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July 13, 2024

Fintechs, e-money issuers vow to guard vs digital vote buying

Financial technology companies and electronic money issuers vowed to uphold clean, honest, and credible presidential and national elections in May by guarding against digital vote buying and selling schemes.

In an advocacy on the responsible use of digital payments platforms, the FinTech Alliance.ph and the eMoney Association of the Philippines said that they support the mandate issued by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to guard against unlawful activities during the May 9 polls.

“We recognize the fintech industry’s critical role in upholding clean, honest, and credible elections by ensuring that the digital products, platforms, and services offered are not misused for vote-buying, vote-selling, and other illegal political partisan activities. We call on all digital wallet and account owners to use these digital finance channels responsibly and to be vigilant by proactively reporting unfair practices that could compromise our bid for fair and free elections,” the organizations said in a joint statement.

The BSP issued Memorandum No. M-2021-074 on the possible proliferation of digital vote-buying and vote-selling schemes, while the AMLC issued an advisory reminding BSP-supervised financial institutions to ensure that proceeds from unlawful activities are not laundered during the campaign period.

“We assure regulators that the industry’s member institutions have robust control mechanisms that can mitigate attempts to abuse digital fund transfer services,” they added.

The measures implemented include stringent onboarding processes, such as one-is-to-one account registration and creation, robust electronic Know-YourCustomer, and account verification to track the identity and traceability of digital transactions as well as compliance measures and risk management systems, supported by advanced algorithms and security controls that can

detect unusual or suspicious transactions.

“Congruent to these measures is our collective advocacy to further strengthen and promote financial education and consumer protection programs, especially during this election season,” the groups said.

Both organizations vowed to promote the responsible use of digital payment platforms, especially in the days leading up to the May elections.

“More than just a public information campaign, it is our civic duty to safeguard the credibility and integrity of digital services and channels, primarily created to better the lives of all Filipinos,” the alliance said.