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October 07, 2022

BSP bags award for payment innovation

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) recently received an international award for its innovative use of ISO 20022 global standards to further improve the safety and efficiency of the Peso real-time gross settlement (RTGS) payment system.

“The BSP is deeply honored that Central Bank​ing has recognized our efforts to enhance our RTGS payment system through adoption of the ISO 20022 messaging standard. Both the Filipino people and their central bank are benefitting from more granular payments data. Through this initiative, we have improved our regulatory strategy, strengthened risk management, and facilitated policy formulation, all at a lower cost,” outgoing BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said in his acceptance speech.

ISO 20022 is a global payment-messaging standard designed to create a common language to facilitate the communication of payment information between financial institutions and business firms.

The BSP received the “Payment Innovation Award” under the “FinTech & RegTech (Financial and Regulatory Technology) Global Awards 2022” of “Central Banking,” an international organization that recognizes outstanding performance and achievements within the central banking community.

The BSP’s “big bang” approach in implementing ISO 20022 was holistic, integrating all critical players – RTGS participants, the government, and the public — in the modernization of electronic messaging for payment transactions, thereby elevating our payment system to global standards.

“There were notable challenges along the way, but these were hurdled with the adoption process taken. This evolved into a handholding exercise among big and small players, bound by a common desire to lift the quality, safety, and efficiency of the country’s payment system,” Diokno added.

Central Banking associate editor Joasia Popowicz said it was impressed with the level of effective risk management the BSP demonstrated in prioritizing the digital payments transformation in the Philippines, particularly under challenging circumstances during the pandemic.”

The BSP’s RTGS system enables inter-bank funds transfers and facilitates the settlement of various payment transactions using central bank money, that is, the funds in the demand deposit accounts that financial institutions maintain with the BSP.

The BSP also won the Artificial Intelligence and Data Management Initiative categories of Central Banking’s FinTech & RegTech Global Awards in 2019, the “Website of the Year” in 2021, and the “Currency Initiative” category earlier this year.

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