THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will conduct its maiden consumer payments survey (CPS) to gauge online transactions among Filipinos in line with its target to turn the country into a cash-lite economy.

“The CPS is a national survey which seeks to measure the actual use of digital payments nationwide by individual consumers aged 15 years old and above,” the BSP said in a statement on Tuesday.

The survey will be conducted this quarter, the central bank said.

The BSP said Kantar Philippines, Inc. will conduct the survey operations.

“All necessary precautions will be taken by the BSP to continuously safeguard the privacy of the survey data. All information collected will be treated with the strictest confidentiality and used exclusively for policy formulation purposes,” the central bank said.

“Equally important, the CPS survey will be conducted with utmost adherence to established health protocols. Visits by Kantar researchers to selected households around the country will also be coordinated with local government authorities to ensure safety.”

The Philippine Statistics Authority had cleared the conduct of the BSP survey in February.

Among the objectives of the survey is to gauge influences on consumers’ payment preference and to set a baseline for tracking the National Retail Payment System in terms of volume and value.

Payment schemes covered by the study will include hard cash, check, ATM/debit cards, credit cards, prepaid cards and electronic money.

The survey will also look into the socio-demographic characteristics of household consumers; preferences and ownership of payment instruments; volume and value of transactions recorded in various payment schemes; and consumers’ awareness, usage, and future use cases for institution facilities. The study will also cover consumer views and preferences on virtual currencies.

The central bank wants 50% of transactions in terms of volume and value done digitally by 2023. Due to the increase in online payments amid the coronavirus pandemic, BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said this goal could be reached as early as 2022.

E-payments in the country have been gaining traction as 10% of the total transaction volume in 2018 was done digitally, climbing from a mere 1% in 2013, a study by Better than Cash Alliance showed. By value, online transactions increased to 10% of the total in 2018 from 8% in 2013.

The BSP also aims to have 70% of Filipino adults already owning a formal financial account by 2023. Only 29% of adult Filipinos owned an account with a financial institution at end-2019, leaving some 51.2 million unbanked. — LWTN