Country Diagnostic: The Philippines (2019 edition)

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Philippine Government recognize digital payments as a policy priority to enable Filipinos to seize the opportunities of the digital revolution.

The Philippines was a global early-mover in digital payments, with the launch of mobile money in 2001. However, as in most countries, the path to widespread adoption and usage has not been straightforward. The first Better Than Cash Alliance diagnostic on the state of digital payments in the Philippines (released in 2015) found that adoption had been limited. The first diagnostic estimated that the share of digital payments in the Philippines was only about 1% by volume (26 million out of 2.5 billion payments per month).

Recognizing that digital payments are an enabler and driver of digital transformation, the BSP set a target of driving the share of digital payments to 20% by 2020. The BSP considers that 20% could be the tipping point, after which the country could expect faster growth in digital payments. The BSP further set out a vision for modernizing the retail payment system, pushing a number of significant regulatory reforms. In turn, the Philippine Government has led by example, becoming the most digitized stakeholder in the ecosystem, with 64% of all government transactions carried out digitally.