Over 100 rural banks now folded into PhilPASSPlus, says Diokno


BANGKO Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno announced on Thursday that they have successfully onboarded more than a hundred rural banks into the country’s real-time gross settlement system as of end-February this year. 

The governor said the number of rural banks participating in the new generation Philippine Payment and Settlement System (PhilPaSSPlus) increased by 21.7 percent to 101 as of end-February this year from 83 in 2020. 

The current level of participating rural banks in the settlement system represents more than 26 percent of all rural banks in the country, and more than half of total PhilPaSSPlus membership. 

Diokno said the onboarding of more rural banks in the system will allow for greater financial access, especially for  rural segments of society.

“By becoming PhilPaSSPlus participants, rural banks can offer digital payment services, particularly InstaPay and PESONet, which both settle through this platform,” Diokno said.

“These enhanced services are expected to further improve the capacity of RBs to onboard more unbanked Filipinos who will be able to benefit from digitalization. This provides broad support to the BSP’s thrust of promoting financial inclusion,” the governor added.

PhilPaSSPlus is a real-time gross settlement system that is owned and operated by the BSP. It processes and settles interbank payment transactions of banks through their demand deposit accounts. 

The new system, which started its live run on July 26, 2021, can accommodate a growing number of settlements between financial institutions; has rigid controls to support transaction security in fund transfers; and has enhanced system availability. 

PhilPaSSPlus also has broader access channels; enables integration with other payment systems locally and abroad; and allows for transparent, low cost and quick exchange of richer payment information for business and regulatory purposes. 

The volume of transactions through PhilPaSSPlus grew by 15.1 percent from 2019 to end-February 2022 while the value rose by 104.2 percent during the same period.

“Moving forward, we will continue to intensify our efforts to onboard more participants, including small financial institutions in the countryside,” the governor said.


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