The state of financial inclusion (or exclusion) in PH

Text by Art Fuentes; Infographic by Pamela Ramos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2018 03:54 PM | Updated as of Aug 03 2018 04:08 PM

The state of financial inclusion (or exclusion) in PH 1
Source: 2017 Financial Inclusion Survey of the BSP conducted from Dec. 2017 to Feb. 2018; data collection via face-to-face interviews; sample size: 1,200 adults nationwide

In 2017, only 22.6 percent of 68 million Filipino adults had a formal financial account (e.g. bank account, microfinance, coop, E-money account). 

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), however, is aiming to get more people included in the country's financial system via several initiatives. 

The BSP defines financial inclusion as having effective access to a range of financial services. 

Besides having a bank account for savings, financial inclusion also means access to loans, investment services, remittance or payments facilities and insurance, among others. 

"Hindi lang porket may bangko d'yan at pwede kang magdeposit o umutang ay necessarily epektibo na yun," said Pia Bernadette Roman Tayag, head of the BSP's Inclusive Finance Advocacy Staff.

To entice more people from lower-income groups to open bank accounts, the BSP has asked banks to accommodate them via a new facility called a "basic deposit account." 

This special account can be opened with just a P100 deposit, needs no maintaining balance, is not be subject to dormancy, and will not require IDs. 

The BSP also aims to expand the reach of banking services to the one-third of the country's municipalities that still don't have banks. 

Banks can opt to open "branch lites," which are not full-blown branches, and "cash agents" where establishments such as sari-sari stores can be authorized by a bank to handle financial services. 

The BSP is also launching initiatives for digital payments where people can use e-money to pay bills or send money using mobile gadgets such as cellphones.