BSP allows person-to-merchant payments under QR Ph

THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) has expanded QR Ph, the country’s QR code standard, to enable person-to-merchant (P2M) payments to boost the digitalization of small businesses.

The pilot launch of the scheme led by the BSP and the Philippine Payments Management, Inc. (PPMI) will include select merchants that use InstaPay. More businesses are expected to come onboard for the full implementation of the QR Ph P2M scheme, which is set in the third quarter.

“The safety, ease and affordability of using QR Ph P2M will make digital payments more accessible to micro, small, and medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Philippines. Given that the sector comprises around 99% of the total number of businesses in the country, the adoption of QR Ph P2M by MSMEs will allow more Filipinos to reap the benefits of digital payments,” BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said during the virtual launch on Friday.

Consumers with accounts in AllBank (A Thrift Bank) Inc.; Asia United Bank Corp.; China Banking Corp.; Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.; Robinsons Bank Corp.; and UnionBank of the Philippines, Inc. can start making payments via the scheme for merchants that also have accounts in these institutions.

Consumers will only need their phones for these transactions instead of using their credit or debit cards.

“Under the QR Ph, customers would not have to maintain separate accounts with the payment service providers who are enrolled in it. Merchants enrolled in QR Ph would also not need to display numerous QR codes in their establishments,” the central bank said.

A report from the BSP and the Better than Cash Alliance showed digital merchant payments climbed 33% in 2019, backed by low value retail transactions.

The study also found remittances and merchant payments done digitally climbed 39% and 66%, respectively, in 2019 from a year earlier.

“QRPH P2M digitizes the most widely-used case yet ranks among the least digitalized at less than 13% of transaction volume,” BSP Deputy Governor Mamerto E. Tangonan said. He added the use case is tapped by 85% of Filipino adults.

The BSP wants digital payments to make up 50% of all transactions both in volume and value by 2023. — LWTN

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