BSP Streamlines Licensing Requirements for Electronic Payment and Financial Services

In line with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’s (BSP) reform agenda of promoting digital innovations and increasing the availability of safer and more efficient channels for delivering banking, payment, remittance, investment, and other financial services, the Monetary Board has approved the streamlined licensing requirements for BSP-supervised financial institutions (BSFIs) that intend to offer electronic payment and financial services (EPFS).

Under the enhanced EPFS licensing policy, the BSFIs that provide basic services or those that enable clients to access information on their deposit, loan, and other accounts (e.g. outstanding balance), or receive funds in electronic means shall simply notify the BSP within 30 days prior to the launch of those services.  The EPFS that require prior Bangko Sentral approval are the advanced services which allow clients to transfer funds from one account to another and initiate other financial transactions.  The prescribed approval process typically requires only three steps: 1) The BSFIs shall self-assess compliance with the prudential criteria set out in the licensing framework of the Bangko Sentral; 2) If determined to be compliant, the BSFIs shall submit a certification of compliance and request a confirmation of eligibility to offer EPFS from the Bangko Sentral; and 3) They shall submit certain documentary requirements to eventually obtain an EPFS license.

To ensure a smooth transition towards the implementation of the amended EPFS licensing policy, the BSFIs with existing EPFS licenses shall re-register the following services with the BSP on 31 March 2019: (1) all their previously-licensed and operational EPFS as of 31 March 2019; and (2) those that have been licensed but have yet to be launched until 30 September 2019.  Likewise, BSFIs shall submit periodic prudential reports which are aimed at strengthening the Bangko Sentral’s surveillance and supervisory mechanisms and ensuring the availability of information for policy development and other regulatory purposes.

The newly-approved policy also requires BSFIs to make their EPFS with funds transfer functionality interoperable by participating in automated clearing houses such as InstaPay and PESONet.  To optimize the benefits of interoperability, the Bangko Sentral also directs BSFIs to adopt marketing strategies that effectively promote EPFS.

With its streamlined licensing policy on EPFS coupled with more vigorous drive for interoperability among the BSFIs, the Bangko Sentral looks forward to a highly efficient funds flow in the economy, supporting productive activities that fuel economic growth.

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