EGOV PAY transactions jumped by 467% to over 91,000 at the end of 2021 from just around 16,000 a year earlier, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said on Thursday. 

The central bank also reported that the value of EGov Pay transactions increased by 300% to P246 million in 2021 from around P61 million in 2020.

“The sustained increase in the use of EGov Pay, even after mobility restrictions were lifted, proves the shifting preference of consumers towards greater adoption of digital payments,” BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said at a briefing on Thursday.

Launched in November 2019, EGov Pay is a system where consumers can settle payments to government institutions. Fees for government clearances and taxes were the most common payments processed through EGov Pay. 

Since its launch, 484 billers have been onboarded to EGov Pay at the end of April.

The top two government agencies that use EGov Pay are the Philippine National Police and the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Billers include provincial and local government units, state colleges and universities, water districts, and other government agencies and offices.

“By participating in EGov Pay, government institutions can efficiently collect revenues, which are crucial to their delivery of public and social services. Moreover, the government may curb revenue leaks through efficient collection means, a better audit trail, and enhanced transparency,” the central bank said in a statement.

As part of its digitalization efforts, the central bank wants 50% of payments, both in terms of volume and in value, to be done online by 2023.

Outgoing President Rodrigo R. Duterte earlier this month signed Executive Order (EO) No. 170 mandating the adoption of digital payments for all government disbursements and collections.

“This EO serves as a significant catalyst in advancing the payments digitalization agenda of the BSP, anchored on a vision of a cash-lite society. With this, we expect a further boost in EGov Pay transactions,” Mr. Diokno said on Thursday. — K.B. Ta-asan