BSP eyeing central bank digital currency use in 'near future', Diokno says


Posted at Nov 16 2021 12:27 PM | Updated as of Nov 16 2021 12:57 PM

MANILA - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is eyeing the use of central bank digital currencies (CBDC) but for wholesale transactions and not retail in the "near future," Governor Benjamin Diokno said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the BSP is working on its other digital offering, Diokno told ANC.

This includes InstaPay and PESONet electronic fund transfers under its National Retail Payment System. The use of such has skyrocketed during the pandemic but "it has a long way to go," he said. 

"We’re also thinking of digital currency, central bank digital currency (CBDC). That will be the modality for the thing. Not retail. We’ll perfect that and we’ll go into digital currency maybe at some point in the near future but this will be wholesale rather than retail," he said. 

Central banks globally have been studying the use of CBDCs. China has been testing the use of CBDCs while South Korea also earlier announced its plan to develop a platform for a digital currency

Aside from PESONet and InstaPay, the state-run digital bank OF Bank of Land Bank is also operational, Diokno said.

The BSP has also earlier signed an agreement with the Monetary Authority of Singapore that will enable real-time payments using QR codes between the country.

The deal is also just part of a bigger plan with Singapore, Diokno said.

"We have a long-term agreement with MAS on the Innovation function. 
It’s a real-time payment system that will link Singapore and the Philippines. And we plan to, the linkage will be through QR code between Philippines and Singapore," he said. 

The BSP, under Diokno's helm, has been proactive in its digitalization plans steered by its roadmap which aims to digitalize 50 percent of transactions and encourage at least 70 percent of the population to open bank accounts by 2023. 

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-- with reports from Reuters