Fintech group seeks easy person-to-government payments

WITH the recent establishment of the payments and currency management sector (PCMS), a financial technology (fintech) group hopes that online payments made to government agencies, such as taxes and monthly contributions, will be centralized immediately via an automated clearing house (ACH). is expecting the new Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) department to “further expedite implementation of the various payments use cases, including a biller’s ACH, removing the barrier for players to do separate integrations,” its chairman Angelito M. Villanueva told the BusinessMirror.

Villanueva explained to the BusinessMirror that, currently, individual fintech players need to establish partnerships with agencies such as the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Social Security System and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. This explains why not all mobile financial services platforms allow their customers to make payments to such government agencies, he said.

Villanueva told the BusinessMirror that the PCMS can “remove that red tape of having individual players having to deal with each government agency just to offer P2G [person-to-government] payments.”

Apart from this, Villanueva told the BusinessMirror he hopes for faster implementation of the national ID card system given it is under the mandate of the new BSP sector.

“Since the newly-created sector will also oversee the printing of the national ID cards, the Alliance hopes that it would be expedited and provide timelines as to how and when these cards are issued to Filipinos,” Villanueva told the BusinessMirror.

It was last Wednesday when the Central Bank announced the creation of the PCMS that it tasked to “manage the interplay of physical currency and digital money.”

BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said the move was aligned with the BSP’s “Digital Payments Transformation” roadmap, which aims to further promote financial inclusion via digital platform use.

Digital finance services and inclusive-finance expert Mamerto E. Tangonan, who has over 28 years of relevant experience, was named as deputy governor of the PCMS.

The welcomed the appointment of Tangonan adding he has the support of fintech and digital industry players.

“[Tangonan] has been instrumental in the promotion of electronic payments in the Philippines and addressing gaps in the digital payments ecosystem,” Villanueva said. “As he transitions into his new role in the government, he can expect the industry’s active support and dynamic collaboration in ensuring his success.”

Tangonan has made contributions in furthering digital payments in the country. These include leading a 6-year USAid-funded program on the e-Peso project and spearheading a team in providing technical assistance to the BSP in the policy formulation and implementation of the National Retail Payments System.

Tangonan also served as general manager of PT Smart Telecom, director of Globe Telecom Inc. and first vice president of ING Life Insurance Co. (Phils.) Inc.

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