The number of rural banks (RBs) participating in PhilPaSSPLUS increased by 21.7 percent to 101 as of end February this year from 83 in 2020, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said the participating small banks represent more than 26 percent of all rural banks in the country, and more than half of total PhilPaSSPLUS membership.
“By becoming PhilPaSSPLUS participants, rural banks can offer digital payment services, particularly InstaPay and PESONet, which both settle through this platform,” Diokno said.
The growing number of participants, Diokno explained, provides support to the BSP’s thrust of promoting financial inclusion.
“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,” the BSP chief added.
As the country recovers from the pandemic, the value of PhilPaSSPLUS transactions more than doubled to P42.43 trillion in February this year from the same period in 2019.
Likewise, transaction volumes rose 15.1 percent to 96,000 over the same period.
PhilPaSSPLUS, the country’s next-generation Peso real-time gross settlement system, started its live run on July last year.
The new system 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 transparency low cost and quick exchange of richer payment information for business and regulatory purposes.