by Elijah Felice Rosales – The Philippine Star, 5 Jan 2022
MANILA, Philippines — At least three in every 10 Filipinos now complete their retail transactions through digital means, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said the number of Filipinos shopping and paying their bills online climbed to 30 percent in 2021 from 20.1 percent in 2020.
“As of end-2020, the number of digital transactions has reached 20.1 percent. That was in 2020. Our estimate now as of the end of last year, that number has risen to 30 percent,” Diokno said in a forum with the Tuesday Club.
As such, Diokno said he is confident that at least half of the population can pay their bills and buy goods and services online by 2023. He said the BSP would ramp up its efforts to transition the country to a digital economy where cash may no longer be king.
“We are ramping up the use of digital payments, and at the end of my term we will reach at least 50 percent. That’s a big thing that we no longer have to use cash, only QR codes to pay for our transportations, groceries, among others,” Diokno said.
Leading e-wallet player GCash has registered more than 51 million users as of 2021.
On the other hand, e-commerce powerhouse PayMaya has registered over 41 million users as of September 2021, in another display of how expansive e-wallets have reached at the height of the pandemic.
Diokno is optimistic that seven in every 10 Filipinos will maintain either a bank or a financial account before he steps down as BSP chief next year. “The other thing is the 70 percent count on financial inclusion. I’m confident that we are now at 50 to 60 percent because of how many users PayMaya and GCash have,” Diokno said.
The BSP chief vowed that the central bank will sustain its measures to develop an environment where Filipinos can be covered by the financial system. By 2023, he said that more than half of the population would be carrying out their transactions through digital means.
“I’m confident that I will achieve my twin goals of at least 50 percent of retail in digital form and at least 70 percent will have financial accounts,” Diokno said.