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July 21, 2024

Satellite technology helps rural bank restore operations after typhoon

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the satellite broadband services helped banks and financial institutions provide financial services to those affected by super typhoon Odette.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said Executive Order No. 127 that liberalized access to satellite technology for broadband services would help improve internet connectivity in remote areas.

“With enhanced access to satellite broadband services, financial institutions can improve their disaster recovery plans as part of their resilience strategy. They will also be able to set up more access points, such as branch lite operations, ATMs, and cash agents in underserved areas,” Diokno said.

Diokno cited a rural bank in Mindanao that turned to satellite technology following typhoon Odette last January.

Cantilan Bank executive vice president Tanya Hotchkiss said the recently installed very-small-aperture terminals (VSATs) restored online connectivity and ATM operations of their Del Carmen and Dapa branches in Siargao City.

“By supplementing our network redundancy measures with VSAT connectivity, the bank effectively provided a contingency measure for branches operating in disaster-stricken areas,” Hotchkiss said.

The BSP is optimistic that with EO 127 and other market-enhancing policy reforms being introduced, satellite broadband services will become more accessible and affordable, which will further boost digital financial inclusion in the country.

Under its Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap 2020-2023, the BSP seeks to digitalize half of total retail payments in the country and onboard 70 percent of Filipino adults into the formal financial system by 2023.