BSP Gov. Benjamin Diokno


Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Benjamin Diokno has urged Filipinos to use electronic payments amid the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), to minimize face-to-face transactions and prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“We can do our part in stopping the spread of Covid-19 by staying home,” Diokno said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.

He called on Filipinos to use e-payment services including PESONet and InstaPay for purchasing essentials such as food and medicines, money transfers, and the payment of utility bills and other obligations.

Fees of these services had been been waived by authorized financial institutions during the ECQ period, he said.

InstaPay allows an account holder to transfer funds up to P50,000 per day, immediately credited to a recipient account in any participating financial institution. InstaPay has been designed as a facility for urgent and small value transactions.

PesoNet is designed for high-value transactions of companies, government agencies and individuals. It is the electronic alternative for transferring funds via checks.

Money transfers under PesoNet have no transaction limit per day. Crediting to the recipient account is on the same banking day, provided that the sender transfers money within the cut-off time set by financial institutions.

The BSP statement said that as of March 31, 2020, InstaPay was offered by 45 financial institutions while PesoNet was offered by 56 financial institutions.

Government agencies may use InstaPay and PesoNet to facilitate person-to-government transactions including tax payments, or government-to-person transactions such as the distribution of subsidies, the central bank said.

The number of e-payment transactions grew by 10 percent in 2018. The value of these e-payments rose by 20 percent over the same period, the BSP said. (Melo M. Acuña)