BSP grants e-money issuer license to app

The logo of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is seen at the Central Bank’s main building in Manila.

THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) granted Bayad App its license to operate as an Electronic Money Issuer (EMI), the company behind the application announced on May 24.

Bayad App, the transaction application of CIS Bayad Center Inc., said the accreditation will allow the company to convert their consumers’ cash into electronic money, which they can use to transact online to pay bills, remit money, purchase mobile load and shop for products and services in merchant stores.

In addition, the newly-granted BSP license will also allow their customers to withdraw and add money to their “Bayad” (payment) wallets through online bank transfers and over-the-counter centers.

“The ‘Bayad App’ and ‘Bayad Online’ provides a seamless and convenient way of paying and managing funds. Customers will have peace of mind because our products are built with reliable security features that will protect customer data and transactions,” CIS Bayad Center President and CEO Lawrence Y. Ferrer said.

The financial payments company is eyeing to enable app customers to pay over one thousand types of bills; from utilities, insurance, government contributions and services, among others. The company said other services such as QR-payments, rewards, insurance, savings accounts, personal loans and credit scoring will be enabled following the granting of their license.

“The Covid-19 pandemic became the unexpected catalyst that catapulted digital financial services to new heights as Filipinos look for convenient, safe and efficient means to receive and transfer funds, pay bills and shop for necessities,” BSP Director of Technology Risk and Innovation Supervision Department Melchor T. Plabasan said.

“In response to this need, the BSP continues to provide an enabling environment that encourages financial innovation while safeguarding the integrity and stability of the financial system,” Plabasan added.

In its “Asian Economic Integration Report” issued last February, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it sees the use of online transactions “will continue to rise” in the Philippines.

“The adoption of digital payments by the public sector has also been beneficial in delivering aid and related services in times of health crisis like Covid-19,” the ADB said in the report.

However, the multilateral lender also noted that the “divide in access to digital payments is a crucial policy challenge.”

Likewise, the ADB said that “Digital payments and the rise of the digital economy introduce unprecedented types of risks, including but not limited to data privacy breach, violation of consumer rights, cybersecurity, identity theft and anticompetitive practices.”

“Regulatory systems should keep up with developments in the fintech industry and bridge the existing gaps,” the ADB said in the report.

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