New QR technology empowers 'unbanked' sari-sari stores, tricycle drivers: BSP

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 13 2021 02:49 PM

Businesses bring convenient new ‘cashless’ experiences to customers with the help of the PayMaya One device, allowing them to accept credit, debit, and prepaid cards, as well as QR payments from e-Wallets like PayMaya and WeChat. Handout/File
Businesses bring convenient new ‘cashless’ experiences to customers with the help of the PayMaya One device, allowing them to accept credit, debit, and prepaid cards, as well as QR payments from e-Wallets like PayMaya and WeChat. Handout/File

MANILA - The full implementation of the QR Ph Person-to-Merchant payment facility will empower even unbanked sari-sari stores and tricycle drivers to engage in the digital economy, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Wednesday.

The BSP and the payments industry led by the Philippine Payments Management Inc officially rolled out the QR code-based payment system on Oct. 12.

The "QR Ph P2M" is the national QR Code that uses the Quick Response technology and code scanning for payments, the BSP said in a statement. 

Consumers just need to download the mobile app of their bank or non-bank e-money issuer. It is now interoperable among participating firms, it added.

With a standard system, consumers will be able to transact to a wider range of businesses such as stores, pharmacies, supermarkets, hardware stores and restaurants, the central bank said. 

It will empower micro, small and medium enterprises in the country (MSMEs) or about 98 percent of registered businesses, the BSP said.

“Because of its low cost and ease of use, QR Ph P2M can enable small unbanked vendors, such as sari-sari store owners and tricycle drivers, to participate in the digital payments ecosystem and allow them to build financial profiles which may eventually facilitate their access to other financial products and services that can help them grow and enhance the resiliency of their businesses,” BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said. 

With the full implementation, customers who have accounts with the list of participating banks and e-money issuers below can now pay using QR Ph when transacting with over 20,000 participating merchants in over 30,000 locations.

LIST OF PARTICIPATING BANKS AND E-MONEY ISSUERS

  • AllBank
  • Asia United Bank (AUB)
  • Cebuana Lhuillier Rural Bank
  • China Banking Corporation
  • Land Bank of the Philippines
  • Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC)
  • Starpay, Union Bank of the Philippines (Unionbank)
  • USSC Money Services Inc. (UMSI) 
  • Metrobank
  • PayMaya

The BSP said QR technology "emerged as the most convenient payment method" due to its speed and ease compared to credit cards. It eliminates possible errors linked to manual encoding, it said.

In 2020, around 70 percent of retail payments in the country were made to merchants, majority of which were MSMEs, but only a quarter of payments were done digitally, the BSP said. 

Under its digitalization roadmap, the BSP aims to convert at least 50 percent of payments to digital and encourage 70 percent of the population to open bank accounts by 2023.

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