BSP says 20.1% of payments in 2020 were digital, meeting target

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 7) — One out of five payment transactions last year was made through digital transactions, reported the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas as it confirmed fulfilling its target digital payments volume for 2020.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno reported that 20.1%, or 910 million of total payments last year, were rendered digitally, meaning the central bank “slightly surpassed” its “20% by 2020” target.

Digital payments comprised 26.8% of overall payments in 2020, meaning $33 million was paid for items or services through cashless means.

Payments made to merchants and person-to-person (P2P) payments such as remittances mainly drove the higher usage of digital payments during the period, noted the BSP chief.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic may have disrupted our way of life, it also created exceptional opportunities to boost digital payments and financial inclusion in the country,” said Diokno.

The government has consistently promoted using contactless transactions amid the COVID-19 pandemic to further prevent the transmission of the virus while helping businesses and individuals and stay afloat.

Diokno envisions 50% of overall payment transactions in the country will be done digitally by the end of his term in 2023.

“The BSP will continue to perform its catalytic role to further advance the country's digital payments transformation to promote the economic empowerment of our fellow Filipinos and ensure that everyone reaps the benefits from having universal access to digital payment services, especially during these extraordinary times,” said the central bank governor.