The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), together with industry stakeholders, launched the National Retail Payment System (NRPS) Framework on 09 December 2015 at the BSP Executive Business Center. The vision of the NRPS is to create a safe, efficient, and reliable electronic retail payment system that is interconnected and interoperable. Such a retail payment system presents the potential for increased efficiencies, greater opportunities for consumers and businesses and increased access to financial services.
The NRPS Framework defines high-level policies, standards and governance principles covering retail payment operations and infrastructures. It aims to fast-track the establishment of an effective electronic retail payment system, promote a “cash-lite” economy and ultimately improve the country’s economic competitiveness.
Digitizing retail payments is critical in the Philippines considering that 99% of payment transactions per month are done in cash, with businesses and individuals making only 1% and 0.3% electronic payments, respectively, according to a study done by the Better Than Cash Alliance. E-commerce in the Philippines also makes up less than 1% of total commerce, a very low level compared to other ASEAN countries like Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia which generate 4-5% e-commerce transactions.
The NRPS is positioned to facilitate the country’s transition from a cash-heavy to a cash-lite economy, eventually bringing material benefits for the government, the business and private sectors, even regular consumers and individuals – in terms of speed and efficiency of transactions, reduced costs, improved transparency, enhanced security, and expanded access to financial services.
The NRPS promotes effective interoperability among payment system participants to allow digital transactions to be sent from any account to any account. During a recent related event, BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. noted:
“The NRPS envisions Filipinos to have easy access to financial services, have accounts to make payments, receive or transfer funds to other accounts anytime, anywhere, at a reasonable price, from any digital device…the NRPS initiative is a rare opportunity for all of us to work together to do something that can be a real positive game changer for the economy and for our people.” 1
The NRPS is also a key element of the BSP’s commitment to the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion.
1 Delivered on 24 July 2015 during the 25th Anniversary Celebration of Bancnet