Foreign chambers urged to invest in PH digital finance

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 27 2021 01:25 PM

MANILA - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) urged foreign investors to bring advanced technology into the local financial ecosystem. 

Doing so will give them access to the untapped potential in the space, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said in a statement. 

“As we build our digital finance ecosystem, we encourage foreign investors who may bring advanced technologies and technical expertise to take advantage of untapped potential in the financial services space and be our partners in achieving our economic growth and financial inclusion objectives,” Diokno said during the Philippine Economic Briefing for Foreign Chambers of Commerce jointly organized by BSP and the Department of Finance.

According to the BSP's 2019 Financial Inclusion Survey, 71 percent or 51.2 million Filipino adults had no bank accounts while 30.8 percent of cities and municipalities had no banking offices as of the third quarter of 2020.

The pandemic, however, accelerated digital adoption and banking inclusion. 

By investing in financial technology, service providers and investors may tap into a wide client base, diversify revenue sources, and secure new growth opportunities in the country "thereby improving efficiency in banking operations," Diokno said. 

Knowledge transfer and innovation will also boost the competItiveness of local banks, he said. 

New technology can help banks expand access to new markets through partnerships and tie-ups, and enable consumers to gain from increased access, lower costs, better products and improved experience, he said.

The central bank is also advocating for digitalization under its 2023 Digitalization Roadmap in anticipation of a future-ready financial landscape.

Under the roadmap, the BSP aims to digitize 50 percent of payments and encourage 70 percent of the population to open bank accounts by 2023. 

Economic managers have said digital reforms such as the national ID could accelerate financial inclusion in the country. 

Based on the latest BSP report in October, at least 1 in 5 payments are now digital.

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