ONLINE TRANSACTIONS coursed via PESONet and InstaPay rose by 43% year on year to P5.37 trillion in the first seven months, driven by state-run pension fund disbursements and the wider use of digital payment platforms, the central bank said on Thursday.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said in a statement that PESONet and InstaPay also recorded more than 348 million transactions from January to July, 24% higher from the comparable year-ago period.

Broken down, the value of transactions done via PESONet grew by 47% to P3.46 trillion in the first seven months of the year.

The volume of transactions coursed through the payment gateway stood at 48 million transactions in the January to July period, increasing by 22% from the prior year.

“The increase in PESONet transactions was mainly driven by state-run pension fund disbursements facilitated by the Development Bank of the Philippines, which began in September 2020,” the BSP said.

These pension fund disbursements were done twice a month with an average volume of 1.5 million transactions valued at P6.8 billion for the period covering January to July, the central bank added.

Meanwhile, the value of transactions done through InstaPay also climbed by 37% year on year to P1.91 trillion in the first seven months of 2022.

The volume of InstaPay transactions grew by 25% to over 300 million transactions during the same period.

The central bank attributed the rise in InstaPay transactions to the wider use of online banking and e-money transactions for domestic remittances, e-commerce, bills payment, and other immediate low-value payments.

PESONet and InstaPay are automated clearing houses launched under the central bank’s National Retail Payment System (NRPS).

PESONet caters to high-value transactions and may be considered as an electronic alternative to the paper-based check system.

On the other hand, InstaPay is a real-time, low value electronic fund transfer facility for transactions up to P50,000 and is most useful for remittances and e-commerce.

The increases in PESONet and InstaPay transactions are expected to help the BSP achieve its twin goals to have 50% of retail payments done digitally and 70% of adult Filipinos become part of the formal financial system by 2023. — Keisha B. Ta-asan