in retail payments are still constrained by a limited number of participating institutions and high transaction cost. Non-banks and Microfinance institutions (MFIs) still need strong supervision as well as dispute resolution mechanisms for government payments.