DIGITAL wallets are the way to go when sending cash gifts this holiday season, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said in a statement issued last November 22.

“Digital wallets offer a safe, secure, efficient and convenient way to transfer funds to family and friends during this season of giving,” BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno was quoted in the statement as saying.

Diokno said using e-wallets is seen by the BSP as a “highly recommended” alternative to giving cash gifts as this eliminates physical contact.

“This will allow the Filipino tradition of giving aguinaldo to family, friends and significant others to continue despite restrictions on mobility and face-to-face gatherings,” it added.

This call is parallel with the BSP’s digital-payment transformation and financial-inclusion goals. Its latest report showed that 20 percent of the payments volume last year were conducted digitally, driven by electronic fund transfers.

The Central Bank aims to have at least half of all transactions by 2023 completed via digital platforms.

According to the BSP, setting up interoperable payment systems has been crucial amid the accelerated adoption of digital payments in pandemic.

“Even before the pandemic, the BSP was able to lay out the critical foundations to an interoperable National Retail Payment System that allowed payment-service providers to innovate and offer responsive digital payment products and services,” Diokno has said.

“These helped ease the burden of Filipinos given the social mobility restrictions brought about by the health protocols,” he added.

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