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Digitalizing traditions

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting mobility restrictions that discourages physical gatherings shouldn’t be an excuse for godparents to avoid giving Christmas cash gifts to their godchildren.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno said the tradition of gifting cash to godchildren as well as to kids of relatives can continue despite the pandemic restrictions as he urged Filipinos to harness technology by using digital wallets and mobile banking apps to send cash gifts this holiday season.

“Digital wallets offer a safe, secure, efficient and convenient way to transfer funds to family and friends during this season of giving,” he added, explaining that using digital money as an alternative means of giving cash gifts is highly recommended while COVID-19 remains a threat to the country and our way of life.

The widespread use of digital money is in line with the BSP’s digital payment transformation and financial inclusion goals. According to its latest report, the BSP says it has achieved its target of reaching 20 percent of digital payments volume by 2020, largely driven by high-frequency, low-value retail transactions through electronic fund transfers.

Diokno says the BSP remains committed to expanding the digitalization of payments to at least half of all transactions by 2023 in its push to promote a more inclusive and tech-savvy Philippine economy. All this is being made possible by the groundwork laid by the central bank years ago to create payment systems that can deal with one another, which proved crucial in keeping the country’s financial system running during the height of the pandemic.

The BSP Governor noted that even before the pandemic, the BSP was able to lay out the critical foundation to an interoperable National Retail Payment System that allowed payment service providers to innovate and offer responsive digital payment products and services.

The system that allows godparents to give cash gifts to godchildren prepared to take advantage of the benefits of digitalization by availing of digital wallets or being enrolled in mobile banking services is something we should all take advantage of, not only during the holiday season, but with every chance we get.*

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