The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has made public the proposed circular for the national QR payments standard to industry players and other stakeholders for comments, and may soon implement the new scheme to further harmonize and promote interoperability in the financial technology (fintech) industry.
Deputy Governor of the Financial Supervision Sector Chuchi G. Fonacier said in a chance interview that the circular for the QR standard will be released either this month or in October.
“For the rest of the year, we’re working on the QR. We’ve already exposed the circular for comments of the industry. Our practice is once we issue regulation, we have it exposed for comments,” she said.
The Central Bank will be adopting the standard of EMVCo, a consortium of financial companies led by Europay, Mastercard and Visa.
“EMVCo will be our national standard for QR. This is what is agreed by the Philippine Payments Management Inc., so some players will have to adjust,” Fonacier said.
Currently, fintech companies and banks have different QR payment schemes. For instance, a merchant which has been enrolled in the QR payments system of GCash, PayMaya and BDO has three separate QR codes for offline digital payments.
Because of this, Fonacier said, the Central Bank will be providing a transition period for the unified QR standard.
“There will be a time for them to transition, but the goal is to have only one national standard,” she said. “We’re pretty much optimistic that within the year, that could already be issued, the circular.”
It is proposed that the national QR code standard will be called QR PH, which can be used for peer-to-peer transfers via automated clearing houses InstaPay or PESONet, and peer-to-merchant transactions.
“Actual implementation may be a phased approach—that’s what we will be looking at. We need to recognize that we have already existing standards. So we need to consider those factors,” Fonacier said.
The QR Code Standard is targeted to prevent the proliferation of closed-loop infrastructure and promote interoperability of systems, domestically and even regionally.