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Digital wallet providers study micropayment fees waiver

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The government is pushing for the use of digital payments, according to Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary Mary Jean Pacheco on Friday.* PNA file photo

GCash and Maya are studying the impacts of waiving fees on micropayment on their balance sheet, a top official of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said yesterday.

The BSP earlier called for the removal of fees on small-value transactions to further promote the use of digital payments.

“This is a big change so let’s give them time to look into that. Hopefully they come around and respond positively to the call of [BSP] Governor [Eli Remolona Jr.],” BSP deputy governor for payments and currency management sector Mamerto Tangonan said on the sidelines of the GoDigital Pilipinas Cashless Expo 2023 at World Trade Center in Pasay City.

He said several banks have already responded to Remolona’s call to waive fees for micropayments, or those transactions amounting to P1,000 and below.

“Let’s face it, our countrymen and people, if there are fees, it presents a barrier or some reluctance to pay,” Tangonan said.

He said the government wants to make sure that majority will benefit from using digital payments.

In a separate briefing during the expo, Maya head of acceptance and SME Richard Labitag said they are “sorting out the numbers.”

“Actually we tried to have some computation on that. We are studying that. We already have the numbers, we just need to sort it out internally,” he said.

GCash head of public sector and partnerships Cathlyn Pavia explained that since theirs is a platform that enables multiple financial services, a number of these come from other financial institutions as well.

“So with that, we need to consider outside of the operation cost that we have. It’s also fees that we also incur through the connections with our other partners,” she said.

The Cashless Expo 2023, which will be held until Nov. 19, aims to showcase the diverse landscape of digital payment solutions and encourage micro, small and medium enterprises to adapt to digital transactions and motivate consumers to use digital payments such as e-wallets, debt and credit cards, and online bank transfers.

Department of Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary Mary Jean Pacheco said the expo is one of the key projects in the implementation of the digital payments transformation roadmap.

“There are two goals of the roadmap. One is to digitalize digital payments and the second one is to promote financial inclusion,” she said.

Under the BSP’s Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap, the government aims to convert at least 50 percent of all retail payment transactions into digital form this year.

The roadmap also aims to have 70 percent of Filipino adults financially included.*PNA


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July 2024

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