MANILA - Cash agents or retail outlets and shops that offer basic banking services and financial transactions in remote areas grew by 242 percent in 2020, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Thursday.
The number of cash agents grew to 58,000 in 2020 from 17,000 in 2019, the BSP said in a statement.
This surge increased the percentage of cities and municipalities reached by banking services to 85 percent from 70 percent, BSP Gov. Benjamin Diokno said.
“They play a significant role in financial inclusion by expanding the reach of financial services beyond bank branches and transitioning the unbanked population from cash to digital transactions," Diokno added.
Cash agents can accept and disburse cash on behalf of a bank, allowing customers to perform self-service transactions such as deposits and withdrawals, balance inquiries, fund transfers and bills payments, the central bank said.
The BSP said it plans to develop an Agent Registry to "strengthen" the supervision of cash agents.
The BSP is pushing for financial technologies that would boost financial inclusion in the country including digital banks, the national ID system and expanded access to satellite services.