MANILA - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Monday it is encouraging the public to use digital wallets when sending cash gifts this holiday season amid the ongoing pandemic.
"Digital wallets offer a safe, secure, efficient, and convenient way to transfer funds to family and friends during this season of giving," BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said in a statement.
The BSP said using digital money as an alternative means of giving cash gifts is highly recommended to reduce physical contact and virus transmission between giver and receiver.
"This will allow the Filipino tradition of giving aguinaldo to family, friends, and significant others to continue despite restrictions on mobility and face-to-face gatherings," the BSP said.
Digital wallets exploded in popularity since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as social distancing and lockdowns prevented many from coming into close contact with each other.
Apps like GCash and PayMaya reported that their users more than doubled, transaction volumes skyrocketed as people sought new ways to send and receive money.
At least 20 percent of payments are now done through digital channels, the BSP said, largely driven by high-frequency, low-value retail transactions through electronic fund transfers.