MANILA – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said it has allowed banks to tap “cash agents” such as convenience stores and pharmacies to bring their services to poor and rural areas.
The agents, with prior authorization from the BSP, can facilitate deposits, withdrawals, fund transfers and bills payment, the monetary authority said in a statement.
Eighty-six percent of Filipino households have no bank deposits, according to results of the central bank’s 2014 Consumer Finance Survey, which were released last week.
The BSP said in a statement on Wednesday that it released guidelines on deposit-taking activities outside bank premises to bring banking services to more Filipinos.
“Cash agents enable banks to leverage on innovative digital solutions to serve a wider client base, particularly in the low-income and rural areas where there is limited commercial incentive to establish a full branch or even a micro-banking office (MBO),” it said.
The BSP described "cash agents" as "cash-rich third party entities with many outlets that conduct regular business in fixed locations anywhere in the country."