The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said that the share of digital payments to total retail transactions jumped to 30.3 percent last year from 20.1 percent in 2020.
In terms of value, the central bank said the share of electronic payments soared to 44.1 percent from 26.8 percent.
BSP Governor Felipe Medalla said the central bank’s target of shifting 50 percent of total retail transactions to electronic channels under its Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap is within reach.
“The latest results show we are closer to meeting our objective of converting at least 50 percent of retail payment transactions to digital form by the end of 2023,” Medalla said.
The key contributors to the overall growth of digital payments were merchant payments, peer-to-peer (P2P) remittances, and business payments of salaries and wages to employees, all of which are high-frequency, low value retail transactions.
The volume of merchant payments increased by 43.8 percent, while P2P remittances grew by 268.6 percent.
Business payments of salaries and wages, meanwhile, grew by 170.2 percent during the period. This indicates that for salary disbursements, businesses are transitioning from cash to digital channels, such as electronic fund transfers to bank or e-money accounts.
Moreover, the significant rise in the use of account-to-account electronic fund transfers could be seen as a result of expanding access to transaction accounts and the shifting preference of consumers toward the use of digital modes for payments.
During the pandemic, Filipinos who had accounts were able to safely and conveniently conduct financial transactions using their mobile devices in the comfort of their homes.
“This capability for digital transactions should be within reach of every Filipino in our increasingly digital economy,” Medalla said.
The central bank together with the Philippine Payments Management Inc. continues to promote a vibrant and inclusive digital payments ecosystem where every Filipino could actively participate and enjoy its benefits.