Real-time fund transfers set for Q1 next year

Real-time electronic-fund transfers at any time of the day should be available for financial consumers by early next year as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) prepares to launch
Instapay in the first quarter.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. confirmed the launch of InstaPay service within the first three months next year and comes on the heels of the PESONet or the Philippine EFT System and Operations Network, the first automated clearinghouse under the National Retail Payment System (NRPS).

InstaPay, the second automated clearinghouse under the same initiative, is focused on facilitating low value, real-time electronic-fund transfers by enabling the payer to send instructions to his financial institution to transfer funds held in his account to the account of a payee, who then receives the full value immediately.

The service was seen available 24/7. Credit to account of a beneficiary is instant.

The BSP said they are now finalizing the guarantee of the new system, as a guarantee fund is needed to answer for the clearing straight away.

The scheduled launch of InstaPay next year is part of the BSP’s NRPS initiative launched in December 2015.

The initiative aims to move 20 percent of the total transactions in the country from cash and checks at the moment and into the digital sphere by 2020.

In 2014 a study by Better Than Cash Alliance said only about 1 percent of all transactions in the Philippines was digital.

Early this year, the BSP said InstaPay would facilitate small value payments that will be especially useful for paying for toll fees and tickets, and for e-commerce that enables micro, small and medium enterprises.

The BSP further said payment products can be built on InstaPay, enabling merchants to accept digital payments from both e-money and bank accounts even without point-of-sale terminals.

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Bianca Cuaresma graduated cum laude from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) with a degree in AB Journalism. She was with the BusinessMirror during her internship in 2012 where she was assigned at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) beat. She continued to be of service to the paper after she graduated in 2013. In 2014, she was awarded as the Reporter of the Year by the paper for her coverage in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). She is a BusinessMirror reporter for 3 years now, and has covered general assignments and agencies related to banking and finance in the country.