Digital banks to help drive economic recovery, says BSP


Posted at Nov 03 2021 11:17 AM

MANILA - Digital banks, along with traditional banks, can help boost the country's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Wednesday, as it pushes for a "tech-savvy" economy.

Digital banks are financial institutions without physical branches and are designed to ease onboarding to the banking system especially for the unbanked and the underserved.

"We expect the digital banks to help fuel recovery and long-term growth for the Philippines, alongside conventional banks," BSP Gov. Benjamin Diokno said in a statement.

"The Philippines does not simply aim to recover from the crisis. There is a whole-of-government effort toward a post-COVID Philippine economy that is better than ever. This means an economy that is stronger, more technologically advanced, more inclusive, and sustainable," he said.

The BSP earlier approved a framework for digital banking in the country before it issued 6 digital banking licenses. 

This is a part of its initiatives "to foster a stronger and more technologically-advanced Philippine economy," the central bank said.

"Technology aids exponential growth in output. In finance, it makes transactions easier and faster which speeds up income generation," Diokno said.

Landbank's OF Bank, Tonik Bank, UnoBank, Union Digital, Maya Bank and GoTyme have licenses from the BSP to operate as digital banks.

The BSP earlier launched its Digital Payment Transformation Roadmap which aims to digitalize 50 percent of payments and encourage 70 percent of the population to open bank accounts by 2023.

In a study released October, the BSP said at least 1 in 5 payments in the country is now done digitally as the COVID-19 pandemic drive the growth in InstaPay and PESONet services.


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