THE VALUE and volume of electronic fund transfers done through PESONet and InstaPay rose as of end-April from a year ago, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed.

The combined value of transactions done via the BSP’s automated clearing houses InstaPay and PESONet climbed by 30.1% to P3.80 trillion as of end-April from P2.92 trillion in the same period in 2022.

In terms of volume, total transactions coursed through the clearing houses grew by 28.5% to 247.77 million in the first four months of the year from 192.83 million in the comparable year-ago period.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said the increase in transactions was mainly due to the convenience offered by banks’ digital facilities. 

“These have further given greater choices and power for the depositing public to move their funds from one bank or financial institution to another with greater ease, and better aligning with global best practices,” Mr. Ricafort said. 

Central bank data showed the value of PESONet transactions rose by 25.5% to P2.36 trillion as of April from P1.88 trillion at end-April 2022.

The volume of transactions done through the payment gateway stood at 29.4 million, 11.4% higher than the 26.4 million seen in the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the value of transactions that went through InstaPay grew by 39.4% year on year to P1.45 trillion at end-April from P1.04 trillion in the comparable year-ago period.

The volume of InstaPay transactions also climbed by 31.1% to 218.3 million from 166.4 million in 2022.

PESONet and InstaPay are automated clearing houses launched in December 2015 under the central bank’s National Retail Payment System.

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

Meanwhile, 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.

BSP Deputy Governor Mamerto E. Tangonan said in a TV interview on Thursday that transactions through the central bank’s digital payment systems are credited quickly.

“[For] our instant payment system, the industry processes more than half a billion transactions a year and growing,” Mr. Tangonan said.

“Even the central banks in the region would want to bring that advantage and extend that through people-to-people transactions between these ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries,” he added.

The BSP wants 50% of total retail transactions done digitally and to bring at least 70% of Filipino adults into the financial system by this year under its Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap.

The share of digital payments in the total volume of retail transactions rose to 30.3% in 2021 from 20.1% in 2020 as consumers and businesses used more online channels amid mobility restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, the value of payments done online made up 44.1% of total retail transactions in 2021, higher than the 26.8% share a year prior. — Keisha B. Ta-asan