THE Insurance Commission (IC) has encouraged insurers, pre-need companies and health maintenance organizations to use digital payments as part of a broader set of ground rules for electronic transactions.

Insurance Commissioner Dennis B. Funa issued Circular Letter No. 2020-70 dated June 11 on the use of digital payments by the industry to “balance and protect the interests” of both the companies and clients.

“The Insurance Commission recognizes digital payments, including further innovations and variations, as an integral part of insurance technology (Insurtech) and innovation, and encourages its adoption in all aspects of insurance transactions,” the circular read.

The IC drew the line at “virtual/crypto currencies as defined by regulations issued by the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas).”

It said digital payments can be done through cards linked electronically to the cardholder’s account such as credit or debit cards, charge cards, and prepaid, stored-value cards.

The IC also allows payments via digital wallets, unstructured supplementary service data, point of sale machines, mobile banking, internet banking and electronic gifts.

It said customers can pay digitally to the company through a digital payment service provider while the company must issue “immediately” proof that it received the payment.

However, the IC said the digital platform should provide an option for the customer to cancel within 24 hours a completed payment if the payment was made by accident or if the client unintentionally paid for the wrong product or service.

If a customer has made an error in payment, it said the exact amount should be reverted to his account without penalty or interest.

“All errors within the application or the transfer of information in digital payments on the part of the addressee/intermediary shall not prejudice the originator in any manner,” the IC said.

The regulator prohibits the service provider or the company from “modifying or altering” the content of the electronic document submitted by the client, and bars them from requiring users to agree to waivers that facilitate resort to prohibited procedures.

It also requires the digital platform service provider to secure the data and money they store and process.

“The digital platform partner of the company must comply with the know-your-customer requirements under Republic Act No. 9160 or the “Anti-Money Laundering Act” and other pertinent AMLA requirements issued by the BSP, and as may be applicable,” it said. — Beatrice M. Laforga